Given the competitive nature of today’s marketplace, a company has to do a lot more to stand out. One of the best and most effective ways to separate yourself from the competition is to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Since customer service teams are the first and more than likely only ones in direct communication with customers, the experience they deliver is crucial. 79% of adults in the US and UK stated a positive experience with a brand is just as important to them as the experience they have with the product or service purchased.
Great customer service lets you build a loyal and happy customer base, which is critical to the success of any business. In fact, customers who receive an excellent customer experience are 3.5x more likely to make additional purchases than if they had a very poor experience. Essentially, better customer service will help your business grow.
So what can you do to improve and provide better customer service for your customers? Here are 6 ways:
1. Listen to your customers
One of the basic tenets of customer service is making sure that your customer service reps are listening as much as they are talking. Meaningful dialogue between your customers and your employees is achieved only when you truly know what your customer needs. This requires you to actually dedicate time towards listening to what they have to say and implementing changes when necessary based on customer feedback. Don’t forget, focusing on certain KPIs, such as emphasizing average handling time (AHT), could limit your team’s ability to listen to customers.
2. Be available
Customers, especially when they’re doing business online, want assurance that they are conducting transactions with a company they can trust. This means being available to customers and being responsive to their concerns at all times on all channels. A customer’s inability to get in touch with someone from your business affects your credibility and could lead to you losing customers. So, be sure to dedicate the resources necessary to reply to your customer inquiries in a timely manner. You can also try incorporating live chat on your website to make it as easy as possible for customers to contact your support when needed. If you implement live chat, make sure you choose a solution that gives the option to turn your chat widget into a contact form when no agent is available to manage customer expectations and not mislead customers.
3. Have an effective problem-resolution process in place
As much as you’d like to prevent conflicts and problems, inevitably, every business encounters them. In these cases, it’s important for you to understand that your customers want to resolve these issues just as much as you do. Having an effective problem-resolution process is critical to addressing customer needs. It starts by acknowledging the problem, apologizing for their poor experience with your product/service, and ends with you actually providing a resolution to the problem. Your ability to do this effectively and swiftly can restore customer confidence in your brand and earn their satisfaction and trust.
4. Ask for feedback
Loyal customers want brands to grow and be successful. Being on the receiving end of your support means they likely have practical and insightful ideas on how you can further improve your customer service. Take the time to open dialogue with loyal customers. This not only gives you important insight into how you can improve your business, but it also gives you an opportunity to engage them and make them feel more involved in the growth of your company.
5. Show appreciation for your customers
Customers care deeply about how they are treated by brands. In fact, 83% of US adults expressed they care as much about how a brand treats them as what they’re selling. A simple thank you from your brand can make the transaction more memorable for a lot of customers. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also offer exclusive discounts or pitch special promos for returning customers to show your appreciation for their business.
6. Update your technology
Constant advances in technology mean businesses now have numerous ways to reach out and address customer needs. By updating your technology to omnichannel software, you can provide quick support to customers on the channel of their preference. Incorporating chat on your site to make sure customers are replied to instantly is one way to do this.
Ultimately, customers want to buy products and services that make their lives easier as well as offer a positive customer service experience. They become loyal to companies who take the time to listen to them and address their needs. By taking these steps, you will enhance your customer service and strengthen your customer relationships. Doing so will help create a loyal customer base and grow your business.