Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts

Customer Service Do's and Don'ts

Customer service is a key competency in a digital marketing apprenticeship. It is important to deliver good customer service to build a loyal customer base and avoid negative complaints. Here are the main customer service do’s and don’ts you should follow if you want to successfully meet the customer service competency: 

Customer Service Do's and Don'ts

Customer service Do’s:

Efficiency  

  • Customer queries should be responded to quickly and efficiently. Customers shouldn’t be left waiting for a response. If customers are left waiting for a long time, they may file a complaint or become frustrated and visit a competitor instead.  

Monitoring social channels and online

  • All channels, including online and social media, should be monitored daily to ensure that important customer queries have been answered. It is also beneficial to interact with customer content that doesn’t have a query to help create a sense of community.  

Accessibility 

  • Contact details of support teams such as customer/IT support should be easily accessible for customers, so they don’t have to search hard to find help with their queries. 
  • There should be multiple channels that allow customers to communicate such as email, social media and the website. This allows a wider range of customers to get in contact. 

Individual Responses 

  • It is important not to give standardised responses to all queries. Customers should feel like they are getting unique, personalised answers to their questions. It is important to have a consistent tone of voice, but messages should be altered depending on the query. 

Knowledge of FAQS 

  • Knowing the answers to frequently asked questions will help you respond to customer queries quickly and accurately. A compiled list of questions that are frequently asked can also be added to the website. This list can then be linked in customer responses for extra information. 

Customer service Don’ts: 

Only responding to customer service enquiries on one channel: In order to meet your competency for customer service, you must display your knowledge on multiple channels, social media and online. 

Displaying one response to a customer: To showcase your abilities in customer service, you must have evidence of responding to at least three different queries.  

Not having clear policies: If you don’t have clear policies to follow when responding, there won’t be a consistent response to customers.  

Not going above and beyond: If you are responding to customers and only writing the minimum level of information, customers may not feel valued. Adding links to additional information and a follow-up such as “please reach out if you have any further questions” will help a customer feel like their query has been fully answered. This also means that they can reach out again if needed. 

How to improve your customer service?

As well as following the customer service do’s listed on this blog… Here are some things you can do to improve your customer service skills: 

  • Research your company’s brand and tone of voice (e.g. formal/informal). This will help guide how you respond to customers and keep responses consistent.  
  • Research industry leaders and how they do their customer service. Looking at how they respond to customers on social and online channels can show you customer service best practices.  
  • Stay up to date with new trends and changes. New developments in technology such as Live Chats can affect the standard of customer service customers expect from you. Keeping up to date with trends can help you deliver a high standard of customer service. 

Conclusion

Customer service is an important part of digital marketing. Learning how to deliver high-quality customer service will help you be successful in a digital marketing apprenticeship.  

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Comment any customer service do’s and don’ts that we missed! 

Level 3 Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser Apprenticeship

Are you interested in a career working at a senior level? By working in the financial services customer adviser role, you could find yourself supporting customers in banks or building societies or other financial services sectors. You could even one day find yourself managing a team as part of your role.  If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then read on to find out how you can start this exciting journey today!

Jobs and entry criteria for the Level 3 Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser Apprenticeship

This apprenticeship has been designed for use in Banks, Building Societies, and other Financial Services. Within these organisations there are lots of front-line roles that deals with customers and need a high level of skills and technical knowledge across a wide range of products whether that’s in a branch or over the phone etc. The length of the apprenticeship is expected to be 12 – 24 months.  To qualify for this role the apprentices must have level 2 in English and Maths level prior to the end point assessment. 

Rich results on Google's SERP when searching for 'Level 3 Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser Apprenticeship'

Key responsibilities of a Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser Apprentice

  The daily job role would be to deal with individuals, businesses or a small portfolio of accounts. You would be promoting new digital services to encourage customers to use these channels, proactively calling customers to further the relationships, resolving tricky complaints and working with other areas of the organisation to meet customer needs.

Level 3 senior financial services customer adviser Core Competencies

  • Understands the role their sector plays in Financial Services, the business they work in and where their organisation sits in the market.
  • Broad understanding of the Financial Services legal and regulatory framework, together with how this applies to the role.
  • Broad understanding of the products and services offered to customers by their organisation, together with sound knowledge of the products and services, their features and benefits, relevant to their role.
  • Understands the systems, tools and processes used in the role, together with the standards to be met, including IT tools and digital banking solutions provided to customers.
  • Delivering excellent service, identifying and meeting or exceeding customer requirements.
  • Meeting the agreed business plan objectives where appropriate.
  • Consistently supports colleagues /collaborates to achieve results
  • Dealing effectively with customers or colleagues, using sound interpersonal skills and communicating well through a range of media using appropriate language.
  • Trustworthy in their actions and maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times

Option – Team leadership

  • Plan resources to meet service levels.
  • Being able to manage the performance of individuals and supports their development e.g. mentoring and coaching.
  • Working with the team to ensure all activities meet legal, regulatory, risk requirements and that all delivery reporting requirements are met.
Rich results on Google's SERP when searching for 'Level 3 Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser Apprenticeship'

Modules and vendor exams

The knowledge modules and vendor exams will help you understand the following:

  • An understanding of how your organisation fits within the financial services industry.
  • Knowledge of how the financial services’ legal and regulatory framework operates and how this applies to your role.
  • Understanding and fulfilling your customers’ needs.
  • Developing strong, effective relationships with your colleagues.
  • Analysing and solving problems within regulatory guidelines and your company’s policies.

Conclusion

As you can see above the Level 3 senior financial services customer adviser apprenticeship is a great starting point for anybody that looking for a career within the Legal, finance and accounting sectors. The core skills that you will learn within this apprenticeship not only will improve your workplace skills but also help to develop life skills, which will help you grow alongside your role. In addition, you will be able to develop your career within the organisation through a range of possible pathways.

Top Tips for Showing Customer Service in the Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

When it comes to the coursework projects for the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, the competencies and behaviours you are expected to demonstrate on the whole look after themselves. Competencies such as Data Analytics, showing specialisms in two of four areas including SEO and PPC, and using digital tools effectively are part and parcel of a marketing apprentice’s day-to-day job. There is one competency that is a bit harder to demonstrate, however, and this is competency number 5 – customer service. This blog will explain how to demonstrate the competency of customer service in the Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with minimal stress.

Why Is It a Challenge?

In most businesses, marketing and customer service are two different functions. While the two teams will liaise with each other to ensure consistency of messaging and to discuss customer feedback and needs, day-to-day operations are conducted separately. Because of this separation, it is not always easy, especially in larger businesses, for a marketer to involve themselves in customer service. I struggled with this element despite working in a small tech startup.

Customer Service in the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship can be difficult.

So, how can this challenge be overcome?

1: What You Do May already Count as Customer Service

For something you do to qualify as meeting the customer service competency criteria, you must directly engage with the customer. There is a distinct possibility you do this already without necessarily realising it.

For example, many companies will send out customer feedback surveys (this is most likely to be in the form of an NPS survey). As a marketer, you are likely to be involved in all email output, and will have a role in setting up and sending out this survey. In the process of creating this email, if you tailor the thank you message after the customer has submitted their feedback depending on the feedback they have given (i.e. positive or negative), this counts as customer service, as you are telling them that their criticism will be addressed if the feedback is negative, or that you are delighted that they love the product or service if the feedback is positive. It should be said at this point that simply sending newsletters, no matter how segmented the mailing list, is not enough – there must be that additional level of tailored communication directly with the customer.

While this is not the most explicit example of customer service, if you are in a company that has very separate marketing and customer service functions, this is a potentially very good way of collecting evidence of customer service without needing to organise some time with the customer service team.

Social Media

The other area where this can apply is if you are in charge of social media output. It is not uncommon for queries to be raised directly to your employer’s social media accounts – which, in my case, only I had full access too. It was therefore incumbent upon me to respond to them, which I did after discussing the issue with customer service.

Being in charge of social media accounts is also a great way to document evidence of customer service. This is particularly important as the requirements of the course are at least one example of customer service has to be on a social media platform. If your role does not entail you having access to the company social media accounts, or having permission to communicate with customers, an arrangement will have to be made with the customer service team for you to respond to a customer query or two under supervision.

If you are not confident with using social media, we recently wrote an article on using social media during your apprenticeship will help to boost your confidence!

2: Getting Help

Asking for help with customer service.

Depending on your exact day-to-day role and responsibilities, there may not be a chance to demonstrate the required customer service skills without help. If you are concerned that you may not be able to demonstrate the customer service skills you will need to, raise this with your employer and LDC as soon as possible, and an agreement will be reached about having to spend a small period of time with the customer service team to demonstrate this competency.

Conclusion

In short, customer service is the hardest competency to meet in your coursework projects. It is not impossible, however. Course providers are used to it being an issue for apprentices, and it is in the employer’s interest that they ensure you are able to meet all the competencies. Let them know if you think it will be an issue, and you should have few issues demonstrating this competency.

Top Customer Relationship Marketing Tips for Digital Marketers

alt= Happy customer image

What is Customer Relationship Marketing?

Before I can begin explaining the strengths of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) in digital marketing, its crucial that you understand what it actually is first!

As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you must be able to understand the benefits, limits and constraints of relationship marketing.

Customer relationship marketing is a marketing strategy that cultivates deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty. It is comprised of strategies to build client support for a business and its offerings with the aim of increasing brand loyalty.

So, why is it important in digital marketing?

Customer Relationship Marketing is essentially the building blocks for a successful digital marketing campaign- it creates a strong base for promotion of a brands products, services, values, etc. A brand may succeed in the short-term without investing in strong customer relations, however they won’t be able to retain those customers for a very long period of time. By focusing on building a strong customer relations base, a brand will develop meaningful connections with their customers which will in turn lead to loyal, long-term stability.

If a customer experiences bad customer service, they will be unhappy. This will most likely lead to bad reviews spread about a brand which can damage their reputation immediately. If a customer experiences good customer service, they will have a good experience of your products/ services which will lead to them leaving positive reviews and feedback about your brand. It doesn’t matter what industry a brand is in, CRM is equally important and the pathway to success because the most effective way of building good brand reputation is through happy customers!

Top Tips for CRM

  • Respond in a timely manner– set a specific time goal for your response time (aim for around 12-24 hours maximum), communicate this clearly on your channels and be sure to stick to it
  • Align your objectives with the customers objectives– even if this means compromising your own goals or plans, the customers needs come first
  • Make your response personal and tailored to them– let them know you are human, you are understanding and adapt a friendly tone to settle them with their enquiry
  • Don’t copy and paste responses– yes, you should follow a good structure with responses to ensure consistency, however they will notice if you have just copied and pasted your response. This will have an even more negative effect than no response at all!
alt= customer with love heart to show brand loyalty

Benefits of CRM in digital marketing:

It’s clear that customer relationship marketing plays a crucial role in digital marketing and determines the success of campaigns. Some of the key benefits of CRM include:

  • Strong return on investment (ROI) when CRM has been applied and demonstrated correctly
  • Positive reviews that create a good image for the brand
  • Descriptive feedback that gives customer insight, giving the brand ideas on how they can improve further
  • Word of mouth spread, increasing awareness of brand
  • Ease of cross-selling and potential change (loyal customers are invested in the brand and are more likely to stick by you through adaptations)
alt= Ticking clock to show long term strategy takes time

Limitations and constraints of CRM in digital marketing

Despite the endless amount of positive implications when a brand focuses on implementing great customer relationship marketing, there are also some limitations that come along with it…

  • It’s expensive- not only is the customer service pricey, promotions can realistically fail to create loyal customers, which leads to loss
  • It doesn’t work for all types of businesses- if you have a one time buy product, this strategy would see the opposite effects
  • Can focus too much on current customers, leading to neglection of new and potential customers
  • Bad reviews can damage reputation
  • This is a long term strategy and therefore it takes longer to see the positive effects than a short term strategy

Conclusion

The key to success for a brand is customers. Without customers, there is no brand. Customer relationship marketing is the best way for a brand to build their strong customer base, however it may not always be the best option depending on the product/ service offering. This is why understanding the pros, cons and top tips of CRM is so crucial for the strength of a digital marketers understanding and capabilities.

If you found this article helpful, leave a review on our LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page today. We would love to hear your feedback! 🙂

To find out more technical knowledge, read through the digital marketing standard or occupational brief.

Digital Marketing: Your Guide to Excellent Customer Service

Image of person replying to comments on phone

Social media is a great platform for online marketing and encouraging website traffic, however you should also be using it to establish your brand reputation and build valuable customer relationships by providing quality customer service.

How can good customer service maximise sales?

According to an American Express Global Customer Service Survey, 78% of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.

Good customer service allows you to build trust with your consumer, as well as providing them with tailored information about your product or service. On social media, all comments are in the public eye, meaning it’s especially important to showcase how you treat your customers to a wider audience. Interacting online also gives you better understanding of your customers so you can develop and tailor future content to their interests.

Interacting on social media is an example of a ‘touchpoint’. This is any interaction that the company has with customers or prospects. The better this experience is, the more likely it is that your business will retain the customer or sell to the prospect. For new customers, this can be the ’Reach’ stage of the Customer Lifecycle, the point when you first make contact with your potential customer. For existing customers, customer support aids the ‘Retention’ stage, where you continue to build and maintain your relationship with that customer.

Diagram showing Customer Lifecycle

So, how do I do it?

You know why good customer care is important, but what can you do to make sure you’re providing it? Here’s some of our top tips:

  • Tone of voice – reply to queries professionally, clearly and in a friendly manner. Depending on the nature of your business, replies can also incorporate humour.
  • Personalise – reply to each comment independently and address the user by their name. Do not use an automated reply system on social media as they may not match the situation and could deter the customer. Take the time to respond directly to your followers as needed to create a relationship and answer their question.
  • Solve the issue – provide a clear solution to the customer’s query. If you aren’t sure, politely ask for more information. If you are not able to find a solution, offer alternatives such as similar products or services that your company could provide.
  • Response time – responding quickly will prevent the customer losing interest and going elsewhere.
  • Be consistent and fair – treat each customer with the same level of service regardless of your relationship with them.
  • Provide follow up – provide ‘next steps’ information such as a contact number, email or web address. Adding a call to action can also encourage traffic to your website, allowing users to discover and potentially invest in your products/services that they were not initially looking for.
  • Use positive language – Redirecting a conversation from negative to positive places focus on a proposed solution and can avoid conflict from miscommunication.
  • Finally, remember to reply to all comments, even if they aren’t a query or complaint. A simple ‘thank you’ on a positive comment shows the customer that you value their custom and appreciate good feedback.

Put your knowledge to the test – apply for a digital marketing apprenticeship

Customer service is a key competency in the Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Digital marketers define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention.

Find out more about the latest digital apprenticeships available and a host of apprenticeship information on our website, ApprenticeTips.com.

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Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship

Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship

Do you enjoy helping customer find the products, or services, that they are looking for? Whether face-to-face or online, as a level 2 customer service apprentice, you could play a key role in delivering products or services to an organisations customers. Keep reading to find out more about what this entails, and how to get started with becoming a customer service apprentice.

Key Responsibilities Of A Customer Service Apprentice

Your responsibilities as a Customer Service Apprentice will be to deliver your organisation’s high quality products and services to customers. How that is done will depend on your organisation, but could be:

  • From the workplace, such as by phone
  • Digitally, such as via email or live chat
  • Face-to-face, such as during an on-site visit to a customer

In order to fulfil your role, it will be important for you to understand your organisation, who your customers are, and have an understanding of the products or services that are available to your customers.

You will get a better understanding of exactly what your role will require at interview, as every organisation will be slightly different. But, we cover what you will need to know and do as part of your apprenticeship.

Level 2 customer service practitioner

Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

The standards for your customer service apprenticeship are broken down into three sections: knowledge, skills, and behaviours. These are the standards you will need to meet and demonstrate in order to complete your apprenticeship.

Knowledge

  • Understand who your customers are, if they are internal or external, and understand the different needs and priorities of your customers
  • Understand your business’ purpose and know the core values behind your business, as well as know internal policies and procedures, and what your business offers
  • Know and understand relevant regulations for your business, and what your responsibilities are with regards to those regulations
  • Know how to use the systems and solutions within your business in order to sufficiently support your customers
  • Understand your role and how your position fits in to the wider organisation, as well as how your duties contribute towards targets and goals
  • Understand how to establish the facts of a case, and how to build trust with a customer in order to help resolve their issue and provide an appropriate response

Skills

  • Use a range of interpersonal skills effectively, including listening, responsing to build trust and rapport, and understanding the customers’ point of view to manage expectations
  • Effectively communicate verbally and non-verbally, with an appropriate tone of voice for your organisation’s brand image
  • Provide clear explanations and allow customer to make decisions that are beneficial for everyone
  • Organise your own time and workload, and prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines

Behaviours

  • Be responsible for keeping your knowledge and skills up to date, and set and meet personal goals for development
  • Take on feedback and constructive criticism in order to continuously develop your knowledge and skills
  • Work and communicate effectively within a team in order to better serve your customers
  • Treat customers with respect for them as an individual, and provide a personalised customer service experience, while maintaining your business’ core values
  • Dress and communicate in an appropriately professional manner

Becoming A Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner

If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship as a level 2 Customer Service Practitioner, you will first need to meet the entry requirements. You are required to have achieved level 1 English and Maths. And, you will need to take level 2 English and Maths tests before the completion of your apprenticeship.

Then, you should contact a training provider. Training providers often help with recruitment and placement, so may be able to help you find a role that is near you.

Conclusion

It is clear that the level 2 customer service practitioner apprenticeship is perfect for anyone who hopes to start a career helping customers to the best of their ability. If you take pride in the service you provide and love to help people, and want to further develop the skills needed to do this, then this course is a good choice for you.

To get started, get in touch with Apprentice Tips so we can help you find a training provider that is right for you.