When you call in to speak with the customer service team of a cable company to cancel your contract, you might expect some hiccups, but overall would expect it to be relatively easy. Perhaps the customer support agent might try to plead with you to not cancel your contract, but ultimately they should respect your request.
But not for former Engadget editor-in-chief Ryan Block. Block called customer retentions to cancel his contract with Comcast. After repeatedly asking the retentions specialist whether he could cancel his service over the phone or not, he couldn’t get a straight answer.
If the support agent had a process to follow, they would have been able to walk Block through the cancellation process step-by-step. Instead, the audio recording was published online, and was picked up by publications like Time, Bloomberg and TechCrunch. it was – helping to sabotage their reputation in the process.
Dell continue to battle their haunted reputation of poor tech support, just because they chose to outsource their support team cheaply. That was ten years ago, and potential customers are still questioning about whether to buy a Dell laptop because they’re worried about having to get in touch with the customer service team.
When companies give bad customer service, it can quickly become a competitive disadvantage and causes customers to leave and take their business elsewhere. And what’s more, 95% of customers who have had a negative experience said they told someone about it – quickly spreading negative word-of-mouth.
Good customer service is powerful for every company
Through word of mouth, ensuring your customers have positive experiences can resonate quickly through people’s networks – helping you attract new customers. And not only does it boost your chance of retaining your current customers, it can help turn them from customers into loyal advocates. How many of these customer delight stories have you heard?
- Zappos sent flowers to a woman who ordered six different pairs of shoes because her feet were damaged by harsh medical treatments.
- Joshie, the toy giraffe, was found in a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The concierge made the effort to take photos of Joshie enjoying his vacation by the pool, getting a massage, and making friends before sending him back to the family.
These customer delight stories can have a dramatic impact on customer satisfaction, word of mouth, and can even generate viral press coverage.
The main difference between “good” customer service and “great” customer service is that, in the former, you are doing the bare minimum to keep the customer satisfied. But with great customer service, you are not only doing what it takes to make them satisfied – you are going above and beyond what is required and expected to keep customers loyal.
Consider when Forbes writer Erika Anderson booked a flight with JetBlue. She explains how the flight attendant was consistently polite and helpful to every passenger. When there was a specific request she reframed it so they would work together on it:
“When she had to tell people to do something (for instance, getting me and the other passengers in the first row to put all our stuff up in the overheads), she did it with such an air of helpfulness (“I know this is a pain, but let’s work together to make it happen”) that no one minded at all.”
It’s highly unlikely to assume that the flight attendant knew that Erika was a professional writer, and probably didn’t know she was ever going to post a story on the subject either. And while not every customer may be an online journalist, every delighted customer will feel better about your brand, product, or service.
The road to greatness starts with your team
Recruiting the right people to join your customer service team can be one of the most tactful ways of getting your business ahead. When your customers have positive interactions with your support team:
- 75% more likely to generate positive experiences than negative experiences (25%).
- 77% more likely to purchase a product when they learn about it from friends and family
- 81% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts
This means it’s crucial to hire the best talent possible. Your customer service team is the often the only human-to-human contact your customers will have with your brand. They have the power to make great impressions and delight, but can also cause upset and bad feelings.
A great customer support team won’t just answer tickets and keep customers happy. A great support team will go further. They’ll help you to:
- Grow customer loyalty
- Build a competitive edge in the market with their communication skills
- Develop real brand ambassadors for your organization
If you care about the impression your business leaves with customers – then you’re in luck. We’re here to help you hire for excellence in every single member of your customer service team.
We’ve put together The Essential Guide to Hiring Customer Support Excellence, designed to help you hire the best customer service agents in your industry.
Hiring the best support pros around will help keep your customers happy, solve their problems and build customer service into a competitive advantage for your organization.
In the guide, you’ll find out:
- How to successfully pinpoint the right potential candidate
- How to use the ‘A method’ for hiring best practices
- Where to find the best potential candidates around
Pick the best candidates for your customer service team
It’s clear that your customer service team plays a huge part in the business you can win or lose. When it comes to hiring the perfect support rep, each support team is looking for something different. But, make sure you are hiring with the aim to provide your loyal customers great support.
In this guide, you will be able to use the tools we have provided to set the foundation for your next support hire.
The additional effort and thought you put into your job description, competency models, screening process, and interview questions will dramatically improve your chances of recruiting the right candidate.
Your people are your company’s most valuable resource. Don’t you want the best representing you?