With customers better informed and more aware than ever, businesses need to pay special attention to the service they provide. Outstanding customer service is the key to ensuring your company leads the way.
Here are ten ways to help you provide outstanding customer service.
Be polite, helpful, and knowledgeable
One of the golden rules in the world of customer service is always to be courteous and helpful. This is particularly important when dealing with disgruntled customers. A calm, kind manner goes a long way in resolving issues amicably. Every employee in your organization, from Customer Service Representative to the CEO must be empathetic when dealing with customers. It goes without saying that everyone should also have a thorough knowledge about the company’s products and services.
Empower your employees
Front line customer service staff must be empowered to do the best job they can. Empower your team by giving them training that inspires confidence in the decisions they make and the services they provide. Customer Service Representatives should know when they can bend the rules and when they must say no to a customer. Establish a small budget that can be used by CSRs if they feel it is necessary to compensate a client for a service failure.
Inspire customer service at every level
Customer service begins at the top and cascades down. As mentioned earlier, everyone working in your business must be involved in the process. When customer feedback is received, it should be displayed in all departments and every level in your company. Service levels must be a shared experience. Customer care training needs to include employees and managers alike.
Make use of new technology
As more and more companies are offering digital experiences, customer self-service is becoming more popular. Self-service is a very cost-effective way of supporting your clients. Options such as a chatbot on your website give customers a way of helping themselves quickly and efficiently. Traditional businesses that only previously existed offline are now serving clients online. Among the businesses that are taking a step into the future and saving their customers’ money is a company providing a divorce document preparation service. This is proof that customers are ready for new, more convenient ways of doing business.
Don’t keep customers waiting
A customer’s time is as valuable as your own, so don’t expect him or her to put up with waiting around until someone becomes available. Put in place a process where backup staff are available during busy times to ensure sufficient help is always available on the front line. If customers do have to wait, provide a comfortable environment or useful information if they are holding on the telephone. Always apologise for keeping a customer waiting, even if it is only for a few minutes.
Listen to your customers’ needs
To completely understand what your customers’ want and need, you need to listen to what they say. One of the best management models to use is called active listening. Active listening involves more than processing a person’s words, it requires an understanding of the true message in those words. Find out what the customers want and endeavour to give it to them.
Communicate with your customers
Conversations are important building blocks to learning about people and establishing relationships. Begin building rapport by talking about the weather or local sports events. Use your conversations to learn about your customers’ interests. Then you can ask them what they think of your service or what they would like to see you doing for them. It is surprising how much you can learn from a customer by simply chatting for a few minutes. In addition to verbal skills, employees also need to know how to communicate in writing. If someone in your team needs help in this area, they may like to try the services of an online assignment writing service.
Give your employees product training
You can spend a lot of time teaching your employees how to communicate with customers but if they don’t know all about your products and services you are at risk of frustrating your customers. Your team needs to be prepared to answer all the product questions that will be thrown at them. This requires a thorough knowledge of every product a customer might purchase from you. The implementation of a knowledgebase can help immensely in this regard.
Create brand ambassadors
While your marketing department may have many ideas and ways to promote your products, delivering outstanding customer service is possibly one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to market your products. When customers are happy with your services they will tell others. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd and to beat the competition. It is also cheaper than TV, billboard, or even digital marketing.
Always follow up
One of the best things you can do to ensure you retain your customers is the follow-up you give after they have purchased your products or services. This sends out a positive message to your customers and enables you to get useful feedback from them. This feedback can be valuable in the future when designing new products and services. Following up also shows your customers that you care about their satisfaction and are willing to go the extra mile to make them happy. If you have a good after-sales system in place you can also take the opportunity to promote add on products and services.
Exceeding customer expectations does take additional effort and expense on your part, but the rewards are worth it. When your customers are delighted with the level of service you provide they will remain loyal, tell others about the experience and help establish your company as the market leader.