Amazing customer service might seem like a lot of extra work on a short-term basis, but it does improve your brand image and goodwill, which means a lot in the end. No matter how big or small your business is, you should focus on making your customers happy. There are plenty of ways to do this-- with the toughness of your product, with free incentives that you can provide or with excellent customer service experiences.
With all the competition out there, being successful with your company these days is a matter of wills. Are you willing to provide the best possible value? Are you willing to provide your customers the best customer experience? If you are, then it's time to get started at improving the customer service experience your company provides. Here are a few key strategies to help your business provide your customers the best customer service experience.
1. Know your products and services inside and out
Regardless of the business or industry you're in, knowing your offerings (products or services) inside and out is totally necessary. Customer service is, after all, all about helping your customers be successful with your products or services. Therefore, your customer service should focus on offering the proper suggestions, tips and solutions to ensure that success. Every single employee (not just customer service) should know the ins and outs of what you're selling. Helping your employees thrive by providing the proper training (no matter their job description) is the first step in helping your customers succeed.
2. Be more accessible
If you want your customer service department to strive for success, here's what you should know-- customer service must be readily accessible to all of your customers. One simple way of achieving this is setting up more communication channels in which customers can connect with a customer service member when they have a question or issue. The minimum that you can do is to provide a phone number, an email address and a mailing address. If your business can afford it, and really need it, form an online support desk that can be instantly reached 24/7. This communication channel is generally required when the business reaches a big amount of requests and website visitors.
3. Speed up your response times
Customers like fast answers. According to a recent report done by Frost, 41% of consumers say that their greatest frustration involving customer service is when they're put on hold. They want to be respected, and your company must provide your best to fix everyone's problems quickly.
4. Focus on the consumer, not on the sale
Customer service is all about the consumer's feelings and experience. You need to focus on their well-being and you should avoid considering blending customer service with sales or other facets of your business. If you would like to leverage your customer service system in order to make more sales, I'm sorry to disappoint you: it's not that effective! The selling side of your business is totally different and you should focus on it individually. Regularly work at ways that you can improve the consumer experience to keep your customers satisfied and coming back for more.
5. Clear communication
Keep communication simple and ask straightforward questions when interacting with your customers. The truth is that we all communicate differently, so be prepared for communicating with your customers in various ways to make sure that they will understand whatever information you are trying to relay to them. If corresponding by email or online, grammar and spelling needs to be perfect or your credibility as a professional business will slowly vanish.
6. Over-deliver whenever possible
Over-delivering can help create loyal customers. On average, loyal customers can be worth 10x more than their first purchase. If somebody gets treated right, they'll usually come back. They'll view your business as a credible authority or provider; for that reason, over delivering every now and then helps your business's reputation to grow favorably. Find a way to reward your customers with a customer service issue for being patient. It could be anything. Nothing pricey or difficult to get. Ideally, this small attention should also provide some value.
7. Find and fix your mistakes
Mistakes are a part of any company, after all we are all human. Nevertheless, do your best to make things right with your customers. When we're referring to mistakes, we're referring to a customer that hasn't been treated right. Your business can make it right by offering them solutions, returns or future guarantees. Focus: if you're not fixing your mistakes in time, your business's reputation will suffer. Customers will start talking, reviewing, and sooner than later you'll realize that your sales are decreasing.
8. Test, fail, test again and ultimately optimize
Before reaching success in a customer service program, every business experiences a trial-and-error process. The marketplace and the customers within any industry tend to become more complex as an industry ages or becomes more fragmented. If you test a new product, service, or customer service initiative, don't be afraid to fail. Know that "failure" isn't failing, it is just feedback-- it lets you know what not to do so you can start focusing on things that may work. After you find something that works, start the scaling process. Optimize everything until you find the balance that you're searching for.
Companies are always searching for new ways to make a name for themselves and an excellent customer service experience is one of those ways in which a business can afford to get a great reputation in. Competition is almost always increasing in any industry and new techniques and actions must be applied to keep up with the constant flux. Offering the perfect customer experience is just one way for your company to stand out from the crowd, win customers over and keep them coming back. It's never too early or too late to develop a customer service program that turns your customers into loyal customers, or ambassadors of your brand.