10 Effective Ways to Improve your Customer Service
Most companies strive to be the best in their industry. It is said that all that is needed to create an exceptionally good customer experience is to offer customers a product or service that works and to treat them well. Customer service is a crucial aspect of any successful business, and there is a huge difference between those companies that have good customer service and those that have exceptional service.
But like much else, it is easier said than done to put the theory into practice. That is why, in this article, we have compiled a list of 10 practical tips to help you improve and offer exceptional customer service.
1. Give customers the opportunity to contact you in a variety of ways
Being available through the channels the customer wants to use makes the customer experience positive. You should aim for every customer to be able to reach you via phone, email, chat, the web, and social media. Your goal is to be available where your customers are.
Few things are as annoying as long waiting times when you need to get in touch with a company’s customer service. Therefore, it is important that the customer does not have to wait long to get in touch with you. Ideally, they should be able to get support within seconds or minutes.
2. Notify customers that you have received their request
Whether you receive a request via email, web form, or social media inquiry, you should always send a confirmation to the customer where you include the case number and the name of the contact person.
Even if you do not get back to them immediately, make sure you respond to them immediately and let them you know will be in touch.
3. Treat all cases in the same way and as quickly as possible
Your company has a lot to gain from taking all types of customer inquiries equally seriously. Always try to solve all problems immediately instead of solving the easiest problems first.
A customer who has a more complicated case becomes extra satisfied if you solve it as quickly as possible. Use smart solutions to systematize and streamline your work. If complicated matters always end up at the bottom of the pile, there is a great risk that the company will receive many dissatisfied customers.
4. Don’t be afraid to communicate too much with customers
Sometimes customers forget why they contacted about a problem or to get an answer to a question. Therefore, for clarification, send summaries of their cases via e-mail as well as information about what you did to resolve the case.
Use a CRM system to keep track of all communication with your customers. You can then easily remind customers what the case is about.
In this way, you achieve two advantages: It leads to more efficient cooperation between the company and the customer to solve the problem and the customers feel prioritized and appreciated.
5. Learn what your customers think about your service
In order to improve, it is crucial to learn what you can actually improve. And oftentimes, it requires you to actually listen to your customers.
It is easy to carry out anonymous surveys of customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis to check whether the company meets customer expectations.
Because even though everything seems to work well, it can boil under the surface and people may not directly tell you what they think unless you ask them. Customers may appear satisfied with what you do, but even what you do not do in relation to the customer can also have negative consequences. In other words, it is not only about what you do, but also what you don’t do.
6. Give customers inspirational tips on how to get better
Aim to become a credible advisor. Give customers inspirational tips and advice on how they can become more efficient in their everyday lives.
This strategy is really a natural consequence of today’s digital landscape: there is a huge amount of knowledge and good ideas online, but it also takes a tremendous amount of time to sort the information and learn to distinguish between good and bad advice. If you do this job for the customers in your area of expertise, you have done them a great job, and providing them with valuable information, while also gaining their trust.
This is an extra service that you can provide to your customers “just because you want” and which is extremely effective in increasing customer loyalty.
7. Remember to thank your customers
It is important that you do not take customer loyalty for granted. Show that you value your customers and that you appreciate them. Thank them when you have the opportunity and when it comes naturally, for example in connection with weekends and holidays by sending them a greeting.
Wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, and a Happy Summer, and thank them for doing business with you. Or thank them for any other reason you can come up with. Find a way to do it so that it fits your business’ values and personality.
8. Make sure the customer is satisfied
If you have not lived up to the customer’s expectations, you need to take responsibility and do what it takes to “make things right”. After that, you should periodically follow up and ensure that everything works properly and that the customer is satisfied. The same goes for doing business with a brand new customer. Your number one goal is to make sure your customer is as satisfied as they can be with their experience.
9. Always keep what you promise your customers
Keeping your promise is crucial whether it is to a friend or to a customer. This makes them able to trust you and what you say. The customer wants a company that keeps what they promise. Only give promises that you can keep.
Therefore, make sure you always deliver what you promised. Then customers will quickly gain confidence in you. If you do not keep your promises over and over, you’ll likely end up with angry customers or lose them altogether.
10. Understand your customers and their needs
It is important that you understand the customer’s needs. When meeting a customer, you should take the time to create a list of the 5-10 most important questions that you would like to get answers to in order to get a good understanding of the customer’s challenges. There are many different ways to learn about your customers and their wants and needs.
Good customer service is about being better than average. If you deliver the same level of customer service as your competitors, you will not appear special in your customers’ eyes. To stand out from the crowd, you need to deliver exceptionally good customer service to every customer interaction, it is not enough to do it just once.
It may feel difficult in practice to live up to, but it is often about finding simple and practical routines that improve your way of interacting with customers.