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Tips to Improve Your Customer Service

5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Customer Service

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

When I was in college, in my final year, one of my hostel seniors joined a large petrochemical corporation. Those days, we did not have mobile phones and depended on landline phones.

Once, I tried him at his office. So, I called the board number and asked for him. The immediate response that I got was, “Mr. Vivek is busy in a meeting. If you can leave your name and number, I will ask him to call you back as soon as he is free.”

I didn’t have a number then, so I just left my name and told the receptionist I’d call again in the afternoon.

I tried at 3 pm. I got the same message from the receptionist. I thought Vivek had become really busy with his office work.

Then I met him during the weekend and told him about my attempts to reach him. He said that he didn’t attend any meetings in the previous week.

I understood that it was the stock response of the receptionist, and she just doesn’t put any call through unless it is for a senior person. This message is the option given for you to disconnect politely.

Does Your Customer Service Work Like This?

I remember calling up my bank a while ago. The numbers were busy, and they played this automated message.

Thank you for calling us. All our agents are currently busy. Your call is important to us, and one of our agents will attend to you shortly.

They kept playing this for 15 minutes, and I decided to disconnect.

Similarly, I tried contacting a utility company to clarify my bill. Their lines were also busy, but the message was slightly different. It sounded thus:

Thank you for calling us. All our agents are currently busy. We have put you in the queue, and your number is 42. You will be attended to shortly by one of our agents.

The queue number kept progressing toward zero, and an agent answered my request in 20 minutes.

I waited 20 minutes because I understood that it was progressing.

Is This the Better Way of Providing Customer Service?

I’d certainly say so.

This is a straightforward call queuing function, where they let you know where you’re in the queue, so you know how long you have to wait.

It would be better if they had the facility for a callback.

How about this statement?

Thank you for calling us. All our agents are currently busy. We have recorded the number from where you called. We will contact you as soon as one of our agents becomes free.

This creates convenience for the customers, as they can go about their work without worrying about losing their place in the queue.

What Else Can You Do to Improve Customer Service?

Tip 1 – Provide a call queuing function that lets your customers know where they’re in the queue. Add a callback service, which would make it even better.

Most customer service agents are under stress. The biggest reason for the stress is the fact they have a hard time accessing customer information. They have to switch between multiple screens before providing customer resolution.

Tip 2 – Have the right omnichannel contact center software to provide customer service, where the agents get a single view of their customers across channels.

Customers want to feel heard, and most often than not, we don’t humanize our customer service.

Bring empathy into the conversation; your customers will love you for it. Show that you care and you have crossed half the distance in providing exemplary customer service.

Tip 3 – Acknowledge the problem that your customers have and accept your mistakes. Also, ask to clarify when you Dont understand the problem.

Imagine a situation where a customer calls you for a solution that you cannot provide.

What do you do?

You cannot provide them false timelines as it is not part of your solution, and neither do you have that as a part of your product roadmap.

It is alright to be honest, and tell the truth.

Tip 4 – Telling them the truth shows your customers that you are actually acknowledging the situation and trying to find a way to address their needs.

When was the last time you spoke about the customer service you received with your friends and family?

I will give you an example. I bought a filter from an online portal that would remove the salt content from my overhead tank. I started using it, but the filter wasn’t pulling the salt from the water.

So, I called up customer service of the portal and spoke to a representative. He immediately acknowledged the issue and said they would arrange for a filter pickup and credit the money back into my account.

Within five minutes, I received a text on my phone asking me to confirm when the delivery agent could pick up the filter. Once the filter was picked up, I received another text stating they had initiated the refund.

I had my money back within 2 hours.

You’d talk about this experience, as the customer service made it simple and easy for you to return and get a refund.

Tip 5 – Provide solutions to the problem your customers are facing quickly.

Customers get into a relationship with businesses in good faith and have fewer reasons to leave them. Often, customers leave a relationship because of poor customer service. The simple tips listed here would improve customer service, helping you convert your customers into advocates.

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