How many times have you come across unrealistic customers?
Maybe several times. The reason why you encounter such customers is because you fail to set the right expectations from the beginning of their journey with your brand.
However, this can be rectified easily by simply creating and sharing your customer service policy with them.
And to help you do that, we’ve created a quick guide on customer service policy and procedure to help you get started with the same. Here you will explore:
Without further delays, let’s dive in!
What Is a Customer Service Policy?
A customer service policy represents a company’s code of conduct under several customer service circumstances that both support representatives and customers must adhere to. It acts like a guide for both customers and support executives that helps them understand how customer service must be approached in certain circumstances.
Your customers will know what they can expect in terms of customer service under specific situations. Whereas, the support team will learn how to deliver the best customer service experience under specific circumstances.
Why Does Your Business Need a Customer Service Policy?
A well-crafted customer policy document can build trust and confidence with customers, helping to establish a positive reputation for the company. It can also help ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards, and serve as a reference guide for employees on how to handle customer interactions.
Here’s a list of top five benefits that will motivate you to create customer service policy right away.
1. Relentless competitor advantage
With defined customer service policies, ensure that your business gains competitive advantage over others. As already explained, customer service policy will help you set service expectations. That means both buyers and customers will know what they are up for when they look into your business.
2. Increase customer retention
Once you create a customer service policy, you ensure that customers receive the service that has been promised to them since the beginning of their brand journey. This instills trust in customers and encourages them to stay with your business for long, hence the retention.
3. Foster a good working environment
Understand that customer service policies are initially designed to help the internal team learn about the expectations they need to fulfill during each experience. With more clarity on their work, and divided roles and responsibilities, your employees will be satisfied with what they are doing. They’ll have lesser complaints which will result in a positive working environment for all.
4. Improve the effectiveness of the support team
It is important to keep all your support reps on the same page because this way they will all know how to respond to customers in various situations. Even if it is a frequently asked question, they can simply send a knowledge base article link to resolve that question faster.
5. Promote a positive brand image
When you set the right expectations and let your customers know what your brand stands for in terms of service, you end up building a positive brand image. That’s because your bottom line in terms of customer service becomes clearer for them.
5 Things to Include in a Customer Service Policy
With a lot of clarity on why you must create your customer service policy document, it is time we focus on various things you must include while building it. Here’s a list of five crucial things that you must include in your customer service policy.
1. Scope of product or service
The first thing that you must add in your policy is the scope of your product or service. This will allow you to explain:
- What your product or service is about
- How it is used
- Various scenarios where it can prove beneficial for the user
- Other places where it can be integrated for maximum benefits
Such scope will give both buyers and customers an idea of your product’s potential, therefore encouraging them to use it as suggested by you in the policy document.
2. Outline your company’s vision statement
With a clarity of what your brand stands for, you can encourage a lot of buyers with similar beliefs to join your mission. What’s more, a clear vision helps both customers and employees learn where you are headed, and how they’ll benefit from your journey.
3. Workflow guideline
Another important aspect that you can’t miss out on while creating your customer service policies is workflow guidelines. These guidelines will help both customers and the support team understand how a certain process takes place with the help of your product. The step-by-step workflow will help them engage with your product or service better.
4. Industry-specific benchmarks
You need to set a benchmark in your customer service policy to gain a competitive advantage over others. This helps the support team learn where they can improve to reach those set standards and allows you to set customer expectations.
5. Training resources
Don’t forget to add valuable training resources for your support team and customers. These training resources can be inclusive of (but not limited to):
- Product demo video links
- Knowledge base article links
- Valuable guides that dive deeper into product information
- Webinar links that introduce customers and the support team to your product in detail
These training resources can be accessed by both the customers and support team when they face a challenge with your product or service.
7 Steps to Create an Impeccable Customer Service Policy
We’ve got a clear understanding of why customer service policy is crucial to any business and important things that one must add when creating them. This certainly prompts you to get started on the creation process. But to make sure you commit no mistakes, we’ve listed 8 pivotal steps that will help you simplify the creation of an impeccable customer service policy.
1. Identify your customer service goal
No planning starts out without a goal. That’s why your first step to creating a customer service policy is identifying your service goal. Here is a list of questions that can help you set your goal hassle-free.
- What kind of audience do we cater to?
- What needs to be done during the first point of contact?
- How are the support team members supposed to conduct themselves during a customer call?
- What communication channels should we use to answer any customer query?
- How and when to take customer feedback to improve our services as per the needs
- How many days should we say the team will take to resolve a customer query?
- How should the team route the customer to the right point of contact?
2. Analyze customers expectations
Don’t rush into the process of creating a customer service policy right away. Know what’s on the mind of your customers when they approach your brand in terms of support. Gauge their expectations by capturing their feedback, and sometimes frequently.
Here’s a list of ways that can help you capture feedback from them and curate your service policy list initially.
a. Feedback via emails
Email support isn’t out of fashion and a lot of help desk providers can be a testament to that statement. Once you reach the end of the support process and the customers receive the solution they came looking for, send them a final email.
b. Feedback on knowledge base articles
If you are using knowledge base software to maintain an article repository to answer frequently asked questions, here’s what you can do to collect feedback actively.
You can add a quick question around the article being helpful just like Document360 does at the end of its articles. This will allow you to comprehend whether the information in these articles is turning out to be helpful for readers or not.
3. Employ the right people to write your policies
Your customer service policy might fall flat if you don’t hire the right people to write them in the first place. Understand that the policy isn’t just for the customers to follow but also for your support team members. If they aren’t written properly, you may fail to:
- Explain your company’s goals
- Why those policies are in place
- How they can help customers and the support team members
Therefore, make sure you have the right people to execute the writing task and who have experience for this particular task.
Expert Tip: Make sure the person responsible for writing them knows that they need to be comprehensible for all. So ask them to write the policies in simple English.
4. Invest in the right tool
Creating a single page and putting down all company policies in one place may have been ‘the practice’ all this while. But it is not feasible for customers or your support executives who are searching for support on that front.
That’s why it is crucial to create your customer service policy with the help of a knowledge base tool. It will help you create a knowledge base for customer support reps and a public repository for customers.
Here’s how documentation experts like Document360 execute their knowledge base for both the use cases.
An internal knowledge base
Document360 understands that they need to provide every piece of information to their support team so they can offer an awesome experience to the customers. They created a knowledge base that their internal team can access if they’d like to learn how each feature works or answer some of the common questions more effectively.
But that’s not all.
If you visit their documentation section, you’ll notice that they’ve created a “See what’s new” section. Once you click on the option, you can see a list of things that have recently happened with the product. It gives insight on all the new changes that have taken place.
All the support agents have to do is click on these updates and they’ll be taken to the right article in the repository. So if they come across any customer who has questions around a certain update, they’ll find answers to them that easily.
Public knowledge repository
Let’s look at the same repository by Document360 how they create a public customer service knowledge base.
To help customers find answers to their questions, they’ve created an in-depth repository. And the best part is, it can be browsed two ways. First, customers can click on the browse articles button to find the entire article knowledge base and search for the article under a particular feature header.
Two, they can also add a search term in the search bar and find the relevant article right away. Document360 helps its customers find an answer faster and helps them avoid going to the support reps and resolve their challenges hassle-free.
If your knowledge base software isn’t fulfilling the two criteria, we’d recommend rethinking your tool.
An intuitive knowledge base software to easily add your content and integrate it with any application. Give Document360 a try!GET STARTED
5. Track all the key customer service KPIs
Want to know what actually works for your business?
Track your customer service KPIs. Their insights help you learn how support employees are performing and if they are meeting the set customer service standards or not.
Once you get a complete report of how they are performing, you’ll know if they follow the customer service policies or not. With this clarity, you can set separate standards that customer service team members must follow when providing support to customers. This will help you:
- Set the right customer service standards.
- Make sure the customer receives good service.
- Learn if the support teams are following the policies or not.
6. Train and up skill support agents
Once the policy is developed, train employees on the policy’s key components and expectations. This can help ensure that all employees are equipped to provide high-quality customer service. To create or even upgrade your customer service policy, you need to ensure that your support reps are trained and up skilled on a regular basis.
7. Recognize and honor exemplary service
While training helps, so does setting the right examples. Recognize and reward support reps who create awesome customer service experiences in front of their team members. This will encourage others to outperform as well.
What’s more, you can use the experience of such agents and add a part of the experience to your policies as well. This way you will execute good service practices and they’ll be followed by everyone on the team.
Best Practices in Creating Excellent Customer Service Policy
Your creation process is incomplete without the best practices. Here’s a list of best practices that you can follow to create an excellent customer service policy.
1. Create a customer-centric policy
Be customer-focused when creating these policies. Whether it is policy around how the service provider needs to deal with the customer or what the customer should expect once they reach out to your business, they should all be written to keep the customer happy.
2. Gather information from the support team
When creating customer service policy, never forget to take information from your support team. They will help you learn what worked for them and what didn’t when providing service to your customers.
3. Collect customer feedback
Never forget to capture customer feedback. It will help you understand their growing expectations and how they can be achieved within the existing bandwidth of your product and services.
4. Build a realistic customer service policy
Don’t set moonshot expectations for your customers when creating the policies. Be as realistic as possible. Let customers also know about your bandwidth or hurdles that the team faces when offering support.
5. Mention a specific response time
Turnaround time or TAT needs to be more specific in your customer service policy. That’s because it will help customers learn the possible timeline of the support process. They’ll know:
- When can they expect an answer from your team post the first point of contact.
- When to expect an expedite in the support process.
- When to expect a solution from the team.
6. Follow compliance and regulatory requirements
Let your customers and support team members learn about the compliances your company follows while offering support. If you are GDPR compliant, let your customers know about it. This encourages trust within customers about how their data won’t be leaked and will be privy to your business only.
7. Professional conduct guidelines
Finally, don’t forget to add in your professional conduct guidelines. These will help your customers understand how their support calls will be approached by your company and how the support reps will take action on them.
Customer Service Policy Examples
With everything in the clear, we can now move on to the creation process. But if you still feel hesitant about creating customer service policies, you can check out a few examples below before you start the process.
Instagram’s knowledge repository on how the customer service works certainly shows you that they are making an effort to set service expectations with their customers – and that too realistic ones. Their customer service policy is divided into sections, therefore helping their users understand where they can find the relevant article. And to expedite the search process, they’ve also added a search bar at the top to help customers find relevant articles faster.
If you use Airbnb to book your stays during every trip, you must have noticed how they display their customer service policies in the most engaging way. All their policies can be found in one place, therefore avoiding any possible confusion regarding their services. This proves beneficial for their users as they can find all stay related policies and how the company plans to compensate in case of service issues.
These examples are more than enough to help you get a headstart on how the customer service policy can look like and even how to create them with a knowledge base tool.
Guarantee the Best Customer Service Every Time!
It can be challenging to create your customer service policy. That’s because you don’t know where to start. This becomes even more challenging for start-ups as they aren’t sure what to include either.
But you can avoid all the planning and creation hassle with our ultimate guide to creating the best customer service policy. This guide delves deep into understanding the benefits of customer service policy, things to include, best practices, steps to follow when creating one, and even examples for the quick headstart on the process.
We hope it helps you create an efficient customer service policy that can easily be followed by your customers and support reps.
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