The business world is booming across the globe and America is leading the way with 30 million registered small businesses in operation across the country.
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Why is business so hot right now? Because the economy is on fire.
Consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down, and people are spending money. All of that means tremendous opportunity for business owners who are willing to throw their products and services into the fray.
Just because opportunity is out there though doesn’t mean that cashing in on it is easy. With all of the competition, it can be hard to attract and retain customers.
One of the best ways to cut through your market’s clutter is to have outstanding customer service. Therein lies the aim of this article.
We want to teach you how to improve customer service within your organization so you can boost consumer retention and create brand evangelists!
1. Don’t Aim for the Lowest Common Denominator
You may be surprised to hear this, but when it comes to how to improve customer service, for most organizations it’s not about building policies around offering outstanding consumer experiences. It’s about building policies around competition.
That’s a horrendous way to approach your customer service philosophy.
Having good customer service doesn’t mean offering the average of what everybody else is offering. It means taking the time to dig into the consumer experience and ask yourself what it is your customers want.
Once you have an answer to that question, even if the resulting directives put you ahead of what’s expected per industry standards, implement them.
Be a trailblazer when it comes to your customer service experience. Be consumer-centric. Don’t be a copycat.
2. People Want Their Issues Solved… Period
A lot of people mistake offering good customer service as being over the top. You hear stories all the time of companies sending people pizzas or giving them $1000 worth of products because they experienced a simple shipping snag with a product.
That’s not where your team’s head should be at.
Doing outlandish things for customers isn’t scalable and it isn’t what’s going to put your business on the map as one that’s noted for outstanding customer service.
What’s going to move the needle for you systematically is simply being able to solve people’s problems, fast.
Focus on what consumers need, not on what they don’t.
3. Get Customers In Front of a Person Immediately
There is nothing more frustrating than arguing with robots on the phone. Do not subject your customers to that experience.
Only have them interfacing with robots for the most necessary reasons and get them to an operator, ASAP.
4. Make Customer Service a Priority
Answering the question of how to improve customer service isn’t something that can be done by making it the keynote in a meeting, coming away with some bullet-point directives, and revisiting the issue in a year.
Good customer service takes being made a priority.
Remember, people are willing to pay more for products and services if they know they’re going to get good service.
Because of that, you don’t want to look at customer service attention as something that’s going to drain your resources. You’ll want to look at it as a financial investment!
5. Find Opportunity in Negative Feedback
If you’re annoyed whenever you see a 1-star review come in on Google, Facebook or Yelp, don’t be. There is a lot of opportunity that can come from bad reviews.
For starters, your bad reviews may reveal places where you can make improvements to your business. That insight is extremely valuable.
Second, when you respond to negative (and sometimes irate) reviews with professionalism and tact, you show onlookers that they can trust you.
That will translate into more level-headed customers taking the leap and doing business with you.
You can read more here about the opportunity that exists in angry customers.
6. Survey Customers
Feedback is essential to successfully navigating all of your “how to improve customer service” concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask people for it.
When a customer service call or chat is over, ask people if they’ll take a quick survey. After a call, send a follow-up email to customers asking for their feedback.
Whatever you can do to get people’s honest perspective on how your team is performing is well worth any time and investment it takes to get those features in place.
7. Have Self-Help Resources, but Don’t Make Contact Impossible
Having an FAQ document on your website is a great way to answer consumer’s simple questions without tying up your phone lines. They are not an excuse to not let people contact you though.
So many companies hide their contact information behind pages and pages of tutorials and FAQ’s when all customers want to do is speak to someone.
If your customers don’t want to read, don’t make them. Always give people the option to reach out to someone on your support team.
8. Never Tolerate Unprofessional Behavior From Your Team
We appreciate that irate customers can be difficult to deal with and that some of those customers may not be worth the money they bring to your company. Still, there is no reason for your customer support team to stoop to customer’s bad behavior.
If you’re noticing your staff firing back at rude customers in a way that is unprofessional, reprimand them. If the behavior continues, re-train them. If it persists, let them go.
As a business, you’re held to a higher standard than your customers. If you or your team doesn’t believe that, you have no business competing in today’s market.
Wrapping Up Ideas on How to Improve Customer Service for Your Business
We’ve just shared with you 8 outstanding ideas on how to improve customer service for your business. Our recommendation is to implement as many of our suggestions as possible as quickly as possible.
If you do, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately.
For more of the best business advice you can find online, check our additional content on Blogging Tips!
Beware Who You Trust for Advice
Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.
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I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.
Peep 2 answers.
I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.
This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.
Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.
Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:
- radiate happiness?
- radiate compassion?
- exude success?
- inspire you to succeed?
- uplift bloggers?
If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.
But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.
If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.
Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.
Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.
One Such Example
Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?
The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?
Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.
Follow heart-centered bloggers.
Live your dreams.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
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