When it comes to your business and customer service, there really isn’t anything more important. The level of customer service you provide is what sets you apart from the competition.
It ultimately impacts your growth and your success.
So, how do you know what your customers think about your service? And how can you improve it?
In this article, we look at how to improve your customer service with these five steps.
#1: Collect and Use Customer Feedback
You can gain customer insights with surveys.
The first thing you want to do on your journey to improving your service is find out how your customers feel. Take these steps:
- Survey your customers. Collect the data. This is the only way you can truly understand your customers needs and desires. It shows them you care and want to listen to what they have to say.
- Use customer satisfaction surveys to learn more.
- Once you get your data, you can put it to good use. For example, if your customers don’t like your help desk, you know it’s time to change it. This is where you take your customer feedback and make a plan to improve service.
- Take a look at the products or services your customers aren’t happy with. Talk with your employees and work to remedy the issues.
- Finally, tell your customers what you are doing. Follow up your customer satisfaction surveys with an email letting them know how you have made improvements. Then, once the improvements are made, several months down the line you can survey your customers again.
#2: Provide Ongoing Training
Many companies provide customer service training during new employee on-boarding. They leave it there and don’t revisit it again.
The key to offering the best customer service possible is to train and retrain your employees. Offer them quarterly refresher sessions.
Teach your staff how to deal with angry or upset customers. Tell them how to fix issues and how to talk with customers.
Here are a few things to teach them throughout their tenure with you.
- Empathy – train your staff how to respond with kindness and empathy.
- Patience – this is key to dealing with all kinds of customers.
- Adaptability – teach your staff how to roll with different types of situations. Consider role play training for your staff.
- Perseverance – sometimes customers will treat your staff poorly. Even though you train them the customer is always right, it can really be hard to deal with negative customers. Teach them how to do this.
- Communication – provide ongoing communications training. This helps not only in their dealings with customers but their co-workers as well.
#3: Concentrate on the Customer Experience
Companies that provide the best customer service are dedicated to the overall customer experience.
Customers who have a great experience with you are likely your best brand ambassadors. Help differentiate your brand from the competition by mapping out the customer experience. Know each touch point a customer will have with your company and do your best to make sure it’s excellent every time.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Address your customers by name. Whether this is with a personalized email, over the phone, or an in-person conversation with a staff member, names provide an important validation as well as personalization.
- Send thank you notes. If one of your team members spends a period of time working with a customer, have them send a short thank you note whether they made the purchase or not.
- Go above and beyond. Think outside the box and encourage your team to go the extra mile and surprise customers with the unexpected.
#4: Start a Loyalty Program
Another step toward improving customer service is to institute a loyalty rewards program.
Loyal customers are long-term brand ambassadors. They also spend more money with you over their lifetime.
As a bonus, when you sign customers up for your rewards program, you get their email address so you can further market to them and improve their overall experience.
Help your customers earn rewards, discounts, and points toward their purchase with a strategic loyalty program, and you’ll find your business growing.
#5: Provide Multi-Channel Support Options
Think about how your customers can get in touch with you. Do you have one way or several?
You’ll find that the easier it is for customers to contact you, the better they’ll perceive your service.
This in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction levels and growth for your business.
To provide the ultimate in customer support and service, offer a multi-channel approach:
- Offer your customers live chat support.
- Provide speedy social media support.
- Add in traditional phone support.
- Offer support through email.
- Add a text option so customers can text you for support.
By providing all of these staff options, you can engage your customers where they are. You’ll increase your brand loyalty and customer retention as well.
You can improve your customer service with the five steps in this article.
It starts first, though, with a customer service plan. The plan should include all the steps included here and the actions you are going to take.
When it comes to your survey and improving customer service, you also want to have a strategic plan in place for you are going to handle the data, make improvements, and communicate with your customers. (tweet this)
Finally, you may wonder what the importance of customer service is. Here are a few more reasons you want to home in on improving it:
- It boosts your brand recognition.
- You increase customer loyalty.
- It increases employee morale and provides a great environment. Well-trained team members are happy, productive staff.
- You improve your image in the community. People want to shop with you. They might even want to work for you.
- It provides an arena for you to respond to both positive and negative comments in a professional manner.
- Your employees have less stress because you’ve taught them how to handle difficult situations.
Bottomline: through the customer satisfaction survey, you can gain the vital customer insights to improve your customer service and grow your company.
Surveys can help you get valuable customer feedback. You can then use this feedback to improve your business. Are you ready to get started with your Survey Town account? Start with your account today.
Image: Berkeley Communications on Unsplash