According to a recent Genesys survey of consumers, there are four factors that influence the customer experience most. Not coincidentally, these are also the characteristics we value MOST in Help Scout. Whenever you think about how to deliver better customer service in your business, check your own customer service strategy against these four important elements and see where you can improve.

1. Personalization

Outstanding service always starts with a human touch. Computers don’t do the job like real people, no matter how hard your help desk may try. Personalized interactions can greatly improve customer service and make the customer feel as if the company cares about them and their problem. Alternatively, customers pointed to automated self-service as one of the main elements of bad customer service in the Genesys survey. Personal service on the Web begins with email because it’s used more than any other tool. Instead of thinking of service as a cost, consider it an opportunity to earn your customer’s business all over again. If you make their day, they’ll gladly tell their friends how great you are.

2. Competency

Consumers identified competency as the element that played the biggest role in a good customer experience. To be competent, a customer service representative must have a strong knowledge of the company and its products, as well as the power to fix the customer’s problems. The more knowledge they have, the more competent they become. That’s why Help Scout includes customer profile information, previous conversations and more on a single page: to better equip your team with the information they need to WOW the customer.

3. Convenience

Customers want to be able to get in touch with a customer service representative through whatever channel is the most convenient for them. At the very least, this means that your team should work to integrate the most commonly used channels of communication – phone, email, and whatever social media sites your customers may be on – in your customer service strategy. It should be easy for customers to figure out how to contact you, and your system for handling each channel should be organized and straightforward.

4. Proactivity

Customers want companies to be proactive in reaching out to them. If one of the products they wanted is backordered, or your website is going to experience downtime, reach out to your customers and explain the problem instead of making them wonder. They may not be happy about the situation, but they will be thankful that you kept them in the loop. Being proactive also reinforces the idea that your company is responsible and trustworthy.

Live chat is also a great way to deliver outstanding online service proactively. We use it in Help Scout and are proud customers of our friends at SnapEngage.

By building your customer service strategy around these four main principles, you will create a positive, hassle-free customer experience for everyone who deals with your company. For a true winning strategy, maintain a positive attitude while implementing these four elements and remember Help Scout’s favorite line: ‘I love customers!’ Live it every day and the sky is the limit.

Gregory Ciotti

About the author: Gregory Ciotti is on the Growth team at Help Scout, the invisible help desk that helps you build a company your customers love with more human, more helpful customer support tools.