You found a lead, wined and dined it, and closed the sale. Now, what? Just because a customer decides to choose you doesn’t mean that they have to stay with you. This is where customer service comes in. Excellent customer service will keep existing customers happy and retain disgruntled customers. As with anything, there is always room for improvement; here are 10 ways to improve customer service.
1. Be available
Issues or technical difficulties don’t always occur during work hours — life’s pesky like that. Allow your customers to get a hold of you or access help whenever they need. They’ll appreciate the around the clock dedication.
2. Give VIP treatment
Roll out the red carpet: nurture existing or top customers with special services or promotions. When customers receive special treatment, they feel like they’re in good hands and in turn, will be willing to pay or buy more.
3. Be experts
Ensure you and your customer service representatives can field any question that your customers could ask about your field and business. Nothing will frustrate a customer more than when they reach out for assistance and the problem remains unresolved.
4. Build a community
Creating a community with your customers is a great way to forge a stronger bond and increases ties of loyalty. Nasty Gal, a women’s clothing retailer, created a memorable hashtag, #nastygalsdoitbetter, that their customers can use to showcase what they bought.
5. Communicate clearly
Proper phone etiquette is a special skill. It requires active listening, an enormous amount of patience, empathy, positivity, and above all, clarity. Those things are easier said than done when you’ve repeated the same thing multiple times that day. But keep in mind that while it’s the 20th call for you, it’s the only call for the customer, so endeavor to ensure every experience is delightful.
6. Follow up
It’s difficult to remember all the information discussed on the phone. Send an email summarizing what you discussed, as well as any additional information. Or, send a customer feedback survey after you resolve an issue to make sure there aren’t any further problems and that the customer is satisfied with the service.
7. Utilize social media
Social media is also a powerful customer service tool. Vancouver’s transportation system, Translink, does a great job of utilizing Twitter to assist customers. Commuters tweet at them inquiring about delays and bus times, and a customer representative replies in a prompt manner with live updates. They also scour Twitter for mentions of them so they can address disgruntled travelers.
8. Give your customers a voice
Everyone has an opinion, and everyone loves expressing said opinion. This is why you should provide an outlet for people to air their compliments, grievances, and suggestions. It’s a good way to show your customers that you are listening to them and value their opinions and patronage. Don’t fret unhappy customers; this provides you with an opportunity to address and retain those customers that would have otherwise just stewed in their anger.
9. Add a personal touch
Even if they’re automated, send emails from a personal address rather than a blatantly automated address. Using real names and emails creates a personal connection that makes the consumers feel at ease and more likely to purchase more.
10. Offer self-help sections
We live in the age of Google, where anything can be found online. 72% of online consumers prefer to use a company’s website to get answers to their questions rather than contact companies via telephone or email. Providing self-help channels, such as FAQs or how-to videos, tailored to your consumers is an excellent way to improve your customer service.
Companies going above and beyond are often the ones that have unparalleled customer service. It doesn’t matter if you gain a bunch of customers because they won’t stay with you if they aren’t happy.