In today’s competitive business world it can be hard to stay ahead of the competition. Beating your rivals on price, quality or order volume might require an up-front investment that you just don’t have the capital to make at this point in time.
Beating them on customer service, however, is easier to do and can produce fast returns in terms of customer satisfaction, word of mouth marketing, and repeat business.
You may have heard an old saying along the lines of “politeness costs nothing”, and that’s so true. Training your customer service workers to be polite, personable and helpful is a good option for improving customer service.
Removing barriers to customer interaction can help too.
These simple techniques could help you to improve the customer experience:
If the above strategies are used, customers should feel empowered and in control.
Most customer service issues should “solve themselves”, and on the occasions that a customer does need to contact customer service, they are more likely to go into the interaction with a positive frame of mind.
This means that they are more likely to feel that the interaction went positively.
According to research conducted by Call Centre Helper, self-service is becoming an increasingly important aspect of customer service.
There is a growing trend towards reducing simple calls to the contact centre, leaving the more complex calls for customer service agents. This ties in with the idea of being reachable.
Lower call volumes mean that there are shorter wait times and that when a customer does need to speak to a call centre agent (or to someone at a customer service desk), they are able to do so in a timely fashion.
Recent Forrester research suggests that customers prefer to have access to more communication channels for their customer service, rather than being limited to just a few.
Channels that were not particularly significant even as recently as a couple of years ago are becoming more mainstream and important today, such as SMS, click-to-call, and virtual agents.
These are all things that are comparatively simple to implement, but can greatly increase customer satisfaction.
Soliciting feedback, and acting on the feedback that you get, is one of the most powerful ways of making customers feel valued.
Many customers have become cynical about the companies that they deal with, believing that customer feedback forms are simply discarded.
Showing that you listen to feedback can be as simple as putting a “You Asked, We Listened” sign on your noticeboard or page on your website.
This indicates that you read the last round of feedback and that based on the feedback you acted by changing certain things. If you are unable to act on something, and the explanation isn’t a trade secret, then provide that.
Answer customer emails complaining about an item being out of stock by saying “We would love to stock that for you, however, the manufacturer no longer makes that product, would you like to try these alternatives instead?”.
One of the most common pain points that customers report is having an inconsistent customer service experience depending on which platform they interact with, or who they get to speak to.
Providing your customers with consistent, timely and accurate customer service across all channels is a simple but important step.
Branding is one of the first things we look at with clients at High Velocity. Presenting the same consistent brand image across all platforms is a crucial part of providing good customer service.
Beyond that, however, it is important that all of your customer service agents follow consistent policies.
If your Facebook page customer service people are saying one thing, but the Live Chat agents on the website are saying another, this is going to lead to frustration, confusion and complaints.
Communicate policy changes, product launch information and customer service procedures clearly and promptly to everyone that deals with agents.
The last, and perhaps most important, point is to be human. Make sure that all of the people you work with understand the importance of being polite and cheerful.
Sometimes customers will be angry, frustrated or tired and it’s not because of anything that the company has done. Service with a smile will make your day that little bit better.
Even big brands can benefit from good customer service. Southwest Airlines did well in 2019, despite the challenges of grounded aircraft, because they worked hard to communicate accurately and clearly with their customers during a crisis.
Prioritising clear communication, and making a little effort to put a smile on the face of each person you deal with, is something that any company of any size can do, and that will position your brand as one that cares about its customers.
At High Velocity, we are specialists in business improvement coaching and customer experience improvement. We can help you to make your dealings with your customers even more successful.
At High Velocity Business Improvement Coaching, we are able to help you improve a vast number of areas across your business through our coaching programs.
We can coach your business to understand your problems, the size of the problems and how to solve the true root cause of these problems.
Please contact us today to book a free consultation or for more information.