HOW TO WRITE THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN IN 2024

Learn below how to write the best customer service plan and template in 2024. Download the best customer service plan template and save time and the pain of starting from scratch.

Customer support strategy writing tips, ideas, advice and a premium template.

By Mau, a Senior Customer Service Specialist at eDigital.

HOW TO WRITE THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN IN 2024

If you have assisted in one of my marketing training sessions, you have already heard me saying:

“Customer service is about delivering basic customer service right, rather than trying to delight customers”

Yes, that’s right!

“Delighting” customers is not as effective as you may have imagined it.

An elemental psychological reason is behind this:

People value far more a “solving” hand when an issue arises that prevents them from the effective use or enjoyment of your brand rather than unexpected “over-the-top”, non-requested and non-necessary support.

Mau

I am not the only one proposing this idea.

You can find the same idea – backed up by studies and research – in these three best-selling books:

  • The Challenger Sale: Taking control of the customer conversation
  • The Effortless Experience: Conquering the new battleground for customer loyalty
  • The Challenger Customer: Selling to the hidden influencer who can multiply your results.

Understanding this is one of the most fundamental steps before crafting a winning customer service strategy and plan.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU WRITE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN

The Customer Service department may report and share insights with other areas in your organisation: marketing, sales, logistics, operations, administration or risk management.

But one factor is clear:

The job your customer care team performs will influence your marketing results.

Whether you are using the Diffusion of Innovation” curve, mapping out your Customer Life Cycle Stages” framework, your marketing mix modelling for sales forecasting, the old 4 p’s of marketing mix model, another marketing strategy framework or nothing at all; you should include your customer service plan because happy customers will get you closer to your marketing and business goals: more sales, more profits and a boost in brand equity.

Business strategies framework eDigital

Business strategies framework eDigital

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CUSTOMER SERVICE METRIC

Many enterprise customer service managers report on the number of phone call enquiries resolved or the number of email complaints successfully dealt with.

But those are “vanity” metrics.

They distract you from the most important objective in customer service: reducing customer effort!

Building a robust, effective and effortless self-service process should be the pillar of your customer service strategy where customers can easily and effectively find solutions to their issues and challenges by themselves, from anywhere, at any time without the need to call you or email you.

Some of the top benefits of effortless self-service include:

  • Reduces your overall customer support costs
  • Educates customers on how to better utilise your offering at scale
  • Pass great insights to product development and marketing teams.

One of the main challenges with self-service technology is that customers are not equally educated to use it.

Some may find your self-service easy to use, while others will find it too complicated to navigate.

Using AI and other tools, your self-service tech provider should determine where and how to redirect customers to other channels: LiveChat, phone calls, etc.

But it is not just about effortless self-service.

It is also about launching to market products and services that are effortless to useintuitive at their core – so people do not need to call you to figure out how to fully use them/enjoy them, maintain them, etc.

Related > The best Go-To-Market strategy plan template

2. FIND OUT YOUR BRAND PROMISE

Your marketing (brand) promise is the commitment you have made to your customers.

That commitment is the assurance and guarantee customers feel when buying your offering.

If your customer service/support does not align with that emotional contract, you then either have to improve your customer support or change the brand promise.

As per the Customer Service Strategic Planning graph below, the process of prospecting and closing a sale is part of the product delivery and therefore, your customer support policies/procedures should facilitate the process customers have to go through when buying your offer.

Customer Service Strategic Planning

Customer Service Strategic Planning: Brand promise, sales and customer service should align

Tip: Watch for words that convey expectations on your organisation’s code of ethics & values, mission and vision statements. The words you have on your marketing materials, corporate website and social media channels are already creating expectations in customers’ minds. Words such as: “quality, satisfaction, best, energetic, different, friendly, fun, healthy, sustainable, premium, simple, trustworthy, latest, innovative and youthful” should align with the way you offer customer service too.

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3. UNDERSTAND CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATIONS UP-FRONT 

Top reasons to understand customer’s expectations upfront:

  • Fulfil and/or exceed those expectations.
  • Help customers align false expectations before they get off the track down the road.
  • Give some insights into particular needs that were not addressed in the sales process.
  • Opportunity to increase your team’s upsell ability and combat potential complaints down the road before they fire: customers getting aggressive, violent, confrontational, argumentative, hostile or just simply very annoyed and/or frustrated with your product or service. 
  • Offer insights into additional products and services you could provide. 
frustrated customers meme customer service

frustrated customers meme – customer service – Zebra Finch birds (taeniopygia guttata)

Tip: you should map out different customer journeys. This process will help you anticipate enquiries and offer solutions in advance and at scale.

For example, you could automate the below actions for all new customers:

  • An email on how to interpret their monthly bill.
  • Automatic reminders to watch video tutorials on how to successfully install the new product.
  • Suggested “next steps” so new customers know what they should do for a seamless experience.

Note: Dealing with aggressive customers can be scarier than watching one of the best Netflix horror movies. Automated customer flows should also allow customers to interact with real humans. Hearing customers and letting them vent their anger can highly reduce further confrontations that may cost your business extra money, time and resources.

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WHAT DOES INFURIATE PEOPLE THE MOST?

Below are some of the things you want to avoid when drafting your customer service journeys:

  • Customers resent having to contact the company repeatedly (or be transferred) to get an issue resolved.
  • Having to repeat personal information.
  • Having to switch from one service channel to another. For example, needing to call after trying unsuccessfully to solve a problem through a live chat or FAQ page.

Note: In Japan, there is a concept called: Oshibori which is a never-ending process of designing delightful experiences. Customers might expect a new type of Oshibory: one that is unscented, or from organic fabric, not too cold, not too hot, plastic-free or not even handed, just there ready for you. Oshibori is one of the fuels for business success but delighting will not work if your basic customer support is not delivered effectively and at the right time.

4. DELIVER OPTIMAL MESSAGES FOR SPECIFIC CUSTOMERS’ PERSONALITIES AND EMOTIONS

Emotional disconnects between customers and customer support staff are common in organisations that have not yet crafted a professional customer service plan.

Examples include:

  • A potential customer does not value, understand or trust the information presented by a sales representative.
  • A customer didn’t like the answer given by a customer support representative and was left with the impression an outdated company policy was behind the answer.

With some basic training, your customer service team members can eliminate many interpersonal issues and thereby reduce repeat calls.

Customer service training should include the following:

  • How to listen for clues to a customer’s personality type. The quicker you can assess whether you are talking to a “controller,” a “thinker,” a “feeler,” or an “entertainer,” and tailor your responses accordingly, the better you can provide detail and speed appropriate for the personality type. This strategy has proven to reduce repeat calls for some companies.
  • Look at past call transcripts and pinpoint words that tend to trigger negative reactions and drive repeat calls—words like “can’t,” “won’t,” and “don’t”—and train your team on alternate phrasing. For example, instead of saying: “We don’t have it in stock” you could say: “The good news is the item will be ready to be dispatched in two weeks” Through such simple changes in language, you can lower your customer effort scores.
  • How to create “positive” experiences out of potential “disappointing” ones. For example, a customer who wants to book your service for an unavailable time may be happy when you provide a couple of compelling reasons why other times may fit better with the current customer’s needs. To be great at this, you will have to train your team at finding out more about the top reasons customers want to book your service. This strategy can result in a decrease in repeat enquiries.

5. CHECK OUT THE LATEST CUSTOMER SERVICE TRENDS

As companies do not publicly offer customer service data, the best indicator is to have a look at social media conversations and customers’ opinions found on “review” sites telling customer experiences and the latest trends in key industries.

When you have policies and procedures for handling customer complaints, customers are more likely to receive the same treatment. Customer service procedures are the step-by-step processes that the support team follows in performing specific tasks for customers. It is important to also check the best customer service skills when hiring new customer support representatives.

⭐️ Note: Look into your company’s “Service Terms and Conditions” document before crafting a customer service plan as the “Service Terms and Conditions” document should offer a detailed description of all services offered (What). The customer service plan is a document for how to best handle customer issues/complaints when something goes wrong.

6. CHECK LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY REQUIREMENTS

Some local governments may require you to create and publish an accessible customer service plan for people/customers with disabilities. This document can be created and published as a separate document from your general customer service plan.

WRITING YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN

Writing the best professional customer service plan is no easy feat. With an unending list of possible disruptions and stressed customers and staff, it’s no surprise customer service plans – as with everything in life – should live in constant change.

We have reviewed some of the best customer service practices and plans from some of the world’s best brands that offer exemplary customer service to bring you this exclusive, premium and professional Customer Service Plan Template so your customer service strategy is crafted the right way.

You are about to discover some of the most important aspects when writing a professional Customer Service Plan.

SECTIONS

This unique and premium Customer Service Plan template will effectively help you map out your objectives/requirements and ensure your team understands your objectives, procedures and goals. The information on your plan will be critical to ensuring your customer service program is successful!

Note: The specific instructions on how to use each section are described within the template.

1. PURPOSE OF THE PLAN

This is a description of the reason for your Customer Service Plan. 

2. SCOPE

The scope should define the people and the activities to which the customer service plan applies to. An effective customer service plan should include the specific procedure and the best customer service skills that apply to all representatives who receive customer calls, contacts or complaints whether written or oral regarding the use of any products/services offered by your organisation.

3. CUSTOMER CARE PRINCIPLES

Your customer care principles should be a combination of your company’s values and customer care guidelines. Your customer care principles and values should be easy to follow and implement and should contain actionable steps and tangible goals.

Some of the top examples of customer care principles have been added to this exclusive Customer Service Plan template

4. PROCEDURES

  • Customer purchase
  • Post-sale follow up
  • Warranty/Guarantee
  • Support and Service Policy
  • Customer Complaint Policy
  • Customer Refund Request Procedure
  • Hiring and training: the top customer service skills to look for successful customer support delivery.

5. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

How regularly are you checking in with your clients, and what are you doing to look after them? It’s far easier to retain a client than get a new one, so it’s important to continually place deposits into their emotional bank account so they feel you care. In fact, the top reason customers leave is because of perceived indifference (they don’t think you care!). Whatever product or service it is that you deliver, make sure it’s delivered seamlessly with the best service possible.

Customers’ feedback such as customer satisfaction surveys and/or suggestions are valuable in assisting your efforts to continually provide the best quality products and service possible. A customer feedback survey shows that you care about your customers’ satisfaction as your primary goal.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Well-structured

We knew what we wanted for our customer service plan. However, we were not sure how to arrange and present the plan. This template solved it!

Emma T.  Verified purchaser

6. CUSTOMER RECOVERY

In this section of your plan, you will provide steps and instructions for what to do (build up the necessary customer service skills) when customers are angry or dissatisfied and the process of resolving any disputes quickly to ensure customer retention.

When something goes wrong when you deliver your promised value, you should know how to apologise to a customer and then make up for it, otherwise, your disgruntled customers will find an alternative brand, talk badly about your service and generate a bad reputation for your business and brands.

Popular this month >  The best 10 tips for effective customer service

Customer is the king - I am not happy with your service

Customer is the king – I am not happy with your service

“When basic customer support fails, customers will punish you badly. If you stop delighting them with unnecessary support, they just do not care. Solve basic issues quickly and effectively”

Mau, Global Head of Marketing Strategy at eDigital

Minimise cognitive load on your plan

People’s time to read your customer service plan is a precious resource and should be treated accordingly. You can minimise the cognitive load by:

  1. Avoid visual clutter: redundant links, irrelevant images, and meaningless typography slow readers down. Note that meaningful links, images, and typography are valuable design elements; it is only when overused that these backfire and impair the understanding of your plan.
  2. Build on existing mental models: people already have mental models about customer service programs, based on their past experiences working in customer service teams. When you use labels and layouts that they’ve encountered on other popular customer service plans, you reduce the amount of learning they need to do on your new customer service plan.
  3. Offload tasks: look for anything in your customer service plan that requires readers to remember information or make a decision. Then look for alternatives: can you show a picture, re-display previously entered information, or set a smart default? You won’t be able to shift all tasks away from users, but every task you eliminate leaves more mental resources for the decisions that truly are essential.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An essential template

This template found us a solution for all the necessary specifications we wanted to communicate on our Customer Service Plan. Thank you.

Andrew D.  Verified purchaser

GETTING THIS TEMPLATE IS FAST, SECURE AND EASY!

  • Complete payment on PayPal
  • Once payment is completed, PayPal will show you a “Return to merchant” link. Please click on that link to be taken to the page where you will find your premium template.

Bonus > When purchasing your Customer Service Plan Template, you will also receive:

+ ✅  The best Customer Service Brands report. Immediate access to the latest and exclusive consumer research about the top industries and brands offering the best customer experiences. This report offers valuable lessons to be used by Customer Service Managers.

“Only through dedication with a pure heart can you share a special moment with your guest. With this, Sen no Rikyū established the foundations of Japanese Omotenashi. Omotenashi is a selfless approach to receiving guests with a perfect balance of attentive care and unobtrusiveness. It creates an intimate environment of trust, relaxation and respect while leaving an ever-lasting impression”

Omotenashi tea ceremony customer service excellence Japan

Omotenashi tea ceremony – customer service excellence – Japan

CONCLUSION

It is common to see Customer Service Managers finding their feet about the right tech, effective procedures and the top skills necessary to offer optimal customer service. We hope this article encourages your team to create or update your Customer Service Plan.

Not having a successful customer service plan will lead to customers and clients will punish your organisation and brands.

You must take past learnings, then pivot and offer the best customer service experience possible. To do that, you will need the best Customer Service Plan.

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HOW TO WRITE A CUSTOMER SERVICE PLAN

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