Improving the level of customer service in your team or business is the single easiest way to build, strengthen and develop relationships with your customers. The customer service provided by your team might already be perfectly adequate, but like all areas of business, if you are not constantly seeking to improve, then your customer relationships will stagnate. Read on for some great tips to boost your customer service provision into the stratosphere.
Build Firm Foundations
The first step is to make sure that your team has the skills for the job. Some things can be taught; other skills are personality-based. You’re looking for aspects such as patience, empathy, product knowledge and commitment. Emphasise the importance of consistency in these skills in customer service. Organise active hands-on training for your team to solidify these basic skills.
Analyse Every Contact Point
The customer experience consists of a series of points at which the customer comes into contact with your company. A negative experience at any point can ruin the entire relationship. Consistency, as well as quality, of customer service is key here, as is the development of a holistic view of the customer experience.
Optimise Customer Interactions
There are a number of things that can be done here. Develop active listening skills with your team, such as repeating the customer’s query, so your customers feel understood and listened to. Help your team to understand that by identifying shared interests or common ground with customers, conflict is much more easily overcome. Don’t be afraid to admit to your mistakes, even if you uncover them before the customer. This builds a strong sense of trust and confidence.
Personalise Your Communication
CRM and POS systems are a necessity in modern business and are increasingly affordable. POS allows you to break down sales into demographic groups and individuals, making it possible to glean customer preferences and attitudes. With this information, you can reach out with personalised marketing tailored to specific groups of customers to make them feel that you care.
Maximise Employee Engagement
Despite all of your efforts, if your staff aren’t fully engaged and happy at work, this discontent will filter through to customers. Employees might be unwilling to come forward with complaints, so try an anonymous comments box or an engagement survey to see what can be improved on.
Facilitate Customer Feedback
It’s a fact of life that no matter how hard you try, it just isn’t possible to deal with every customer’s problem there and then. You can improve for the future, though, by creating an accessible means for customers to provide you with feedback on their experience. Depending on the nature of your business, this could be via a questionnaire before terminating a service call or an online survey with a link provided on customers’ receipts. Asking “What could we do better next time?” shows your dedication to providing proactive customer service.
Enhance Your Overall Customer Service Strategy
One factor to consider here, depending on your business, is the contemporary expectation of immediacy. Customers expect you to be available all of the time, and they also expect swift rectification of their problems. If your business is web-based, consider providing a live chat applet on your site to allow your customers to engage 24/7.
Allsquare are professional accountants in Edinburgh offering financial and business services to help small to medium companies with business growth strategies. For more information, call Allsquare today on 0131 343 1510.