When marketing products and services, you need to be prepared to engage with customers. Rather than send a one-way marketing message, good digital marketing campaigns should engage customers.
Campaigns should hook customers and entice them to find out more about your products and/or services.
When customers get in touch you need to be prepared to respond efficiently to their enquiries using a range of platforms. This could be on email, through your website, or using social media.
Any good sales or marketing team will be ready to handle customer enquiries and respond to these in a professional manner. Being prepared for this by having customer service and social media policies in place makes this so much easier.
As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you need to demonstrate that you can “respond efficiently to enquiries using online and social media platforms.”
So, what does good customer service look like?
To make sure your customers get what they need, it is important to have a clear plan in place to respond to every individual request. Here is a 6-step approach to make sure that every customer enquiry is managed effectively.
- Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service
- Understand and categories the type of enquiry
- Know the individual customer
- Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need
- Respond as quickly as you can
- Provide follow up contact details and information
Now let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.
Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service
Whilst it’s important to treat each customer as an individual, it is essential to also have a consistent and fair approach to make sure everyone gets the same level of service.
Ensuring that there are agreed customer service and social media policies to define how everyone in your organisation responds to customers is a great idea. These should outline things like the tone of voice and a clear strategy on how to approach each customer enquiry.
Making sure that a high-level customer service approach is available, agreed on and regularly updated will make you maintain a consistent approach in the first instance.
Understand and categories the type of enquiry
To respond to customer enquiries as efficiently as possible, the first thing that you should do is categories the type of enquiry. Having defined types of customer service enquiries such as: request for information; complaint; advocate; common enquiry; etc. is an excellent starting point.
If your organisation is aware of the types of enquiries, it can further develop a strategy for dealing with these in the quickest and simplest way possible.
There can be some very quick turnarounds if you effectively categories enquiries and deal with the simple and common requests as quickly as possible. This can keep the caseload down and result in more and more customers that are satisfied with the quick turnaround.
Obviously a CRM system would be an effective tool to help achieve this and links into the next point.
Know the individual customer
As the first point mentions, having a high-level strategy and clear policies are important. Additionally, good customer service agents will use everything that they know about each individual customer to provide customised service.
Think of a time when you got a copy/pasted reply to an enquiry compared to one where it was clear that the responder had taken the time to get to know you and your individual case. Was there a big difference? We’re sure that you’ll agree that there is normally a massive difference with this type of approach. That’s not to say that generic copy/paste or automated responses cannot be effective to provide an initial acknowledgement of the customer service request.
Building up a knowledge bank on each customer at every touchpoint and managing this information will allow you to tailor each response for the individual.
Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need
We’ve previously mentioned having high-level policies, categorising enquiries and getting to know the customer. The next step is to make sure that you gather the information that the customer needs to satisfy their request. You need to organise this information in a clear and concise manner so that it can be communicated effectively.
For complaints, you might need more detailed investigation whereas you may also have a knowledge bank of custom responses that can help you deal with common requests. Using this information along with what you know about the customer, means that you will be able to provide the most effective response.
Respond as quickly as you can
It goes without saying really, that getting back to a customer service enquiry as quickly as possible will go a long way to keeping customers happy.
That being said, make sure that you cover everything that is needed before providing a hasty response. Those extra few minutes can make all the difference between a completely satisfied customer and someone that will come back with a further enquiry.
One thing we mentioned previously was automated responses. These can be effective as an acknowledgement of receiving an enquiry but should be used sparingly so that your approach is personalised.
Provide follow up with contact details and information
When you have followed your customer service policy and formatted a response that will meet the customers need, you should not always leave it at that.
Provide clear and concise information on how they can take next steps to get them where they or you would like them to be can make all the difference.
Having a clear call to action that could push them to buy or even just provide an easier method to get in touch can be a much more effective approach that just trying to close off a customer service case.
Being proactive and going out of your way to go the extra mile for the customer whether they have contacted you with a complaint or compliment really does add the personal touch.
Here we have look at what is good customer service and how you can use and effective strategy to deal with customer service requests. If there is anything that has worked well for you, please feel free to drop us a comment below.
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