Improving your customer service is one thing, but reshaping the standards that you and your staff have to uphold is another battle. Attempting to find new and improved ways to make life easier for the customer isn’t a bad step, but to truly make a difference — you’re going to have to up the level of customer service that you find acceptable.
We know by now that the customer is king, but a king is only as rich as their kingdom. What are you doing to make certain that the customer is always the priority?
If you’re not implementing a strategy that revolves around the customer, there’s a lot more work to be done before you can truly improve your customer service level. Implementing an omni-channel approach to the customer experience is a necessary first step. After you have established a solid foundation, you’re ready to challenge the industry standard and create distance between you and your competition.
By doing so, you’re able to create a connection…a relationship with your customers that fosters advocacy. In fact, 77% of customers will likely recommend a product or service if they’ve had a great customer experience. And today, there is no better way to build your customer base than with your customers.
People trust others like them, that’s why review sites, blog forums and testimonials are used so frequently. They open the doors for transparency, and leave the trust of a company up to the consumer.
So how do you up your level of customer service to create a long lasting relationship with your consumers and bridge the gap between you and your competitors? Well, it’s no easy task. Let’s look at some highly recommended strategies for improving your standards of customer service.
Take feedback seriously
This may seem obvious, but you cannot ignore the value of customer feedback. This means taking a look under the hood at all of the consumer’s pain points, needs, and experiences.
This means you need to provide effortless and multiple channels for providing feedback. A pain point for your customers shouldn’t be telling you their pain points. This should mirror your omni-channel strategy. There should be phone surveys, email surveys, comment sections on content…the list goes on.
Complaint systems are fairly standard, but to help you and your customers out — they should be separate from simple review systems.
Take it all in, the good and the bad. Any feedback is ammo for insight. Responding to feedback also bolsters the relationship you have with your customers. They feel valued, listened to, and that their opinion and experience with your product or service matters.
Improve your team
You’re only as good as your weakest link. This is especially true when it comes to a customer service team. Any and all interactions your customers have with your team is a representation of your company as a whole. It’s important that the standards you want to set for your representatives parallels the level of customer service you want to implement.
Your team needs to have the right equipment and skills necessary to improve your customer service level. This means hiring the right professionals with the right skills and mindset for carrying out your company’s values and ambitions. If everyone isn’t on the same page when it comes to putting the customer first, you’re setting yourself up for issues down the road.
Your team needs to be empathetic and resourceful when it comes to solving customer problems and coming up with creative solutions. Your representatives need to have a diverse sense of understanding when dealing with customer problems.
Excellent communication skills and patience are a must. Getting the message across to the consumer in their language will help build rapport.
Your team also must have a deep understanding of your products, services, pricing, and all avenues of solutions available. These are dynamic. This mean that you also need to have robust training sessions and practices in place to keep up with changing tides.
How can you up the level of customer service without knowing how well your team is doing? The answer: you can’t.
You need to be tracking your representatives performance and taking action. Ask your customers about their experiences with representatives or anyone they interact with. It’s essential to know if there is a bad seed that can spoil the whole.
Rating systems for representatives and staff are a quick and simple way to see a snapshot of customer interactions with your team.
Reward good work
Keeping your team on the same page is priority one. But not far behind is appreciating all of the good work they do. Without the proper motivation and incentives, there is no reason for your team to improve their level of customer service.
Keeping real time tracking of goals and incentives will also improve day-to-day operations. Having constant reminders of the positive side effects of tremendous work is incredible.