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.
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!