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In the real world, making and keeping customers happy is no easy feat. It could be extremely time-consuming and emotionally draining. This explains why customer service is best left to people with the skills and competence to perform customer service-related tasks efficiently. You guessed it – a great customer service professional is someone who can skillfully answer calls, do live chats, respond to emails, reply to customer inquiries, and even like and share social media posts, in a way that doesn’t alienate customers. When push comes to shove, a great customer service assistant is someone who can handle the following tasks and more.
#1 – Answer Questions and Give Guidance
Prospective customers first need to know what your products can do before they decide to purchase it. Therefore, you need to always be ready to answer questions. Whether the questions are about the product itself, purchasing details, or about your company, the important thing is you need to be able to answer fast. Your inability to reply in a speedy manner may cost you a loyal customer. After all, customers are not like the customers of the past decade. Many of them are not willing to wait that long before losing interest altogether. A customer service VA can help you avoid this significant business pitfall by ensuring that all customer queries are answered quickly.
#2 – Helping customers out
Sometimes, all customers need is a little help. If you have a business with an excellent system to answer “help” questions, then you have your work cut out for you. If not, having a great system with guidelines and resources to aid your virtual assistant can help customers navigate through your business. Having a strong knowledge base is a good start. A virtual assistant can document and compile company policies and procedures for handling customer processes to ensure consistency and as reference for team members when handling queries.
#3 – Tracking
Once your customers make the purchase, they are eager to know where their orders are or the status of their deliveries. This is when customer service becomes crucial. If you can provide your customers with real-time information on the progress of their order or delivery, you set a benchmark for excellent customer service that gives you that competitive edge over your rivals. To do that, a skilled customer service virtual assistant that can provide on-demand tracking services for your customers is a step in the right direction.
#4 – Handling Refund and Return Requests
We know what you’re thinking. If one had a choice, you won’t handle returns and refunds. They’re just something business owners find tedious to deal with. First, it’s already lost business anyway, so you might be tempted not to bother with this aspect of the business. Nevertheless, prompt and professional handling of returns and refund requests are actually good business practice. A customer seeking a return or refund is by default, already an unhappy customer. If you ignore or delay their queries on return or refund, that will open you to some significant exposure most probably on social media or on various customer review platforms. If you attend to the needs of an unhappy customer, this will make them less likely to report you or give a negative rating. Also, handling refunds allows you to do market research on what is keeping customers from being truly satisfied with your product or service. In an era where consumer rights are valued, choosing not to respond or delaying response will give you a bad image. Anyway, not all customers who seek refunds or returns are not one-time customers – they will come back. To prevent further business loss, a customer service virtual assistant can handle this tricky aspect of your business. Let a VA handle this contentious process and you can be confident that your customers’ needs are well attended.
# 5 – Vital Communications
Communicating with your customers is a surefire way of enhancing customer service quality. It’s universal knowledge that companies who truly cares for their customers find a way to communicate. Of course, communication is time-consuming and exhausting. You must ensure that you communicate not only in one platform but maximize as many platforms as you can to relate to your customers. You need to set up auto-responders, blog posts, newsletters, emails, and social media posts, apart from handling calls. Unless you can replicate yourself, you will need an extra pair of hands to handle this vital business aspect. You can delegate the task of setting up vital customer communications to a virtual assistant.
# 6 – Getting Feedback
Customer feedback generates pain points of your services that will help you grow your business.
Growing a business is not possible without continuous improvement. Improvement only comes after weaknesses are identified and solutions are generated. This makes feedback a critical part of the improvement process of any business. Informal feedback is helpful, but a systematic way of eliciting feedback from customers is much better. This is another aspect of a business where a virtual assistant can be valuable. A virtual assistant can perform surveys and speak to customers to inquire on how services, processes, or products can be improved. In this manner, not only does the business extract data to use for customer-driven improvements, the consumer also becomes empowered.
#7 – Knowing your reach
It’s always helpful to know the impact of your business. Have you recently monitored in what breath your business is mentioned in online forums or review sites? Truth can be a tough pill to swallow, but so is ignorance. It pay to know how well you are received by customers and what kind of mentions you get in all the online buzz. Monitoring the chatter is time-consuming and monotonous, so this is one of those tasks you need to let go and delegate to someone else. A virtual assistant can use monitoring tools and analytics to be kept abreast of any mentions of your business anywhere. They can also participate in these conversations and gently direct the conversation to your advantage.
# 8 – Having a break
Last but definitely not least, having a customer service virtual assistant is your ticket to getting a much-deserved break. There aren’t a lot of people who have the patience, rapport, and people skills needed in a great customer service assistant. If you’re a business owner, the fact that you’re still handling customer service tasks is cause for alarm. You need a break from playing the superhuman entrepreneur. In hiring a virtual assistant to specialize in customer service, business owners can get the breather they need to increase their level of efficiency and overall productivity.
Think of a virtual assistant as an advocate of your business. Through their interactions with customers, they can identify potential opportunities to enhance customer appeal. Since they are informed of trends, new ideas, and are not afraid to speak their mind, they provide a potential well of great business concepts.
Of course, lest we forget, the endgame of delegation is a well-balanced life. Most entrepreneurs forget that time is a finite resource. Putting too much faith in one’s own ability without acknowledging the toll that it will take on your health and personal life has disastrous consequences. It’s always wise to take a pause and reorganize your work life so you have more time to pursue life outside of work.
Achieve work-life balance pays dividends. Burnout is not a good thing for business owners. When you lose the passion to seek out the next best thing in business, you’re in trouble. Therefore, you must reserve energy when you can by delegating the non-essential functions so you can be at your entrepreneurial best. Hiring a virtual assistant can solve this predicament.
Nowadays, business success is heavily influenced by customer experience. To secure that competitive advantage, businesses must ensure that the customer service function is not overlooked. For small businesses or those still starting out, entrepreneurs may entertain doing some customer service on the side while attending to critical management tasks. This decision is counter-productive. Why not delegate the customer service function instead to a virtual assistant?
There are several reasons why hiring a customer service virtual assistant could be the best business decision you’ll make. In a very consumer-driven environment, customer feedback and experience can make or break businesses. A single negative feedback, spread all over social media, and attracting mentions left and right, can tank your business reputation. To make customers happy, you need to be able to answer questions, provide real-time help and assistance, and get customer feedback.
Getting a virtual assistant can equip your business with the well-rounded professional that can add value to your company and bottom line. A customer service virtual assistant is a multi-tasker who can deal with repetitive tasks like handling calls, managing your contact list, respond to customer questions online, doing surveys, writing emails, and more. All of these things are essential in bringing you closer to your customers.
Remember: happy customers make good business. Keep them happy with great customer service.