February 1, 2023
Recently, I came across the viral image of a billboard on LinkedIn. It was an ad for TVH Parts Co., the world’s largest distributor of material handling spare parts and accessories.
The billboard featured a broken image icon with the simple copy: “Sorry, our entire budget went to excellent customer service.”
While LinkedIn was divided on the ad being really stupid and incredibly genius, it gave me some food for thought: Is excellent customer service truly all the advertising a company needs?
If insights from Gartner are to be trusted, customers are 82% more likely to repurchase the product or service if they have valuable customer service interactions. It further results in a 97% probability of sharing positive word of mouth.
It’s even better for business if customer service is prompt and empathetic, a combination that’s hard to master.
We decided to pick the brains of our own support team at OSlash and figure out how they manage to walk this tightrope all day, every day. In this article, we will decode their best tips and strategies, including using a text expander to fly through customer interactions without compromising on the quality of customer service.
Providing great customer service is all about making the customer feel heard, understood, and valued. This philosophy should be at the core of all customer interactions.
Here are 3 top tips from our support team for ensuring the highest standards of customer care:
Imagine you're in the customer's shoes. What would you want to hear? When you approach customer service with empathy, you can build rapport and trust with the customer, and they'll be more likely to feel heard and understood. They’ll also cooperate with you more effectively, increasing the likelihood of satisfactory resolution.
Recommended reading: 25 phrases, power-words, and empathy statements for providing excellent customer service
Pay attention to what the customer is saying, both verbally and non-verbally. Repeat back what you've heard to make sure you understand their concerns, and ask clarifying questions if necessary. Showing that you're fully engaged in the conversation will make the customer feel valued.
According to Gartner’s Customer Value Advantage Report, you can create a valuable customer service experience in one of three ways:
These are the key differentiators between adequate and stellar customer service. They can play a huge role in setting your organization apart from the competition.
Especially when it comes to online customer service, 66% of US consumers agree that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do for them. With 24/7 connectivity, 80% of customers also expect companies to respond to their messages and comments on social media within 24 hours.
There is a strong correlation between faster response times and higher customer satisfaction. This means you can create a positive customer experience by getting back to your customers as quickly as possible.
These are some of the rules of thumb which can help you elevate the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support at your company. You can incorporate them into your best practices and also use various types of customer support tools to aid the process.
Here are the broad types of customer support tools your team needs to service issues faster:
Recommended reading: 40+ customer service live chat script examples and templates for busy support executives
Recommended reading: Text Expander 101—A definitive guide to everything you need to know
With advancements in task automation, providing faster customer service is easier than ever before. One of the automation technologies that can more than double agent productivity is text expansion.
Here are the top 5 reasons to use a text expander for customer support.
Imagine you're a support agent who gets asked the same question about shipping times over and over again. With a text expander, you can create shortcuts to invoke your response instantly.
Instead of typing the timings out every time, you can just make a few keystrokes and voila! The information is entered automatically in the live chat or email.
The best part is that you don’t even have to switch tabs or windows to copy-paste the FAQ response. You can work uninterruptedly, speed through interactions, and address a higher number of queries in less time. A win-win-win if there ever was one!
A consistent brand voice is key to creating and maintaining a positive brand image in the minds of your customers. Brands with a distinct, consistent voice are more memorable. An example is Wendy’s, which has made a mark with its witty and sassy replies on social media.
With a text expander, you can create snippets for common issues that are consistent across your customer care department. Snippets can be shared among all the support agents to make sure that they sound like they're coming from the same entity, even if multiple people are responsible for support. With shared snippets, you don’t have to worry about sounding off-tone either.
Using a text expander for customer service also reduces the chances of making grammatical errors and typos in the answers, since each rep doesn’t need to create them from scratch in the heat of the moment.
Just because you're using pre-written templates via your text expander, it doesn't mean your responses have to sound as if they were written by a machine. The best text expanders such as OSlash offer variables or dynamic input fields that allow you to insert custom text, images, formatting, macros including date and time, and even clipboard contents etc. to suit each individual response.
This means you can add in personal touches to make each canned response feel like it's bespoke for the customer, even if it follows a generic template. Using a text expander is akin to having a secret weapon for sending out helpful and empathetic responses, even when you're crunched for time.
When a customer has a critical issue, you want to be able to respond quickly and with more than a perfunctory, stopgap solution.
Imagine that one customer after another is unable to login to your SaaS platform. As the urgency escalates, your team is bombarded with support requests and emails. Your devs have isolated the bug but you still need to communicate it to your customers and reassure them that everything will be fine asap.
With a text expander, devs can help you craft the right message with all the key details and save it as a snippet that can be used by the entire support team. A quick shortcut, a couple of keystrokes, and the crisis is averted.
By giving you access to a library of solutions at your fingertips, a text expander acts like a fire hose ready to go at a moment's notice!
With a text expander, you can even streamline the way you log information within your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Say goodbye to manual data entry and inconsistent call notes! And, you can use it to quickly and easily communicate with your team about important customer interactions.
Here’s a handy guide on pairing your CRM with a text expander for ensuring customer success.
By improving efficiency, consistency, and response times, a text expander can be a real game changer for your support team. But which one should you invest in? There are many, many choices, I know.
The decision is far from easy. But it can still be simple. If you’re looking for a text expander that can help you craft and share canned responses, create customizable templates, manage access control for yourself and your teammates, then OSlash will be my top recommendation.
There are dozens of reasons to choose OSlash as the text expander for customer support. Let me quickly point out 6 of them to start with.
With OSlash, You don’t have to change the way you work. Not one bit.
OSlash is available for virtually every browser including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Brave. It also comes with a native Mac app to give you flexibility in where and how you wish to work.
Trust me, you don’t need a tool that doesn’t work with your existing CRM, help desk, or knowledge management system. Or one that keeps running into this glitch, that error when you switch apps. OSlash works everywhere you do. This means your snippets are accessible to you and your team, no matter which software stack you are comfortable working with. It saves you a lot of hassle and is extremely prompt at fixing any app-specific issues you might experience.
Another OSlash advantage? You can fetch the contents of your clipboard within a snippet as it expands.
Example: When you wish to send out a unique discount code to pacify an angry customer, you can create a shortcut o/disc which expands to the snippet:
Here’s an exclusive 10% discount on OSlash’s annual subscription: %clipboard%
You can look up the discount code, copy it to the clipboard and expand this snippet by typing the shortcut out. OSlash will automatically insert the code in the right place to save you time, especially when you’re dealing with multiple customers and multiple codes.
OSlash makes it a breeze to find the right snippet at the right time with point and click insertion. You don’t have to navigate to a separate window or dashboard, scroll through hundreds of shortcuts, or strain your memory to figure anything out.
Simply continue typing o/ and a handy input widget will pop up to help you look for the right snippet wherever you’re working.
OSlash supports macros or shortcodes that automatically insert dynamic pieces of content—current date, current time, clipboard contents etc.—into snippets. When a snippet containing a macro is expanded, the macro is replaced by the information you input.
I find it really helpful since I almost never know what date and day it is, when I am engrossed in writing.
Want a snippet just for yourself? I know I did when I was tired of typing the word text expander in this particular blog. So I created an OSlash snippet with the shortcut o/te to replace the word(s) and saved it privately because my team may or may not have a use for it right now.
I rest easy, knowing that I can always edit the access later and make it a shared snippet, if need be! Shared snippet access is an underrated productivity hack that makes the lives of support teams a lot easier. No agent needs to come up with emails or responses from scratch; they can use common snippets wherever possible and save both time and effort that goes into repetitive typing.
The perks of using OSlash to power up your customer service don’t end here. But I’d rather you experience them yourself.
Just download the app, install the extension, and create your first snippet. You can try all the advanced features for free too!
One last thing? Don’t forget to check out our new snippet library within the product and leverage the extensive customer service chat templates on our blog. Happy servicing!
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