5 Proven Ways to Improve Customer Service in 2023

Poor customer service will cost your business a great deal of money.

If you have not realized it yet, then you already belong to the list of organizations that lost $62billion worth of business put together due to poor customer service. A jarring 50% hike from a similar report published two years ago.

Not an illustrious list to be a part of, but here’s the thing, you can plan and take actionable steps to get your name out of the list.

“How do I get started?”

If this is the voice echoing in your head after reading the initial lines, then you have landed at the right place.

Recently, we were researching a new topic for our weekly webinar, and that’s when we came across these shocking numbers on the impact of poor customer service on businesses.

At that moment, we realized we have found our topic.

To make this webinar interesting, we invited Ruben, head of the customer service team, Animaker Inc. to share his learnings, insights, and hands-on experience of solving customer problems.

In this webinar, Ruben exchanged some great ideas from his personal experience, customer service tips, and how Vmaker played a pivotal role in improving the customer service at Animaker Inc. We highly recommend checking out the recorded version of this webinar focused on customer service. 

If video is not your thing, then here’s a walkthrough on the five major points discussed in this webinar.

Build Empathy

Empathy is the No.1 thing customers expect from customer service.

It’s easy to understand what makes it the top priority for customers. The prime reason why a user even approaches the customer support team is because they’re facing a problem and they need your help to get it sorted. The least you can do is to acknowledge their problem and listen to it.

To turn up the empathy meter in your support team members, here’s what you can do -

- Train them on how to establish a common ground to start a conversation with the customers

- Prepare a list of questions or a checklist so that you can clearly understand the problem

- Set a timeline so that the customer is clear when to expect a reply from you

- Resolve the problem instead of delaying it till the very last moment

Excerpts from the webinar:

“Empathy is very important. You need to first acknowledge the user, whatever the issue may be - big or small. This is to let them know that we’re here to help them and solve the problem”

Avoid repeat work

Many customers who reach out to the support team have a common problem.

A common problem is something that has already been addressed by your team and it’s not necessary to create a resource separately to address the problem. You can pull out the answer from your database and send it to your customer.

This way you can avoid repeat work and have a quick turnaround time

However, this is easier said than done. If you want to put such a structure in place, here’s what you have to do - 

- Create a database like a knowledge bank for all the frequently asked questions

- Tag them with relevant keywords so that it becomes easier to identify

- Use a video or screen recording tool like Vmaker to answer these questions to make it more effective

Excerpts from the webinar:

“The best practice that we follow at Animaker is having a database of frequently asked questions, and tagging them with relevant keywords. So, the next time an agent can go, and search for relevant keywords, and simply link it to the user”

Fix response time

Response time is the time taken by the support team to respond to a customer query. It is a significantly important parameter for customers to decide whether they want to go ahead with a product or not. As per this website, 53% of the customers decide not to continue with a product if the response time is low. So, how do you set an average response time for your customer support team? Well, to be honest a lot depends on the nature of your business and the kind of questions you receive. However, for the starters, here are some numbers that we pulled out from the internet that will help you to set a benchmark for your team.

All the numbers are based on the research done by with a sample size of 1000 companies -

- The average response time is 12 hours and 10 minutes (which is very high) - 88% of the customers expect a reply within 60 minutes and 30% expect a reply within 15 minutes or less

- 90% of the companies do not acknowledge the customer that the email has been received

The above numbers should give you the right impetus about what you should and should not do to set a response strategy. 

You can ask yourself these questions to get started -

- Do you want to keep your customers hanging for 12 hours before you respond?

- What are the changes you can make in the team to reply to a customer within an hour, so that most of the customers stick with you?

- What procedure can you set to acknowledge customer emails in the shortest time possible?

Excerpts from the webinar:

“We do recommend to our agents to acknowledge the user even when they do not have a solution right at hand. It’s important to let the customer know that someone will look into the issue, and set the right expectations so that the customer is not left hanging in the chat”

Measure the outcome

You have set a goal, you know what are the steps you need to take to improve customer service in your business, and now it’s time to start measuring the results.

This step is important because it's a reality check on how good your plans worked, and what corrective actions you can take to get your plans back on track.

Ask for feedback

One of the best ways of ascertaining the quality of customer service is by asking your customers for feedback.

But, it doesn’t end by asking for it. In fact, that’s just the start.

If you have plans to ask for feedback to your customers just to make them feel heard, then that’s a stale idea. Instead, take an active approach and start by acknowledging their feedback and sending personalized replies. I know, it’s getting repetitive, but we can’t stop stressing enough on acknowledging customer communication.

While we talk about taking feedback, there is a bitter side to it. A lot of businesses have experienced that a customer is most likely to leave feedback when they have a negative experience than a positive one.

However, this should not discourage you from asking for feedback. Negative feedback is a great way of working on the downsides and identifying the loopholes missed by your team. Taking all of it in a positive stride and working on it almost guarantees a better customer service team.

As a takeaway, here’s a link to the top 16 strategies to obtain customer feedback.

Excerpts from the webinar:

Negative feedback keeps coming all the time, what matters is how we look at it. At Animaker, we welcome negative feedback because we look at it as a great learning opportunity”

There are multiple KPIs for measuring the outcome of your customer service, but here are our top 3 picks:

1. Response Time

Acknowledging your customer is pivotal for customer success. Response time is a metric that you can use to analyze how quickly your support team replied to your customer to confirm that their email has been received. This metric is even more important for B2B customer service teams, as their customer base is smaller as compared to B2C companies.

2. First Time Resolution (FTR)

FTR is a prime parameter for measuring the efficiency of the support staff. A high FTR rate denotes that a lot of customer queries get resolved in the first call. This is a positive sign for a business because even if the average time spent on a call is higher, it reduces the probability of a customer calling support team repeatedly with the same problem.

3. Customer satisfaction score

One thing that every business wants to achieve is an active group of satisfied customers. Over the years, companies have realised that it’s more advantageous to keep your existing customers happy than to go out hunting for new customers every time.

Customer satisfaction is one metric that helps companies to measure and retain satisfied customers. Also, the customer satisfaction score is like the true north for the support team. All other numbers fall flat if the customer satisfaction score is nosediving.

There are numerous ways of calculating customer satisfaction scores, but here are some of the best techniques that we found online - Take complete charge of customer satisfaction metrics

Excerpts from the webinar:

There are a lot of KPIs but the two most important points that we consider at Animaker is Response time and First Time Resolution(FTR)”

Final words on customer service in 2023

Your customer service team is like an army who are always on the frontline tackling customer queries, complaints, and feedback. Having a weak army is opening the doors for infiltration.

To stop this, start building a strong and resilient customer support team. Start by making your team more emotionally inclined to the customer’s requirements. Set a procedure to create customer service resources, so that your team has to spend the minimum amount of time in answering the FAQs.

Once you have the first two priorities in place, it’s time to start measuring activities by clocking the response time and setting the key parameters to evaluate the performance of your team. When you’re done with that, ask for feedback from your customers, and even if they’re largely negative, take them on a positive note. This will go a long way in deciding the growth trajectory of your organization.

We hope you liked our customer service webinar. We will be talking about more such interesting topics in our weekly webinar. You can visit our webinar page to register and attend it live. If you miss that, you check our YouTube channel. We upload the recorded version on the next day.

You can also be a part of our Facebook and Slack community to participate in many conversations related to business, productivity, and growth.

Read more:

How Videos Can Help You Offer Personalized Support and Improve Customer Satisfaction!

6 Proven Ways to Improve Sales Productivity in 2023