Providing exceptional customer service isn’t always easy. After all, if everyone could do it, it wouldn’t be exceptional! If you want to take your customer service to the next level and outshine your competitors, you need to take a very specific approach.
Here are 8 ways you can take your customer service to the next level.
1. Know Thy Customer
Knowing exactly who your customer is vital in order to give them the best service possible. When you know who your customer is, you can create products and services meet their needs, you can create content that will keep them interested, and you can provide the customer service they’re looking for. Understanding the common issues that your customers have and the questions they are asking goes a long way in pleasing your customer.
2. Be Fast and Responsive
Nobody likes to be kept waiting. Your customers definitely don’t appreciate having to wait before having their problems addressed. So, when it comes to customer service, you need to be lightning fast. The faster you solve your client’s issues, the better they’re going to feel about the company and the more they trust you, resulting in positive reviews and referrals.
3. Respond to Both Complaints and Compliments
Criticism can be harsh. It’s not fun for anybody to read or listen to negative reviews, but the only way to grow is to know where you’re making mistakes. This is why complaints are so important. Consumers are generally very vocal about their problems with a company, including their opinions on a company’s customer service! Listen closely to complaints to find out where your customer service might be lacking.
Compliments are just as important. Knowing what you’re doing right is equally important in refining your strategy, not to mention being a powerful motivational tool. When you get a compliment on some aspect of your customer service, take that as a win and also inspiration.
4. Pay Attention to Forums
The internet is a vast space with endless amounts of knowledge that can be useful to your business if you know where to look. If you’re not paying attention to such a valuable resource, you’re missing out on data you won’t be able to access as easily anywhere else.
The internet has forums full of people talking about every topic under the sun, and you bet one of these topics is customer service. There could be discussions about your company, your competitors, and more that will provide insight into your customer. These forums are a great way to understand what changes you can make to your customer service policies and behaviours. You can also start your own discussions – after all, if you don’t ask they’ll never tell!
5. Use Focus Groups
Another great way to ask for insight is to conduct focus groups. Focus groups involve bringing in groups of potential customers and asking them to show you what they like and don’t like about your business. When you are conducting a focus group, it is important to make your customers feel important and comfortable. You can do this with high-tech visitor passes, refreshments, a less formal environment, incentives, and your undivided attention.
6. Know Your Competitors
So, you’ve gotten to know your customer, you’ve conducted the focus groups, you’ve scoured the internet, and you still want some more information. This is when you turn to your competitors. It is critical to keep an eye on the competition. Understanding the way your competitors approach customer service can give you important insights into your own. You may find problems in your competitor’s customer service that you can take advantage of, or get good ideas that you can implement in your own business.
7. Clear Communication
Clear communication is essential in all aspects of business, and no more so than when it comes to customer service. Remember that communication isn’t just verbal, and clear written communication is also vital. Any answers need to be in a clear, natural, and calm tone. Any action you’re taking, whether it be putting them on hold or ending an interaction, needs to be clearly stated. For the most part, customers are looking for quick solutions but creating a space for more queries is also important.
8. Positivity Rules
Do you enjoy talking to a grumpy person? Your customer doesn’t either. Using positive language in writing and while talking to a customer can significantly improve their mood and attitude towards any problems or issues. Positive spins keep the customer firmly in the present, prevents them from going off on a tangent in their rage or irritation. Nobody can remain angry when faced with unrelenting positivity. You’ll improve your customer’s day as well as your company’s brand image.
At the end of the day, improving customer service boils down to the basic essentials. As long as you communicate clearly, empathise, and remain positive, you’re on the right path to pleasing as many customers as possible!
Open Business Council offers resources, Trade Finance, business advice, SME Finance and a forum and directory for businesses! Improve your business and use the best digital, financial and funding tools to grow ROI – return on investment and ROA – return on attention!