Trying to improve customer service, but don’t know where to start? Don’t overcomplicate your search. There are some time tested techniques that can help almost any business. Set up a 30-day timetable to implement these techniques and improve upon them. The seven ways to improve customer service are:
- Be responsive to a situation
- Have FAQ workers can recite or solutions to common problems
- Be disability friendly
- Build a unique relationship
- Manage expectations
- Correct mistakes
- Give practical training to co-workers
Be responsive to a situation
Half the battle with dealing with unruly customers is understanding their problems. If you want to improve customer service, try to be keenly aware of your customer’s problems. Listen to them intently, both before you make a sale and after.
It’s one of the main ways small businesses can compete with large companies like Amazon and stay ahead of losing customers. If you can give the customers the feeling that they are valued and heard they are much more likely to stay with you. You may not be able to compete price-wise with large corporations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go above and beyond with your service to help a customer out.
Don’t just try to upsell customers; try to find the best product for them at the best price for them. Keeping the right customer is going to cost you less in the long run and provide a source of revenue for years to come.
Have FAQs that workers can recite or solutions to common problems
Notice that your customers are coming in with repeated problems or questions on how to operate your products? Improve customer service by creating a standard set of rules or guidelines to help people fix issues. However, this may seem like you are giving standard answers and not being individualistic with your customers so personalize each answer as best you can.
You can also use content marketing to showcase common problems or solutions on your website. Don’t be afraid to use Social Media to answer common questions. Being active with customer problems in a public manner can help entice other customers.
On the contrary, customers want simple solutions to problems, especially if it won’t cost them extra money. However, this is most applicable to a common service or product you sell. What about when customers come in with common questions like:
- What is the best oil for my car?
- What type of speaker should I buy?
- What wood should I use for my flooring?
- Where can I find books written by a specific author
- What’s the best microphone for a podcast with only two hosts when my budget is $100?
Those questions can be pretty generic (except that last one), but contain multiple answers. Let’s use “What type of speaker should I buy?” There are a multitude of answers for that person. However, you can narrow down the selection process by using three main signifiers.
- Price point
- Daily usage
- Special features
This can be even more specific to your line of work. However, these three key determiners can help you explain what may be best for the customer and show them comparable items. For our example, the customer tells us:
- He has a $300 dollar price range
- He needs it to be highly portable
- He wants it to be loud enough for a pool party
Based on simple traits, you could determine a set of products for that customer. Try to do this with your products as well. Define a couple of techniques to measure what a customer wants and their budget. It will help you improve sales performance and improve customer service.
Be disability friendly
A key staple on any guide on how to improve customer service will include that you should make your products and services disability-friendly. Not only is a great way to learn more about a different way of life, but you can serve others in a vital role, which is unfortunately seen by society as an afterthought.
Consider hiring those with disabilities on your staff! Your staff will be able to service new customers and grow in both diversity of opinions and skill set. Hiring someone can help you prioritize access to all and make sure your business is a welcoming environment. As Deborah Stadtler puts it:
“Providing access goes beyond making sure people who use canes or wheelchairs can navigate stairs or doorways. Inclusive design means that people with disabilities can also use websites and digital tools.”
Build a unique relationship
One of the few secrets no one told you about starting a business was the fact that you would need to build relationships that last a lifetime – not only for your workers, but with your clients as well. Call customers often to see how they are doing, and ask where you can improve your services.
People are more than willing to give their opinion on where you can improve customer service, so ask them!
However, If you deal with B2B relationships then you need to understand that selling takes time. You can’t force a thousand dollar relationship overnight. You need to do your homework about a company, its structure, and who has the decision making power.
Establish that your company can deliver results in a timely manner and that you can be counted on when delivering services.
It is always best to overperform expectations. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have high standards. Rather, you need to be consistent in making those standards a reality for your clients. Manage client expectations by setting clear objectives, meeting them in a timely manner, and improving during future service.
Don’t promise something you don’t know you can deliver on.
It is inevitable that somewhere along the line you will make a mistake. The worst thing you can do is to double down on them and not help your customer when you make a mistake. Instead, fix the problem as soon as it arises.
Improve your customer service by being a business that operates with integrity. Be proactive in helping customers live their best lives.
Give practical training to co-workers
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to improve customer service include practical training for every employee. Train them extensively and how to use your products or services. However, you shouldn’t stop there.
Consider training your employees in de-escalation tactics. Help them maneuver the uncomfortable situation of a defective product. Institute a reward program for high customer service marks. Don’t let your staff be behind the curve, instead encourage education and instruction within the workplace.
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