woman working in customer service - 10 Customer Service Best Practices Every Business Should Follow

To have a successful business, you need to have good customer service. The quality of customer service makes or breaks businesses. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 top customer service best practices that every business should follow.

Following these customer service best practices will help you train your customer service team to deliver top-notch customer service that leads to loyal customers.

1. Actively Listen and Empathize

Listen to your customers to understand their needs and concerns. When customers reach out with questions or concerns, give them your full attention. This means listening without interruption, empathizing with their situation, and asking clarifying questions when necessary. Show genuine understanding and concern, and strive to find solutions that meet their specific requirements. By doing these things, you’re able to solve their immediate issue and make them feel valued and heard.

2. Respond Quickly

Customers expect quick responses. Whether through phone calls, emails, text messages, or social media, you must provide timely responses. Aim to respond to all questions within 24 hours, if not sooner. Implement a response time policy within your support team to make sure customers don’t feel neglected by receiving slow responses. Responding quickly increases brand loyalty and trust. 

To respond quickly, automate responses for initial contact, and then send a personalized follow-up from a human. This combination lets you acknowledge questions quickly while still providing the personal touch that customers want.

Use Skipio, a two-way text messaging platform, to start automating connection points. Add Skipio’s Web2txt to any page on your site. Web2txt is essentially a “text us” widget that gives people a way to text you directly. From there, you can have automated messages set up to reply or reply yourself. 

3. Offer Personalized Support

Customers appreciate it when they’re treated like more than just a ticket. They want to interact with an actual person. To do this, you need to personalize your support messaging. Don’t send generic, canned responses. Instead, use customer insights to personalize interactions and conversations. 

Address customers by name, acknowledge their past interactions with your company, and recommend relevant products or services. Review any notes in your CRM about the customer to help you create personalized conversations. Skipio helps you keep track of all customer conversations and history with contact notes. You’ll always remember the context of a conversation and you’ll be able to personalize support quicker and better. 

Skipio also has merge fields that automatically insert dynamic content, such as individual customer data, into your messages. For example, a merge field lets you address each recipient by their first name or include personalized product recommendations based on their previous purchases without having to add it for each person individually. Merge fields are a quick way to make your messages feel more personal and specific to each recipient.

Personalization in ways like this shows that you care about people’s needs and leads to a better customer experience. 

4. Provide Multi-Channel Support

People have different preferences for communication channels. Some prefer email, while others like phone calls, chatbots, or texts. Being accessible on various channels helps you meet your customers where they are.

Let your customers know of the multiple ways they can receive support. If you have a specific phone number they can call or text, make it easily accessible. 

Also, ensure messaging and support is consistent across all channels. Customers should receive the same level of service and information, regardless of the channel they choose to contact you through. This requires a well-trained team capable of delivering consistent service.

5. Make Self-Service Options Available

Having self-service options to allow customers to find solutions to their problems independently saves them and you time and effort. Several effective self-service options exist, such as a knowledge base, tutorials and videos, and chatbots. 

Create a comprehensive knowledge base that includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), step-by-step guides, troubleshooting tips, and product documentation. Organize the knowledge base in a user-friendly format and make it easily accessible on your website.

Also, create online tutorials and instructional videos that guide customers through common tasks or show how to use your products or services. Host these resources on your website or share them on platforms like YouTube.

Add a chatbot to your website. Automated tools help to provide instant responses to common customer questions and guide users through self-service options. Chatbots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, provide basic troubleshooting assistance, or direct customers to relevant resources.

6. Go the Extra Mile

Exceeding customer expectations is a great way to leave a lasting impression. Look for opportunities to go the extra mile and provide exceptional service. Whether it’s offering additional assistance, providing unexpected discounts, or anticipating customer needs, these gestures make a significant impact.

These extra efforts often result in loyal, long-term customers who become advocates for your business.

7. Handle Complaints with Care

No matter how amazing your product or service is, you will encounter unhappy customers from time to time. It’s important to handle these complaints with care. Train your team to remain calm, empathetic, and solution-oriented when dealing with dissatisfied customers. A well-handled complaint can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Implement a process for responding to complaints, from initial contact through resolution and follow-up. This makes sure communication is consistent and gives customers confidence that their concerns are being taken seriously.

8. Collect and Act on Customer Feedback

Feedback from customers is a valuable resource for improving your customer service. Encourage customers to provide feedback through surveys, reviews, or direct interactions. You can easily do this by sending survey links or questions via text message. 

Act on this feedback promptly to address any issues and make necessary improvements to your product and/or the way questions are handled. Customers notice and appreciate when their input is acknowledged and acted upon.

9. Create a Customer-Centric Culture

“Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back.” – Connie Edler

Make providing excellent customer service your company’s “number one job” by establishing it as a core value. When everyone commits to putting customers first, it becomes a part of your brand’s identity and sets you apart from the competition.

To create a customer-centric culture, regularly communicate the importance of customer service and share success stories that highlight its impact. Recognize and reward employees who go above and beyond to provide outstanding service. By making customer satisfaction a shared goal across all departments, not just customer support, you’re unified in the focus to deliver exceptional experiences.

10. Continuously Train Your Customer Service Team

Your customer service team is the frontline of your business. Properly training them is essential because they interact directly with customers daily. 

Invest your time in training your customer service team to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle various situations effectively. Teach your team these best practices and create opportunities for them to practice. Training helps them to make decisions within reasonable boundaries, which results in faster resolutions and happier customers.

Provide Excellent Customer Support with Skipio

Skipio helps customer support teams quickly and efficiently handle customer questions and outreach via text messages. Schedule a demo today to learn more about Skipio’s features and how to use text messaging to start applying these customer service best practices.