The following is a guest post by Jessica Freeman from Top Writing Tips.
Companies are always looking for new ways to make a name for themselves. The competition is almost always growing, and new strategies and actions must be implemented to keep up with the constant flux. Providing perfect customer service is just one way to stand out from the crowd and thrive.
Amazing customer service may not favor your business on a short-term basis, but it does improve your brand image, which means a lot in the long run. Customers that are extremely pleased with how they’ve been treated will start spreading the word.
No matter how big or small a business is, it must focus on making its customers happy. There are many ways to do this—with the strength of the product, with the free incentives that have been offered, or with amazing customer service experiences.
With all the competition out there, succeeding with your business nowadays is a matter of will. Are you willing to provide the best possible value? Are you willing to offer your customers the perfect customer experience? If you are, then start working harder.
This article will outline a few important tips to help you and your clients provide the perfect customer service experience to your customers.
1. Know your products (really)
No matter the business or industry you’re in, knowing your products inside and out is absolutely necessary. Customer service is, after all, all about helping your customers succeed with your products. Therefore, your customer service should focus on offering the proper suggestions, tips and solutions.
It’s not just you who has to know your products well. Each and every employee should know the ins and outs of what you’re selling. Helping your employees succeed by providing the proper training for your employees (regardless of their job description) is the first step in helping your clients succeed.
Notice how I didn’t call out your customer service employees specifically? That’s because it’s quite obvious that all of them must perfectly understand the products that are being sold. It’s their job to come with up with solutions, and yours too!
2. Be more accessible
If you want your customer service department to be perfect, or almost perfect, here’s what you should know—customer service must be accessible to all of your customers. This is one of your goals, and you must look after it quickly.
One easy way of accomplishing this is setting up more communication channels. The minimum that you can do is to provide a phone number, an e-mail address and a mailing address. These are the most common communication ways, but not the only ones.
If you can afford it, and if you really need it, develop an online support desk that can be instantly reached 24/7. This communication channel is usually required when the company reaches a big number of requests and website visitors.
3. Speed up your response times
Customers love quick answers. Whenever they request help, it’s obvious that their problems are important to them. It might be your product that’s been broken, or it could be an order that hasn’t arrived. Either way, answering quick definitely counts.
According to a recent report performed by Frost, 41% of customers suggest that their biggest frustration regarding customer service is when they’re put on hold. They want to be respected, and you must give your best to solve everyone’s issues quickly
4. Focus on the customer, not on the sale
Customer service is nothing like copywriting, marketing, or selling. Instead, it’s all about the customer’s feelings and experience. You must focus on their well-being, and you must avoid thinking about other aspects.
If you want to leverage your customer service system in order to make more sales, I’m sorry to disappoint you: it’s not that effective! The selling part is totally different, and you should separately focus on it.
5. Clear communication
Angela Moss, senior customer service representative at Australian Writings suggests that: “Your customers don’t want stories or jokes from you. They don’t want you to make them feel happy or fulfilled. Nope; instead, they really want to fix their problem quickly. No matter what the problem is, it’s obvious that you have a chance to help them, and they definitely expect that from you.”
Keep everything simple and ask straightforward questions. Find out how you can help them, figure out a solution, and clearly communicate your answers. Grammar and spelling must be perfect, otherwise, your credibility as a professional company will slowly vanish.
6. Over-deliver whenever possible
Over delivering counts for a lot. After all, your customer service is meant to help people solve issues and to make them loyal customers. Did you know that on average, loyal customers can be worth 10x more than their first purchase (HelpScout)?If someone gets treated right, they'll often come back. They’ll perceive you as a trustworthy authority; therefore, over delivering from time to time helps your reputation grow positively.
Find a way to reward your customers for being patient. It could be anything. Nothing costly or hard to obtain. Ideally, this small attention should also deliver some value. If only your employees are dealing with customer service, here’s how I’d proceed if I were you:
Let them know what you have in mind. You can decide whether to over deliver to those who had waited for too long, or to those who bought more products. You make your own criteria. Communicate your wishes to your employees and make them understand the reason you’re doing this.
If you trust them enough, let them decide who to reward. If not, take this responsibility into your own hands and make your own decisions.
7. Find and fix your mistakes
Mistakes are a part of any business, especially if it’s a long-term business. The mistake could be caused by you or by your employees. Nevertheless, do your best to make it right. When we’re talking about mistakes, we’re talking about a customer that hasn’t been treated right.
You can make it right by offering them solutions, returns and future guarantees. Pay attention: if you’re not fixing your mistakes in time, your company’s reputation will suffer. People will start talking, reviewing, and sooner than later you’ll realize that your sales are dropping.
8. Test, fail, test again and ultimately optimize
Before reaching success, every business is going through a trial-and-error process. The marketplace and the customers tend to be more complicated as the time passes. Therefore, as the company owner, you have to find the proper solutions to ensure better productivity.
Testing and failing is very common, and you should not be afraid to fail. Failure is just a feedback—it lets you know what not to do so you can start focusing on things that might work. After you find something that works, begin the scaling process. Optimize everything until you find the balance that you’re looking for.
People buy things because they need or want them. Your products and services value are the first important thing. The second is the experience that your customers have while visiting your platform. No matter what type of business you have, make sure that each and every visitor of your website receives the proper help and guidance.