Did you know that it costs five times more to win a new customer than it does to retain a current one? Unfortunately, customers are definitely not loyal by nature, and research indicates that emotion is the biggest influencer of purchasing decision.
The key to creating a lasting relationship with your brand or service is connecting to your customers on an emotional level.
Anyone can simply deliver a product or service: you need to develop a close relationship with your customer, and you do this by offering each customer their own unique customer experience. This can be achieved not only by using these tips but also by using the right help desk software. You anticipate customer needs and expectations and ensure that you exceed them every single time.
Top-quality customer service is an attitude that should be engrained in each and every department of your business, and it starts and ends with your employees – from the desk clerk right through to the Chief Executive Officer.
It’s a lot more than just a slogan on the boardroom wall. Delivering excellent customer service is created by a customer service oriented tone that’s the driving force behind your company.
Below we’ve listed some excellent customer service tips to help you focus on some of the most vital elements that drive customer satisfaction.
Business is all about people, people are called ‘customers’, and customers are ordinary individual people.
When you focus all your energies on the merchandise in your store you’re forgetting the most important component of running your business – your customer. Remember, without your customers you have no business!
Tip 1: Train (and pay) your staff
Don’t assume that you can run your business by paying the lowest wages, doing little or no staff training, and offering the least benefits: it doesn’t work that way, and it will show. It’s not companies that help customers – its people! You must have top-quality employees, highly trained in customer service.
A happy customer service team will pay off in the long run. Training your customer service reps to use active listening to really understand your customer’s problem will help inspire customer loyalty.
Tip 2: Model behavior you want to see
Remember that your staff members will treat your customers the same way they are treated by you. They’re taking their cue from you and other management personnel. Good customer service starts from the top.
Are you out there greeting your employees each day? Do you actively attempt to accommodate their requests? Are you polite and respectful in your dealing with them? When they speak are you listening – really listening? Consistently rude customer service is a reflection of management behavior more so than of employees’ behavior.
Tip 3: Know your customer
When a regular customer enters your store or facility, would you recognize them? Do you know your customer’s name? We all like to feel important, and when you call someone by name it’s a very simple way of saying to that customer “You’re important to me, and I value you as a customer.”
Sometimes the best customer service happens even when a customer doesn’t even have an issue. Every face-to-face interaction is an opportunity to add a personal touch that will turn regular customers into loyal customers.
Tip 4: Go the extra mile
Go the extra mile for excellent customer service. It’s those little things that customers remember: that “thank you” note you included in their package; the birthday card, and so on. There are many ways of keeping in contact with your customers and bringing them closer to you.
Truly exceptional customer service comes when anyone on your team (not just your customer support representatives!) really goes above and beyond the customer’s expectations. Do you want a stellar review on social media? Then surprise your customer by going the extra mile.
Tip 5: Measure your customer support team
There are lots of tools that provide analytics to provide you with statistics to measure how effective your customer service representatives are. Understanding response time is critical to knowing how long your customers are waiting for a response to their issue or question.
Customer issues that go unresolved lead to churn and lost business. It’s important customer questions get answered in a timely manner and a metric like response time helps understand how long customers are waiting. Another metric like net promoter score can also be helpful to understand how your customers feel about your business.
Tip 6: Let your customer be right
The old saying ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy’ fits here. Do you want to be right and lose a customer? Are you happy to lose a customer forever just because you wouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt? You can’t win an argument with a customer – so don’t ever put them in the position of having to defend themselves.
Tip 7: Use a knowledge base
If your customers can contact you via email or online, using a knowledge base and a chatbot is a great way to provide great customer service without a lot of work on your end. Sometimes customers just need an answer to a simple questions, and a chatbot or knowledge base give the customer a self-service option (if they like).
You can provide better customer service by using templates to automatically respond to customer complaints. A template allows your customer service agents to use a prewritten response to a common question or problem.
Tip 8: Know how to handle angry customers
Are your employees well trained in how to handle an angry, unhappy customer? You must give your staff guidelines of how to behave and what to say in every conceivable situation. When you put a staff member on the frontline of a situation, they’re the ones who are playing a critical role in your company’s customer service delivery. It’s very important that they know exactly what’s expected of them; that they know what to do and say; and that their objective is still to provide this customer with great service.
Tip 9: Gather customer feedback
If you ever wonder what your customers actually think of your company, why not ask them? Leave a ‘How are we doing’ card at the register or exit, or in their package: ask what they do and don’t like; what they would love changed; how could you do things better; how was their latest experience, and so on.
Pre-stamp the card so your customers will be encouraged to send it back to you. Be sure to acknowledge receipt of the card if the customers provide their name and address. Don’t just sit on the information you receive: this is a wonderful way to get first-hand knowledge of how you might be able to improve your overall customer service, and then implement some changes. Gathering customer feedback is critical to improving as a team and company.
Tip 10: Follow up
Our final tip is to always follow up with your customer after you’ve solved their problem or issue. When you follow up, you give the customer an opportunity to confirm that their issue was resolved.
What’s the bottom line? In business, it’s not so much about winning customers, it’s all about retaining them; and the only way to retain customers is to provide them with a positive experience, and by giving them just that little bit extra.
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