Five great ways to improve your customer service

Positive and helpful customer service can generate considerable goodwill and loyalty amongst customers, but how do you guarantee an engaging experience is enjoyed by all when you have so many other plates to keep spinning?

What people think about your business is vital and it can play a big part in shaping your business’s growth. In this article, we’re going to run through five key areas where practical changes could ensure customers are happy, listened to, and that your business booms through excellent word-of-mouth.

1. Hire the right personalities

You can teach skills, but it’s much harder to teach an attitude. So, when appointing staff for customer-facing roles, why not make ‘friendly and approachable’ and ‘customer focus’ key requirements?

The ability to problem-solve and prevent customer issues escalating is a great asset for any staff member. When interviewing candidates, you might want to ask what they would do in a particular scenario to see how they can help you keep customer satisfaction high.

2. Get your team on board

If you want your customer experience to be excellent, make sure your staff treat it as a top priority right from the start, by including customer service as a key part of your training. It needn’t be complicated.

For example, perhaps you run a café and you want to offer a refund or deal to anyone who isn’t happy with their food. Staff will simply need to know how to listen to customers and respond accordingly.

If quick and efficient service is your priority, ensure delays are explained in good time, make sure customers aren’t left in a communication limbo, then offer a solution.

Furthermore, if excellent customer service is key to the success of the business, then incentivise this. What about awards and prizes for staff who excel?

3. Give customers the right tools

It’s not always possible to get back to everyone as fast as you would like, so it’s useful to have a range of ways for them to gather information about your business. That might mean allotting web pages to explain how complaints or questions can be raised. You might even add a detailed FAQ section to your website that you can fill with answers to questions customers tend to ask.

4. Be customer focused

If you think your customers aren’t always getting your best service, it might be worthwhile drawing up a simple customer service plan to help make your business more focused on their needs and expectations.

List what customers are likely to want from you. Then, using that list, think what would be needed to supply the best possible customer service to them in each situation. How does what you do compare to what would be considered the best?

Taking what you have just learned, make amendments to your training and policies to reflect any improvements you’d like to make.

You might even want to consider:

  • Having a policy on refunds or resolving complaints
  • Discounts on services
  • Dealing with difficult customers
  • Setting a few customer guarantees

5. Be proactive

Rather than just reacting to things that don’t quite go to plan, how about looking out for customer issues before they arise or become burdensome?

Checking to make sure customers are happy can be a great way to stop problems from escalating. To make sure things are right, all you really need to do is ask your customers. You might even want to ask them one or two additional questions about what improvements could be made and then feed that back into your training and your service planning.

If comments are also made about your business on social media, it’s important to have a plan for responding. So, how about a quick acknowledgement and a follow-up in good time?

If other people see you’re professional and doing the right thing, that’s a win.

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