You can manufacture high-quality products, but if your business’s customer service skills are lacking, it will struggle to grow. Consumers often value direct interaction over other factors, so it’s worth thinking of ideas for improving customer service. From active listening to following up on feedback, here are our 7 top customer service tips.
1. Use active listening to build rapport
Communication is at the heart of great customer service. You need to build a rapport with customers to find out what they want and keep them happy. Start by encouraging your reps to identify common ground with customers, based on shared interests.
While sharing benefits of your products or services is a good start, it’s even more important to listen. This is where the idea of active listening comes in. Active listening involves not only listening to what the customer says. It also involves empathizing with the customer, asking clarifying questions, and rephrasing their words in a quick summary.
2. Be consistent at every touchpoint
Businesses interact with customers through multiple interfaces, so you should strive to create a positive experience at every touchpoint of their journey. This starts with the first visit to your website, office, or retail space, and extends into any emailed queries, phone calls, or surveys. Train all business reps to provide a consistent experience in line with your brand voice and personality. Use customer service improvement strategies based on the concept of omnichannel support:
Social media interactions
These should provide a seamless customer experience as best practice.
3. Know your products inside and out
This one might seem obvious, but one of the best ways to improve customer service is simply by knowing everything about the products or services offered. All representatives should be well-versed in company specifics, knowing the ins and outs of all products they’re selling. Keep informed with the latest industry trends, know your competitors, and be able to highlight all unique product USPs to give customers detail-oriented tips.
4. Send personalized messages
Many of the easiest customer service tips relate to personalization. Something as small as using a customer’s name during interactions can set your business apart. When a potential client visits your website to request more information, reach out with a personalized email rather than a generic form. You can easily improve customer service relationships by using a friendly, informal tone of voice, and include your own name as a personal contact. Customers want to speak to real people, not chatbots.
5. Be available
We’ve already mentioned the importance of offering consistent service through multiple channels. Omnichannel support also functions as a way to be available to customers for a rapid response. If your business is large enough to warrant this, consider hiring a dedicated customer service team on call for 24/7 responses. Consider hiring freelance workers for live chat if your business is smaller. If a customer is choosing between two businesses, they’ll tend to opt for the one that responds first.
6. Create a community
Social media allows businesses to create an appealing sense of community. Be sure to respond to comments on social media profiles, interacting with customers yourself and encouraging them to interact with one another. Additional ways to bring customers together could include trade shows, webinars, online tasting sessions, interactive websites, or special events.
7. Make follow-up a routine habit
Finally, one of the best ways to generate ideas for improving customer service is simply to ask. Always ask for feedback from your customers, whether it’s through a phone survey or online poll. Add a “contact us” section to your website so you know what’s working and how you can improve customer service. After gathering feedback, make it a habit to follow up with customers. If you solve a problem, make sure the solution is still working for them.
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