New businesses all have one thing in common: they want growth, and they want it now.
Growth looks different to each business. A small mom-and-pop corner market may be satisfied with a year of higher profit margins than the one previous, while an internet startup might look to user engagement numbers to measure growth. Regardless of your industry or goals, there’s one thing you have to have in place to ensure success: a customer service plan.
No matter your hopes and dreams for your business, you likely can’t achieve them without catering to your customers along the way. Fail to do so and you’ll miss out on sales opportunities and see your customer retention rates plummet. Thankfully, there are a few easy strategies to implement when creating your customer service plan.
Understand Your Buyer’s Journey
To provide excellent customer service, you’ve got to get into the heads of each of the most common types of client. A busy mom stopping in on her commute home will have far different customer service needs than a group of college kids perusing your offerings between classes. Getting into the minds of your customers is critical to providing the kind of service that drives sales.
To incorporate this kind of psychology into your customer service plan, take a moment to reflect on the five or six most common kinds of buyers you encounter regularly. Demographics, needs, and budgets can all fit into this profile. Ultimately, you want to better understand the motivations and desires of your customers and then use the information to inform your customer service strategies.
Communicate Across Channels
Your office or physical storefront is no longer the first opportunity for you to engage with customers. Instead, your website and social media profiles serve as the digital equivalent. Just as you’d hire the friendliest possible employees to cater to the needs of customers or clients who visit you in person, you’ll want to carry that same commitment to customer service through your virtual interactions, too.
It’s crucial that your customer service plan includes communication across channels. Email and phone calls are a good start, but you want to meet customers where they’re at instead of forcing them to communicate on your terms. Instant chat on your website, 24/7 availability by phone, and quick responses on Facebook and Twitter are all non-negotiables. Incorporate these channels into your customer service strategies or you may be left behind.
Respond to Customers Quickly
For better or for worse, we live in a time of instant gratification. While consumers were once happy to wait for business hours to speak to your customer service department, they now demand near-instant responses to their questions and concerns. If your customer service plan doesn’t include some form of quick response solution to messages, calls and emails, you may find your customer base turning to your competitors instead.
While it’s important to be available to your customers, you and your team must also strive to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Thankfully, you don’t have to choose between excellent customer service and time away from the office. Outsourcing partners can help you strike the right balance. Incorporate a call center plan to cover customer service or technical support, an after hours answering service to take care of callers overnight, or a virtual receptionist service to cover calls during the day while you focus on your work. Each of these are proven ways to enhance your customer service plan.
Train Employees to Exceed Expectations
You have high standards for your employees, and those expectations have no doubt helped you build a successful company. Now, ratchet up your customer service offerings by encouraging your employees and giving them the tools to go above and beyond. Increasing globalization means that competition is fiercer than ever before. In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, your customer service plan must include ways to delight and inspire consumers to share their excitement and return to your company again and again.
Of course, exceeding expectations is easier said than done. As with any customer service strategy, though, you can learn a lot by placing yourself in the customer’s shoes. For instance, if a customer is returning a pair of pants that are too small, offer to overnight them a larger size for free. The extra shipping costs are a drop in the bucket of your overall operating expenses, and you’ll surprise and delight the customer in an unexpected way that will keep them coming back for future orders.
Connect with Customer Service Partners Now
If you’re ready to take control of your latest customer service plan, consider working with customer service experts like MAP Communications. Our team partners with businesses large and small to deliver customer service with a smile. No matter your requirements, MAP can help support your efforts to connect with customers while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. With more than three decades in the call center industry, we’ve become synonymous with stellar customer service – in most cases, callers have no idea they’re speaking to a third party extension of your company!
Eager to learn more about our offerings? Give our free, week-long trial a try! For seven days, you’ll receive the kind of holistic customer service support necessary to keep your customers happy. Sign up now to give MAP a try!
Want more? Check out our four-part Ultimate Customer Service Guide here!