It is no secret that customer service is an extremely important aspect of any business.
Customer service is a vital aspect of any business, and it can make or break a company’s reputation. Satisfied customers are likely to return and recommend a business to others, while unhappy customers will likely take their business elsewhere. In today’s competitive market, it’s essential to provide excellent customer service to stand out from the crowd. In this article, we will discuss several steps that businesses can take to improve their customer service and keep customers coming back.
Steps to improve your customer service
1. Invest in your employees
Today, most customer service departments are run with the goal of minimizing costs. Cost awareness permeates the entire department in a negative way, among other things by giving the employees minimum wages, short training, and simple management following clear instructions. This only leads to staff getting tired of their jobs. Many departments testify to 100 percent staff turnover during one year and have a staff turnover of 7-8 percent per month.
By investing in quality, you get secure employees who thrive and stay in their roles.
2. Make customer service a priority
If you want to achieve a better economy in your customer service, you should look at the department as an important part of the overall branding strategy. You do this, among other things, by strengthening relationships with the marketing and sales departments and mandating employees to make their own decisions regarding customer management, where the focus is on solving customer problems. And measure everything that happens.
3. Work with up-sales
For a long time, there has been a clear trend where customer service units are expected to sell. As a unit, the customer service department is well suited for this, as it is a good opportunity to help customers, for example, upgrade their services. It is also a great place to test different services and offers. Along with the marketing and sales department, offers can be packaged and tested for a limited time and then broadly launched. -But respect that not everyone can sell.
There is an obstacle to the point above and it is the staff themselves. There are many catches here, and one of these is the lack of education. To get around this, the existing staff must be trained, prepared, and given incentives to want and be able to work with additional sales during their customer service process.
Those who still do not feel comfortable with sales elements should also not be required to do so, as it will do more harm than good. In the case of new recruits, the sales aspect must be included in the requirements specification and the candidates should be tested according to these premises.
4. Staff customer service after the right level of service
Most people have control over when most calls come in and make forecasts that calculate how long the cases take to process. Based on these calculations, staffing takes place. However, keep in mind that different levels of service will make a big difference in the number of people you need in customer service. How is your service level set? By the customers? Get staff based on the answer to get efficiency in your customer service.
It is also common for opening hours to change and the flexibility of staffing is increased. Full-time services where everyone works between 9 and 5 are rarely a good solution for those who want to run profitable companies and customer service departments. Instead, invest in having a higher proportion of part-time employees and opening hours that correspond to customers’ needs and wants.
5. It must be simple
72 percent of customers say that “having to explain my problem to several people” is a poor customer service experience. Likewise, more than half of online shoppers expect customer service to easily find answers to their questions – and if they do not, they will abandon their shopping cart. Customers simply want it to go fast and the process to be seamless. 73 percent say the most important thing a company can do is value their time and give them good service.
6. Customer service must be genuine
In any case, it should be experienced as such. How your customers perceive them to be affected directly affects their purchasing decisions; 70 percent of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Unfortunately, there is a great misconception here from many companies. While 80 percent of companies describe their service as “superior”, only 8 percent of customers describe it in the same way.
7. Why you should do customer service on Facebook
Facebook is bigger than ever, and it is continuing to grow. With billions of users, it is therefore also natural for customers to seek answers to questions and give feedback to companies on Facebook.
Still wondering why you should do customer service on Facebook? For several reasons. Partly because it is easy for the customers and strategically smart for you to be where your buyers are. It makes it easy for them to reach you and vice versa. But actually having customer service on Facebook is not just about the social network. It is at least as much about mobile. In recent years, fewer and fewer mobile phones are used for actually calling. Instead, the majority use it to surf, shop, read and write mail, text messages and send instant messages.
Watching, instead of calling, is the new way to use the mobile. Customer service must also follow that development.
8. Recruit the right employees for better sales
It is of the utmost importance that the right person with the right expertise work with sales in customer service. Recruit after a carefully crafted requirements profile, where you identify important characteristics and knowledge to be able to work in your particular customer service. Use tests in the recruitment process to ensure that the selected candidates actually live up to the requirements.
9. Give employees a mandate to sell
If you want to increase sales in your company, customer service employees must have permission to work with sales. As part of this, the staff must be trained in sales technology and it must be set aside both time and money for the training. A strategic decision must be made about the working method and investment must be made in routines to support the working method and the employees.
10. Understand Your Customers
The first step to providing better customer service is to understand your customers. This means understanding their needs, wants, and expectations. It’s essential to know what they are looking for in a product or service, as well as their pain points and concerns. This information can be gathered through surveys, focus groups, and other forms of customer research. Once you have a clear understanding of your customers, you can tailor your customer service to meet their specific needs.
11. Train Your Staff
The next step is to train your staff on how to provide excellent customer service. This includes training them on how to handle customer complaints, how to build relationships with customers, and how to use customer service software. It’s also important to provide regular training to keep staff updated on new products, services, and customer service techniques. A well-trained staff is more likely to provide excellent customer service and keep customers coming back.
12. Provide Multiple Channels of Communication
Customers want to be able to communicate with businesses in a way that is convenient for them. This means providing multiple channels of communication, such as phone, email, live chat, and social media. By providing multiple channels of communication, you are giving customers the flexibility to choose the method that works best for them. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty.
13. Be Responsive
When customers contact a business, they expect a quick response. This means being responsive to customer inquiries and complaints, whether they are made by phone, email, or social media. It’s essential to have a system in place to track and respond to customer inquiries and complaints in a timely manner. This can help to build trust and improve customer satisfaction.
14. Offer Incentives
Another way to improve customer service is to offer incentives to customers. This can include discounts, loyalty programs, or special offers. These incentives can help to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. It’s also a good idea to offer special incentives to customers who have had a positive experience with your business. This can help to spread positive word-of-mouth and increase customer loyalty.
15. Personalize the Experience
Personalization is key when it comes to customer service. Customers appreciate feeling like they are valued and understood, and personalization can help to achieve that. This can include using a customer’s name, remembering their preferences, and providing personalized recommendations. By personalizing the customer service experience, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers and increase customer loyalty.
16. Provide Clear and Accurate Information
Customers rely on businesses to provide accurate and up-to-date information about products and services. This means providing clear and accurate information on your website, in product descriptions, and in any other customer-facing materials. It’s also important to keep this information up to date and to let customers know about any changes or updates. Providing clear and accurate information can help to build trust and improve customer satisfaction.
17. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology can be a powerful tool when it comes to improving customer service. This includes using customer service software, automated systems, and AI-powered chatbots. These tools can help to streamline customer service processes, improve efficiency, and provide customers with quick and accurate responses. Additionally, many businesses are now using social media listening tools to monitor customer conversations and feedback, which can help identify opportunities for improvement.
18. Solicit Feedback
Collecting customer feedback is an important part of improving customer service. This includes soliciting feedback through surveys, online reviews, and other forms of customer feedback. By collecting and analyzing customer feedback, businesses can identify areas where they need to improve and make necessary changes. Additionally, it’s important to respond to customer feedback and let them know that their input is valued.
19. Exceed Expectations
Finally, one of the best ways to improve customer service is to exceed customer expectations. This means going above and beyond what customers expect and providing exceptional service. This can include going out of your way to help a customer, providing free upgrades, or going the extra mile to resolve a problem. By exceeding customer expectations, businesses can create a positive and memorable experience that will keep customers coming back.
20. Empower Your Employees
In order to provide excellent customer service, it’s essential to empower your employees to make decisions and take action. This means giving them the authority and resources they need to resolve customer issues and make things right. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to take ownership of customer issues and provide a positive customer experience.
Additionally, providing your employees with the necessary tools and resources to do their job well is crucial. This may include access to customer service software, training on how to handle various types of customer interactions, and clear guidelines on how to handle customer complaints. By providing your employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed, you are helping to ensure that they are providing the best possible service to your customers.
21. Be Transparent and Honest
Transparency and honesty are key components of excellent customer service. Customers appreciate knowing what to expect and appreciate when businesses are open and honest about their products, services, and policies. This includes being transparent about any fees, charges, or other details related to a purchase or service. When customers feel that they are being treated fairly and honestly, they are more likely to return and recommend your business to others.
22. Be Proactive
Proactivity is another important aspect of excellent customer service. This means being proactive in identifying and addressing customer needs and concerns, rather than waiting for them to come to you. This can include reaching out to customers to check in on their satisfaction, proactively resolving issues or complaints, and identifying potential issues before they become problems. By being proactive, businesses can create a positive customer experience and build customer loyalty.
23. Measure and Analyze
Finally, measuring and analyzing customer service performance is an important step in improving it. This means tracking metrics such as customer satisfaction, response times, and resolution rates. These metrics can help identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of customer service strategies. By regularly monitoring and analyzing customer service performance, businesses can make data-driven decisions to improve their customer service.
What are the most important things in customer service?
The most important things in customer service include:
- Understanding and meeting customer needs and expectations
- Providing quick and effective problem resolution
- Clear and effective communication
- Building trust and creating a positive customer experience
- Continuously seeking feedback and making improvements.
- Empowering employees with the necessary tools and resources to resolve customer issues.
- Being transparent and honest with customers
- Being proactive in identifying and addressing customer needs and concerns.
- Measuring and analyzing customer service performance to identify areas for improvement.
- Training employees to handle various types of customer interactions.
- Providing multiple channels of communication to customers.
- Exceeding customer expectations by going above and beyond what they expect
- Personalizing the customer experience.
Providing excellent customer service is essential for any business. By understanding your customers, training your staff, providing multiple channels of communication, being responsive, and offering incentives, businesses can improve their customer service and keep customers coming back. Remember that customer service is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires ongoing attention and improvement. With the right approach, businesses can build long-term relationships with their customers and achieve success in today’s competitive market.