6 Astonishing Customer Service Ideas You’ll Feel Rude For Not Doing Already
On average, consumers tell 15 people about good customer service experiences and 24 about bad ones.
Is the competition in your business niche growing every day? Are bigger companies with huge marketing budgets making it harder to compete? It’s easy to feel helpless when the new kids on the block come along offering exciting promotions to your customers in order to steal them off you. What can you do to fight back?
It’s simple. Good customer service will always prevail.
1. Improve Communication
98% of people say poor phone skills leave a bad impression.
As you would expect, direct communication is the first, and arguably most important, improvement you should look at in terms of customer service. This should come from the top down and it’s not just down to your reps to work on the following points:
- Listen. While it is tempting to offer a variety of solutions straight away, you should always listen to the customer first and assess the problem.
- Knowledge. All of your employees should be clued up on the ins and outs of your business to deal with every query they may receive. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than an employee who can’t help them.
- Adaptability. Every customer is different in how they behave and in the problem that they have. You and your staff should be flexible and able to adapt to any situation you may face.
- The customer is always right… no matter how wrong they are. Customers, like us, can sometimes lose their cool and say things they shouldn’t. If you can keep yours and ensure they get their problem solved, it’s even more of an achievement.
2. Assess Your Strategy and Touchpoints
Good customer service should encompass more than good direct communication. There is a number of touchpoints a customer goes through before they purchase from your business. A bad experience at any point can ruin the user’s perception of your brand.
After working on you and your staff’s communication, you should introduce organisational strategies in order to maintain customer satisfaction. The aim should be to make your customers happy before they get the chance to come to you with problems.
You should also consider the state of your customer community. Depending on your type of business, you can bring your customers together through social media, forums, webinars, interactive websites and events. Building a strong community makes the customer feel they are valued and important to your business. It’s also a great way to understand what your customers are thinking and what questions they have.
3. Have a Face
A common mistake for many small businesses is their failure to appeal to the common need in every consumer; a personal connection. If your business is faceless, whether on your website, social media accounts or offline, it is a huge trust killer. Try adding an address to your website. Trust signals such as badges, testimonials and reviews help too.
Avoid the use of generic, automated email responses. Every response should be tailored to the customer and should include personal information to show that you care about their custom. Most importantly, get your picture on there. A simple team photo can be the difference between a sale and a user leaving your website.
4. Be Available
85% of missed calls will never call back. If your business is not available to reach over the phone then you are losing a huge percentage of potential customers. Why limit your company’s revenue by ignoring and frustrating possible leads? SMB’s will often point to a lack of staff, lack of time, spike in calls due to a marketing campaign or a focus on other areas of their job as to why they fail to answer calls. Truth is, that’s not good enough. The costs involved in bringing in and training an extra member of staff to deals with calls can be expensive too and put many businesses off. Even then it can take weeks for new staff members to reach optimum productivity.
A Telephone Answering Service comprises of fully trained professionals who can be affordable and invaluable to your business. Not only do these Virtual Assistants make sure that you never miss a potential customer, they dramatically increase customer service and boost your brand reputation.
5. Special Offers
Make your customers feel special. If your competitors are tempting your existing customers’ away with great join up offers, think: how can we outdo them? Reward loyalty with special offers for existing customers only and give them a reason to stay with you.
6. Utilise feedback
Provide a dedicated area for your users to leave feedback and offer constructive criticisms. Whilst looking at your social media profiles is a good way to gain insights into common frustrations, providing a specific place for feedback will reduce the chance of highly visible criticisms scaring off potential customers. Essentially, feedback is the most important data you can collect to understand where your businesses customer service is going wrong. Ignore it at your peril.
Good customer service is vital for every business to succeed. Whilst improving direct communication is a must, make sure you also assess every customer touchpoint to find areas of improvement. Ensure the customer can trust you and believe in you by interacting with them and making all of your data visible.
Consider hiring a Telephone Answering Service so you’re always available to contact and make sure your existing customers are happy before looking to branch out. Use insights and feedback to improve the overall process and you should see an increase in customer satisfaction in no time.