Establishing the right customer service standards is crucial for performance as it motivates your service representatives and increases the loyalty of customers.
As service channels evolve, so do customer expectations. Salesforce reported that 94% say service quality affects their buying choices, and 48% have switched brands for better customer service.
If you’re struggling to understand the value of customer service, read on to learn how to develop customer service standards at your organization.
What Are Customer Service Standards?
Customer service standards guide a business's values, mission, and vision in customer interactions. They can be seen as the goals or guidelines for delivering quality service.
They must align with your organization's principles and define the minimum service quality for both internal and external customers.
Establishing service standards is crucial so representatives know the expected level of customer care. When customers receive exceptional customer service, standards of service rise everywhere.
So, developing a strong customer service standards policy is essential for today's businesses.
Why Do Customer Service Standards Matter?
After one negative experience, nearly half of consumers prefer switching to a competitor, and with multiple complaints, that number jumps to 80%.
That’s why, in today's business landscape, exceeding basic customer service standards is vital. Businesses must be responsive, adaptable, and attuned to changing customer needs and expectations.
So why are customer service standards important? Let’s dive deeper.
- Gives a competitive edge: Companies that prioritize customer experience gain more repeat business, referrals, and customer loyalty. Exceeding customer expectations distinguishes them from competitors. Zappos, an online shoe retailer, excels in this. They've been known to surprise customers with free overnight shipping upgrades or even flowers to compensate for inconveniences.
- Improves customer satisfaction scores: Setting customer service standards allows companies to measure progress towards key goals like happiness and CSAT scores. By prioritizing customer needs, Amazon has built a strong reputation for exceptional support. Their customer service standards policies and procedures make returns easy and efficient for customers.
- Lowers churn rate: Negative experiences with customer service can drive customers away. They want to feel valued by the businesses they support, emphasizing the need for thoughtful standards of customer service. Zendesk’s report states that 60% of entrepreneurs believe superior customer service boosts client retention.
The 5 Most Important Customer Standards
For customer satisfaction, your organization's customer service standards should be explicit and measurable. Here are 5 customer service standards to monitor and maintain service performance.
Whether it's in person, by email, social media, or live chat, customers want prompt responses across all communication channels. Responsiveness means addressing their queries swiftly.
Whether it's in person, by email, social media, or live chat, customers want a quick response when they contact a company. So responsiveness entails responding to their questions and concerns as soon as possible.
According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index, customers expect quick replies: 40% within the first hour on social media and 79% within 24 hours.
The call center customer service standards benchmark includes 83% of calls answered in half a working day, 80% of chats responded to in 20 minutes, and 100% of emails addressed within 24 hours.
We’ve covered additional customer service benchmarks in our own report, which you can download here.
Although swift responses are crucial, how you reply is just as important. You must be accountable, in other words, own up to issues and accept responsibility for their resolution.
When assessing a customer's complaint, figure out its cause. Then, take responsibility and contact the client promptly by responding to emails or managing your feedback through your CRM.
Promoting an environment of accountability, such as evaluating individual performances during appraisals, can also contribute to a corporate culture that takes customer feedback seriously.
Exceeding customer expectations is more valuable than just meeting them. Give your customer service representatives flexibility to tailor their approach, as every customer is unique.
LicenceOne, a SaaS company, is a great example. It excels in interactive support using cobrowsing. Instead of just using chat or email, cobrowsing lets you access a customer's screen, facilitating faster and more effective issue resolution.
Startle Music is another example. It uses session replays to improve customer service and their product. By monitoring user sessions in their app, they can swiftly pinpoint users needing help and initiate a cobrowsing call or reach out via email or live chat to solve their issue.
It's vital to establish clear customer service response time standards so clients are aware of business hours and when support is available.
Friendliness and a Positive Attitude
Clients seek a positive interaction with support agents. It's essential to be friendly, courteous, and empathetic, especially when the consumer is stressed.
How to Improve Your Customer Service Standards
61% of customers claim that their expectations for customer service standards have risen. Here’s how to improve customer service standards while guiding your performance metrics properly.
Keep an Eye on Your KPIs
While CSAT is crucial for measuring customer satisfaction, metrics like Average Response Time (ART), First Contact Resolution (FCR), and Customer Effort Score (CES) are also important to consider.
The right KPIs help you detect warning signs in your service organization and maintain customer service standards using historical data.
Connect Customer Data
Different departments track customer data differently and that data is often in danger of becoming siloed.
To give your team a unified perspective of your customers, combine various datasets into a CRM system. This way, agents can get to the heart of issues faster and make customers feel truly cared for.
Connect Your Channels
Customers reach out in all sorts of ways – from phone calls and emails to chats and texts. When you use multi-support software to link all channels together, agents can quickly see what's going on and respond promptly. It makes things smoother for customers and helps your agents solve tickets in record time.
Help Customers Help Themselves
A single FAQ or help article can significantly reduce support needs. 88% of US consumers expect companies to provide online self-service portals for issue resolution. Create materials to tackle common queries using chatbots, product guides, or FAQ pages. Test various self-service options to determine the most effective.
Automate to Speed Up Service With Chatbots & AI
To meet the expected customer service standards, businesses need to be swift and efficient, implementing robust customer service solutions. Use chatbots powered by generative AI to provide personalized customer service.
Also, equipping agents with the right tools can help automate their daily support responsibilities and give them a holistic view.
Give Your Agents the Right Tools and Training
Create and stick to a standardized customer service standards training manual to keep your staff skilled. Incorporate courses on service, new tech tools like CRM software, support software such as Fullview, knowledge bases, and interaction scripts. Well-trained staff uphold quality standards in customer service better.
As your business grows, standards for customer service will evolve, but ensuring customers feel heard and quickly addressing their concerns remains vital.
How Can Fullview Help Maintain Customer Service Standards
By utilizing Fullview’s cobrowsing function, companies can offer real-time support, giving a virtual face-to-face experience. This lets agents to quickly take over a customer’s screen to solve issues without having to go through painful back-and-forth on email or chat.
Session replays capture console data, user actions, errors, and more for on-the-spot troubleshooting.
Leveraging Fullview’s tools helps uphold organizational customer service standards, reduces churn, boosts client retention, and enhances service quality.