You know the saying, “ you catch more bees with honey?” This saying describes the importance of customer service correctly. To create long-term business success and customer retention, you have to make your customers feel valued and cared for. Having a business model for implementing excellent customer service offers many benefits, including an increase in customer loyalty and revenue.
What is customer service?
Customer service is defined by the skills and practices that employees use to understand better, engage and interact with their customers. Excellent customer service creates loyal customers and brand advocates who will refer your business to family and friends. If performed well, this will make a cumulative experience that will boost your brand and ROI quickly.
Why is customer service important?
Customer service is the interaction of business with a customer. Smart companies use customer feedback data, both positive and negative, to help fix problems, enhance what is going well and provide new opportunities. It’s also a great way to gather information for testimonials, case studies, and more.
Competition is more stringent than ever these days, and if you want to stand firm amongst your competitors, you have to build a robust customer service model. Consider taking a peek at the customer service options your competitors offer and see if there’s anything you can do that can go beyond that. This will increase customer retention and market share.
Benefits of High-level customer service
- Competitive advantage
- Creates opportunity
- Grows customer lifetime value
- Offers insight into the customer experience
- Customers will pay more if treated well
- Encourages customer loyalty
- Increases referral rates
- A positive brand image
- Customer retention is cheaper than customer service
Top 8 tips on providing Customer Service
- Leverage the feedback you receive
When you ask your customer for feedback, you must take the time actually to listen to their answers. Carve some time out to regularly read the input and find the areas that need work. You will be surprised by the things that you learn once you take the time to review the feedback.
- Ask for feedback
Always ask your customer for feedback on how their experience was or how they enjoyed their product. You won’t know what needs to be fixed if you do not ask, and you also don’t know what is working if you don’t gather correct data. You can use customer service questionnaires, forms, surveys, and more.
- Listen always
Listening is compelling; when you genuinely listen to what someone is saying, it makes them feel valued and understood. Can you remember the last time you noticed that someone was listening to what you were saying thoroughly and how valuable that made you feel like? That is why listening is one of the most robust customer service strategies. It’s easy to implement and holds a lot of benefits. Consider training your staff and customer service representatives in the art of listening.
- Respond quickly
There’s nothing worse than waiting a long time to get answers for a very pressing question, especially if you’re looking to buy something; if you fail to respond promptly, your customers may look somewhere else for the product or service. A great way to deter this from happening is just simply to have a system in a place where your team is ready to respond promptly.
- Know your customers
The more you take the time to understand and know your target audience essentially your customer the better you can provide excellent customer service. It’s easier to help someone when you know exactly who they are and what they need, wouldn’t you agree?
- Train your staff
Take the time to train your staff and ensure that all of the employees, not, just customer service representatives, know exactly what to say and how to handle situations. Train your staff on how to interact and assist your customers adequately. You can do this by offering employee training that teaches your staff the ins and outs of how to execute high-level customer service to your audience.
- Think long term
Think long-term one engaging in customer service doesn’t just go for the easy fixes and quick solutions. Really listen and understand the problem and your customer’s pain points so that you can provide a real solution for them by doing this you will keep the customer and not lose them to another competitor. The key is to think long term when dealing with each customer. This is the proper mindset to have, in the mindset you should teach your staff and customer representatives.
- Invest in human and automated services
Neglecting to invest in human automated service channels can lead you to miss opportunities that can create loyal and happy customers. Automated self-service channels offer customers the way to solve issues on their own. You can do this online without the need of a human, by inputting some questions that are most commonly asked by your customers and providing them with the answer. This is all done online on your website. If you do not have the correct answers and it doesn’t provide the customer with a self-service option, that is when a human service is needed such as real-time chat this will be used to serve your customer support and address the issues promptly before you lose the customer.
- Focus on relationships
Relationship building is key to customer service. A great way to show this is by being friendly and always smiling at your customer when your face to face always greet them and bonus points if you even remember their name.
- Say thank you
A little gratitude goes a long way. You can show your customers that you care and remind them why they chose to work or buy from you in the first place. It shouldn’t matter how much they spent or why they were there. A simple honest thank you at the end of every transaction or service is the easiest way to show them you care and express gratitude.
There you have it! Part one to our customer service series. We would love to know your thoughts on the strategies we listed above. Perhaps you have your own system that you would like to share with us; don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know. Stay tuned for next week for part two of this customer service series.