Is your customer service in need of an overhaul? Luckily, there’s no need to spend a fortune revamping your entire customer service operation.
Here are ten quick and easy ways to take your customer service to the next level.
1. Give a warm welcome
The art of welcoming guests is sadly an art that is in danger of extinction. The good news is it isn’t difficult to reclaim that art and help your company culture stand apart from the competition. To begin, teach your customer service team to greet customers with a verbal welcome accompanied by a smile. This is true both for employees greeting customers in person and those answering the phone. Believe it or not, a warm smile does cross phone lines to resonate in the customer’s ear.
2. Train new employees
When you employ a new team member make sure you put them through a comprehensive induction training program. The training should include your company’s philosophy and make clear your customer service vision and mission. Disney is a good example of customer focused employee on-boarding. The legendary service provider sends all its new hires on a training that teaches the company’s history and explains its service culture before employees are allowed in front of a customer.
3. Create a culture of friendliness
A friendly disposition doesn’t come naturally to everyone which makes it a challenge to create a customer friendly business. It’s worth remembering however that friendliness begins at the top with those in senior management positions setting the tone for the entire organization. It’s therefore critical that leaders demonstrate friendliness both to staff and customers.
4. Always tell the truth
No one likes to be lied to and even white lies have a habit of backfiring especially when dealing with customers. Be honest with your customer when you’ve messed up. The important thing is to correct the mishap rather than covering it up. That way you’ll gain the customer’s respect and your company’s reputation will remain intact.
5. Encourage customer complaints
Encouraging customer complaints may sound somewhat negative. But in their ground-breaking book A Complain is a Gift, Janelle Barlow and Clause Moller encourage organizations to become complaint friendly. The authors explain that dealing with complaints is much more than satisfying your customers. Organizations who take time to deal with complaints can learn from the situation and get ideas for new products or services.
6. Motivate your team with games
It’s a well-known fact that happy employees mean happy customers. Get your team motivated during your next staff meeting with a service-related game. Always bear in mind that games are not enjoyed equally by all staff members, so avoid putting anyone on the spot or forcing them into an uncomfortable situation. Open with something light-hearted like customer service bingo or some word games. For more help you can check out the many games that are available online today.
7. Get customer feedback
Do you know what your customers’ really want? The only way to truly find out is by asking them. Solicit feedback using customer surveys, phone calls and email. You can even ask them face to face. Learn what customers want from your business and then give it to them.
8. Make it easy to contact you
You may have an all singing eCommerce website that makes it easy to buy from you, but what if consumers have a question about a product or purchase? Customers need to feel safe in the knowledge they can get in touch with someone easily if they have a question or a problem arises. Ensure your contact information is prominently displayed on all pages of your website and provide live chat if feasible. Make sure your customers can get help when they need it.
9. Get social!
You can’t have credible customer service strategy today without the use of social media. In addition to using sites like Facebook and Twitter to create a sense of community and alert customers to your latest company news, you need to monitor all the social media channels regularly for negative comments about your business. Then, if a customer is complaining about you to his or her social buddies, you can address the issue quickly, positively and publicly.
10. Exceed expectations
You may have heard the first rule of business, “Under promise, Over Deliver.” But, do you follow this rule? It’s important that you do not make promises to your customers that you won’t be able to fulfil. You should let them know about the tasks that you can perform for them and then try your best to exceed their expectations by doing something unexpected like delivering the product early or checking that everything is OK with them unexpectedly.
About the Author
Ellen Goodwright is a writer and “customer service raving fan”. Ellen is currently working on her new book: “365 Tips for Improving Your Customer Service”.