For any business, top notch customer service is essential.
The experience you provide for your customers, including their overall satisfaction, partially depends on your business’ customer service. If people aren’t happy, you’re going to have difficulty building a loyal base of customers that return for business and recommend you to others.
One of the customer service challenges that businesses face today comes from the influx of technology, including the use of various devices, as well as the expectation of 24/7 connection opportunities.
Modern consumers have incredibly high customer service ideals, and when those ideals aren’t met, they can actually use that same technology to do damage to a business’ reputation.
Understanding how to improve customer service is essential for every business, in every industry. Whether your business is just getting started or you’ve been doing this for years, crafting exceptional customer service is a necessity.
Even already successful businesses can learn how to improve their service to ensure customer satisfaction, customer retention, and brand loyalty.
5 steps to improve Your Customer Service
Customer satisfaction is essential, which means high-level customer service cannot be ignored. There are a number of things you can focus on in order to improve your customer service and increase the level of satisfaction your clients experience.
Focus on the customer experience you create
Creating a unique, memorable customer experience is one of the most important components of your customer service.
It’s the thing that makes your brand stand out and showcases your authenticity. With a great customer experience, you can easily build a base of loyal customers that feels connected to your brand and even promotes it through word-of-mouth.
In fact, today’s consumers are more interested in a great customer experience that connects them with the brand than they are about price and even product!
People are more willing to pay more for a product from a business they feel is authentic, cares about them, and shares their values. These are the types of feelings you create through the customer experience you provide.
This is why it’s essential that you take the time to focus on the overall customer experience you are offering. If you neglect the experience, you’re going to have a hard time retaining customers, even if your product and pricing is right.
Here are some things you can do to create a stand-out, unique customer experience:
Think of the old tv show with the theme song that says, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” More and more often these days, people are looking for just that…somewhere they feel known, seen, and valued.
With so many similar businesses and products out there, it can be hard for a consumer to know which is the right one for them. Businesses that use personalization have a leg up on those that don’t, because they are the ones reaching out a hand to connect and going the extra mile to show their customers and potential customers that they care.
Start using personalization by using your customers name.
Instead of sending generic emails to your customers, and even to your leads, make sure that each one is addressed personally to their name. There are a number of automation tools you can use to send multiple emails at a time, to different people, calling each recipient by name, making it easy to add this touch of personalization to your digital communications.
You’ll also want to use their name when you connect with them on social media, when you talk with them on the phone, or even when you see them in person.
Another way to add personalization to your customer experience is through basic messages and communications. Any time you have a reason to reach out to your customers, do so in a personalized manner.
Not only will you want to address them by name, you will also want to make sure you’re using their language, talking/writing in a friendly, conversational tone, and even mixing some personal/targeted topics in with the business purpose of your communication.
Send personal emails as a part of an onboarding sequence, taking your leads down the path of the customer journey that leads to conversion. The more personalization you add to all of your communications with your customers, the better.
When you do so, you are building upon the professional relationship and showing your customers that you value them. This feeling leads to brand loyalty and is an enormous part of customer satisfaction.
Connect with leads/customers
The more connection you have with your leads and customers, the better. Modern consumers aren’t as interested in just walking into a store, browsing, finding something they like, and buying it. While that does happen, the majority of “shopping” these days happens through extended brand connection.
Social media has upped the game when it comes to the customer experience. Many new businesses understand this and have already established a high-level social media presence by the time they get going.
However, many older businesses are just beginning to jump into the social media world and aren’t quite sure of how to navigate the waters.
FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other platforms, all provide opportunities for businesses to connect with their leads and customers on a regular basis. People today use social media as a medium for finding business recommendations, getting to know the businesses, and going deeper on the customer journey.
If the business understands how to use those mediums well, they are able to connect with their leads and customers, creating a genuine pathway for growth.
The best ways to use social media to connect with people is by regularly posting relevant content and responding to all comments and messages from your leads/customers in a timely manner. Keep your engagement personal, smooth, and relevant to create an authentic means of connection.
Another way to connect with your customers is through traditional thank-you notes, birthday greetings, and more. Reaching out to your customers in a personal way when they’re not expecting it makes them feel valued, which increases their level of loyalty. Taking the time to hand-write the notes you send increases the sentiment.
Look for ways to authentically connect with your customers in order to create a top-notch customer experience. When you create a great customer experience, you’re increasing customer satisfaction.
Give Your Customers a Voice
When people have something to share, positive or negative, they appreciate the ability to do so. To really provide great customer service, you need to give your customers the opportunity to share their thoughts and provide feedback.
However, high-level customer service doesn’t end at providing feedback; you need to also show your customers that you’re listening to what they say and you value their thoughts.
Giving your customers a voice is beneficial in a couple of ways; it shows your customers that you care about their thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and it also gives you the opportunity to understand the “whys” behind your customers’ satisfaction.
Understanding why there is overall satisfaction or why there isn’t can help you to make any necessary changes. You’ll be able to improve your customer support, products, services, and make brand decisions that move you in a better direction.
There are multiple ways you can collect customer feedback. Send them surveys through email, physical mail, or social media that ask for suggestions, thoughts, and their personal experience with your business.
Allow customers to leave honest reviews on various platforms and respond to them respectfully, whether the review is positive or negative. Make sure that you are consistently present and responsive on reviews and other forms of feedback, showing your customers that you care about their thoughts and experiences.
Keep in mind that you’re not looking to just collect customer feedback, you also want to show your customers that you value what they share with you. The best way to do this is by listening to their feedback and taking action on it.
Send them thank you notes and emails for sharing their feedback. Specifically mention the suggestions they made and let them know if you take action on any of them. Your customers will feel heard and will see that they truly matter to you, which adds to their satisfaction.
Reply to Messages with a Relevant Response within Seconds
If your customers have an issue with something regarding your business, products, or services, they need to be able to communicate and have those issues resolved quickly. Modern consumers are used to fast-paced, instantaneous responses in most areas of their lives, which means they expect it when it comes to customer support. Design your customer support systems to be responsive, fast, and accurate using AI tools.
Your customer support system should utilize multiple platforms and channels in an effort to be readily available to your customers in the way that is easiest to them. This includes phone, email, live chat, and social media.
No matter what platform your customers use to connect with you, they should be able to receive a real-time response. Messages and emails must be replied to within seconds, with an accurate, customer-centric response. Using an automated tool that understands the intent of your customers, they can have the perfect automatic reply within seconds.
Make sure that your accurate auto-response goes out to your customers as soon as they send a message. Not only does this show them that their needs matter to you, it is also confirmation that their message has been received and will be addressed. Without that confirmation, your customers are more likely to use their voice and take their business elsewhere.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear and easily accessible FAQ section on your website that can help your customers with certain issues. Some concerns may not need a support agent; the customer will be able to resolve them on their own, as long as they have the right information.
An FAQ section enables your customers to search for their solutions instead of reaching out for real-time support.
The Final Word
Successful businesses will provide high-quality customer service that meets the needs of their customers.
Keeping your customers satisfied is an important step in building brand loyalty and customer retention.
In order to provide well-received, top-notch customer service, focus on creating an incredible customer experience, giving your customers a voice, and offering efficient customer service.