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In business, one crucial thing you must do is to establish a good relationship with your customers. It does not matter the quality of goods or services that you provide. The direct interaction with the customer determines whether they will come back or not. Companies in the US lose over $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. That must be a wake-up call for all businesses to focus on improving their customer service.
Since customers are the only reason your business is running, make sure they enjoy the experience of visiting your business. Statistics show that 77% of customers will likely recommend other people to your business if they had an excellent customer experience. Customer service improvement comes through practice, and it must always be a priority. Excellent customer services easily create loyal customers who will willingly refer friends and relatives hence helping you in business marketing.
First, excellent customer service means carefully listening and attending to the needs and desires of your customers. You get to learn more about your customers, and you will create a perfect pattern of services in your business.
30 helpful tips on how to improve your customer service skills.
- Empathy, patience, and consistency – some customers will be full of questions, some irate and others chatty. You must know to handle them all until they get satisfied.
- Adaptability – customers tend to behave differently. You must be good at handling surprises and learn the customer’s mood. Customer service is a progressive learning process.
- Clear communication – be clear when delivering information to your customers. Please don’t leave them with a 50/50 level of understanding of what you meant. Be cheerful and use authentic language. Ask if the customer is satisfied before they leave.
- Work ethic – customers tend to appreciate employees who guide them until they realize the solution they are looking for. Be cautious on time not to take too much time with one customer while having others waiting for you. Remember to stay focused on your goals.
- Knowledge – be well informed on the products and services that you are offering. Be ready to explain to the customer in detail and technically when they inquire from you. Be honest and admit you don’t know something. That honesty will win the customer’s trust.
- Thick skin – remember the customer is always right. Swallow your pride and accept negative feedback or blame. This also applies to customer’s feedback on social media.
- Look at every touchpoint – demonstrate the right skills consistently to give the customer the best experience ever. Be keen on key touchpoints and the overall customer experience to avoid risk lapses that could ruin your business.
- Practice active listening for customers to believe they are heard – rephrase and clarify what the customer says to confirm you understand them. Reflect and emphasize their feelings about things e.g., “That must have been so mean to you.”
- Direct your reps to seek common ground and shared interests with customers – problems can only be solved if there is a point of understanding. Humanize the relationship, and it will be easy to understand each other.
- Admit your mistakes. Do it even before your customers realize the mistakes – that helps build or restore lost trust with the customer. It becomes easier to control the situation, capture customer’s attention, and resolve the issue.
- Make follow-up after a problem is solved – ensure the issue is fixed and the customer is satisfied. You can send an email of feedback survey to know where the customer stands about your services.
- Get personal – offer more information so that customers feel they are talking to real people, not bots. Respond to comments made by customers on your social media pages e.g., Facebook, Twitter. Post photos on your site and social platforms to convince people that you are working with real humans.
- Be available – ensure that customers feel a personal touch about you. Even if you run an online business, meet clients in person, Skype them, and call them often. Give your customers the physical address of your business.
- Cater to your customers – meet your customers satisfactorily. In fact, exceed beyond their expectations. You can offer VIP treatment for your special customers. Let them know they are appreciated.
- Create communities – treat your customers like members of your community. Use webinars, social media, interactive websites, conventions, and trade shows to bring different customers together. Ensure that you learn as much as you can from these forums.
- Ensure your reps are engaged – ensure that the employees are in for providing the best customer service. They must be passionate and dedicated to solving problems for customers. An engaged rep will satisfy the expectations of the customer. It would help if you focused on improving employee engagement.
- Establish a way for your customers to provide feedback – you can never address every customer’s issues successfully. You need to learn all the good, bad, and ugly experiences from your customers by receiving feedback from them. You can use surveys at the end of a service call, email surveys, and the “Contact Us” page on your site to get feedback. Collecting customer’s feedback prevents unhappy customers from airing their displeasure on exposed platforms like social media.
- Use the feedback you receive – take time to review customer feedback to identify areas of improvement and use it to make useful changes in your business.
- Say thank you – every business must invest in proactive, dedicated, top-notch customer service, or they risk facing serious losses because of unsatisfied customers. Saying thank you is a good habit to practice in customer service.
- Show respect – the entire staff must be courteous and respectful when handling customers. They must limit their motions not to overtake their desires so that the customer will walk happy.
- Track the performance of your customer care reps – ask your customers how comfortable and satisfied they were after dealing with your reps. SiteGround allows customers to rate individual representatives who attend to them. Appreciate the best performing customer service, team members.
- Use CRM platforms – CRM helps coordinate different teams by ensuring everyone is on the same page. You get insights about the customers, and you understand their needs better. You promote interaction and engagement with the customer. Customers can access whatever was promised. Most CRMs are online, meaning you can serve your customers remotely.
- Leverage multi-channel servicing – around 69% of adults in the US will prefer buying from brands that offer their services across multiple channels. You can use mobile devices assistance, social media to bridge to your customers and self-service for customers to fix minor issues by themselves.
- Define your customer service belief system – inquire from your staff about how they would define customer service. Try and understand everyone’s thinking about customer service before they start interacting and serving the customers.
- Understand your customer’s obstacles – when customers visit your premises, observe their movements and behavior. You will know how to approach them when they reach your desk for assistance.
- Data drive your business – collect valuable data about your customers. Collect details like address, name, and phone number only if the customer doesn’t mind. If customers give personal information about themselves, it means they trust you.
- Change your employment policy – hire cheerful individuals and train them for skills rather than the traditional ‘5-years’ experience.’
- Turn the customer into a sales driver – train your customer care team to talk to customers like advisors and not salespersons. Ensure that you understand deeply the benefits you are offering, so it can be easier for them to explain to friends and relatives about your business.
- Establish visible measures of success – you must identify the core customer service metrics of success. Know what keeps your customers happy so they will keep coming back.
- Law down the law of customer service – ensure that your customer service team understands that the needs of the customer are paramount and must be satisfied at all costs.
Excellent customer reviews not necessarily mean you are over-delivering customer service. There is always room for improvement. Always focus on improving the standards of your customer service. Focus on building trust, brand awareness, drive sales, improved customer loyalty, and attracting new customers in the process. Make sure your customers are happy with the satisfaction you give them online and offline.