Great Customer Service Tips to Benefit Any Company
This week we focus on customer service. A good quality product can attract customers, but it is the quality of your service that will retain them. How can you as a business owner provide excellent customer service? Below are 5 tips to improve your customer service experience:
1. Motivate and Train Your Team
Richard Branson has revealed that Virgin’s secret to success is putting their employees first. In an interview with Inc. he said “It should go without saying, if the person who works at your company is 100 percent proud of the brand and you give them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they’re going to be happy. If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile. Effectively, in the end shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff remains happy”.
In order to motivate employees you should offer a good salary as well as other incentives. Adopt a culture of open communication, trust and respect. Teach your team to be patient, kind and understanding. Monitor employee to customer communications and address inappropriate behavior immediately.
Another important tip is to ensure that your team is properly trained. It can be frustrating to contact a technical support line and speak to a consultant who does not understand the problem. Employees should be trained to escalate issues that cannot be solved at their level of technical expertise.
2. Follow up with Your Customers
Adequate follow up with your customers can improve loyalty. Make a follow up call to your customers after a completed service to ensure that their needs were appropriately met.
Follow up protects your customers from bad service because when your employees are aware that a follow up call is made after each service, they will ensure that they provide a good quality experience for each customer.
3. Respond Timeously
Response time is extremely important in the service industry. As technology progresses, customers are no longer satisfied with a long waiting period. They expect to receive a response just as fast as they can send a query.
Inform your customers of the expected waiting time through an automated message. This will give your customers peace of mind knowing that their request was received and is being attended to. If you would like to supercharge your response time consider implementing a 24-hour support line.
4. Obtain Customer Feedback
Request service feedback from your customers regularly. Feedback is different to follow up in the sense that it is broader-it covers a wide spectrum of the business. When you request feedback you are requesting suggestions from your customers to improve your business as a whole. It is important to be active and not passive with customer feedback. The idea that your customers must be happy if you are not receiving any customer complaints is not true – many customers have suggestions, but they are not proactive in informing you. This is where you have to take the initiative to request customer feedback and make modifications where necessary.
5. Build a Community
The final tip is to build a community for your customers. Online communities and forums are the best ways to facilitate an online family for your customers. Initiate online discussions, polls and queries. You will experience higher customer retention, greater customer autonomy as well as increased loyalty to your brand.
A great example of an online community is WordPress. WordPress has distinguished itself from other website creation companies by building a community of users within their platform. Their users can connect with other users, start discussions and get support from other users.