Great customer service is a significant way to help your organization stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base. Eighty percent of customers feel more invested in a brand when customer service is able to solve problems or answer questions, and 30% of consumers are willing to pay more if it means they’ll get excellent service.
You don’t need fancy tools or a lot of time to begin bettering your customers’ experience. Here are four ways to improve customer service that you can implement today.
4 ideas to improve customer service at your company
- Use technology
- Listen with empathy
- Be prepared
- Follow up
1. Use technology
Technology makes it easier than ever before to engage with customers and ensure that they’re satisfied with your products or services. While telephone and email are traditional options for customers to reach out, more are using social media channels not only to receive help, but also to ask questions and provide feedback. Employ built-in social media features, like messaging or chat, to provide quick service. Monitor your company’s reviews and comments on posts to help you spot potential issues and respond quickly if customers need help. You can also post polls to gather feedback on products or services that your customers would like to see implemented in the future.
Thank your followers for their feedback with customer appreciation giveaways, like an Elastic Wristband Hair Tie, Javelin Stylus Pen or Flashing Rave Ring.
2. Listen with empathy
If a customer has a concern or issue, it’s important that customer service reps be prepared to handle the situation, and active and empathetic listening is a great place to start. Try the LEAST method for actively listening to a customer’s concerns:
- Listen: Customers want to know they’re being heard, so repeat their concern back to them. For example, saying, “I understand that your order didn’t arrive on time,” lets the customer know you’ve identified their specific need.
- Empathize: Ask your team members to put themselves in the shoes of your customers. What would they feel if they were in this situation? Responding empathetically can let the customer know that you’re considering their feelings. An example could be, “I understand you’re feeling disappointed that your order arrived damaged.”
- Apologize: Even if the mix-up is no one’s fault, a sincere apology can go a long way toward maintaining a positive relationship with your customer. For example, saying something like “I’m sorry this happened, but I’m happy to help” can help your customer feel comforted and relieved.
- Solve: Customer service reps should feel comfortable offering solutions that they think will best help resolve your customer’s concern. If they aren’t sure which solution might be best, asking the customer what they’d prefer is a great method. They can say something like, “How can I best help resolve this issue for you?”
- Thank: Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude. Thanking your customer for giving your company the chance to fix an issue will end the conversation on an uplifting note and leave a positive lasting impression. Send a little something extra with their next order to show you appreciate them taking the time to provide feedback. A delicious sugar cookie or a seed packet is a nice choice.
3. Be prepared
One surefire way to help customers feel at ease is for your team members to be cool, calm and collected during your interactions. One of the best ways to help set your team members up for success is to make sure they’re prepared to handle a variety of customer concerns. A strong positive mindset and having necessary information readily available can help your team members be ready to meet any client’s needs. For example, if someone calls with a question about how a particular product or service works, your company’s customer service rep should be able to easily access the information needed. This may mean they need access to a product database, have copies of product catalogs, or receive training on your newest offerings. If you’re hiring a new customer service employee, consider taking time during onboarding for them to shadow more experienced team members so they can see how a veteran handles sensitive situations.
4. Follow up
Taking the time to follow up shows that your business is ready to go the extra mile to retain your customers. While many businesses send follow-up emails after someone has made a purchase, it’s less common for customers to hear back from a small business after they’ve contacted customer support. A personal phone call or handwritten postcard with a business card magnet is a great way to make sure customers are satisfied with their experience and, as an added bonus, they’ll have your contact info handy next time they need assistance. Send a customer appreciation giveaway, such as a ThermalTraveler Tumbler or chocolate treat with a thank-you design, to sweeten their day and help them feel appreciated.
Leave a lasting positive impression when you improve customer service
With these tips to improve customer service, you can begin providing a premier experience for your clients today.
- Monitor your company’s reviews and social media comments
- The LEAST method can help with active listening
- Prepare employees to handle situations
- Follow up with a note and a customer appreciation giveaway