When it comes to building a successful company, quality products and services matter a lot. In their quest to create the very best offerings, though, many entrepreneurs forget about the customer experience. You can design the most unique, in-demand product in the world, but if your customer service isn’t up to snuff, your brand will suffer. The good news? Learning how to improve customer service isn’t rocket science. In fact, there are a number of actionable tips you can implement right away.
How to Improve Customer Service
Improving the customer service experience starts with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals. Quality customer service always starts with personalization. A personalized interaction with a customer can go a long way in fostering brand loyalty and enthusiasm. Equally as important are competent service providers. If your team is not adequately trained to provide the goods and services your company offers, disastrous customer experiences are inevitable.
Convenience is another important principle of customer service. If you’re not designing your customer experience to be as convenient as possible, you run the risk of annoying customers before they even begin their buyer’s journey. It’s also important to be proactive. Rather than waiting for negative feedback, proactively reach out to customers when you know an order may be delayed or your website will be down for maintenance. While these principles are hardly revolutionary, addressing them can go a long way to improve customer service.
Design Memorable Customer Experiences
Think back to the very best instances of customer service you’ve experienced yourself. Odds are good that the person helping you went above and beyond in some way to make your day a little brighter. Maybe a server treated you to a free dessert for your anniversary dinner, or a plumber worked extra hours to fix the mysterious leak under your sink for good. No matter your own personal history with good customer service, it’s important to bring this sense of commitment to each interaction you have with your customers.
Learning how to improve customer service offerings often boils down to treating people the way you’d like to be treated. You don’t necessarily have to work overtime or give away free stuff to win people over. Instead, work to over deliver on customer expectations. Addressing customers by name, sending personalized thank you notes, and rewarding loyalty can go a long way to create brand enthusiasts. In turn, your customers will be more likely to share their experiences with friends and family. Considering how valuable word of mouth recommendations can be, this is one tip to improve customer service that you won’t want to skip out on.
Offer Quick, Customized Support
When a customer has a problem, how quickly can they get in touch with you and your team? The answer can reveal a lot about how to improve customer service. We live in an age of instant gratification. While traditional business hours might technically still exist, people expect to be able to reach out to companies and get a response practically instantaneously. Nobody wants to spend time waiting on hold or being passed around from department to department. Our free time is our most valuable commodity, and failing to respect the time of callers is a major customer service faux pas.
Offering 24/7 support is a great way to combat this all too common administrative challenge. In terms of effectiveness, few customer service improvement strategies are as valuable. By partnering with a virtual receptionist service, you can offer round the clock support for callers. A dedicated customer support team can do wonders to improve the customer experience while giving your in-house team a much-needed break from the constant ringing of the telephone. It’s a win-win for you, your colleagues, and your customers alike. In a 24/7 world, stepping up your customer service offerings means meeting your customers where they are – whether it’s two AM or two PM!
It’s impossible to improve what you don’t know needs fixing. Customer feedback is an incredibly valuable asset that far too many companies forgo entirely. Feedback is a clear indication of how well you’re meeting customer expectations. Hard data can help you understand what you’re doing well, where there might be room for improvement, and how you can better deliver on the expectations of your customers. The sheer act of asking for feedback sends a message to customers that you value their opinions, too. It can make the difference between good and great customer service.
Curious about how to measure customer satisfaction? Start by looking into how loyal your customers are. If you have a lot of repeat business, odds are good that you’re doing something right. To delve more specifically into how to improve your customer experience, you may want to offer a survey or questionnaire via social media or your email listserv. Focus groups can be similarly revelatory. Don’t have the bandwidth to take on survey projects? Look to customer reviews for common themes and complaints. These can serve as guideposts for your journey to improve customer service.
Find Outsourced Partners
If you’re struggling with how to improve customer service, it’s okay to ask for help. Offering consistent, high quality customer service takes a lot of manpower, training, and resources. Outsourced partners like live answering services can relieve your team of such burdens, allowing you to focus on other important items on your to-do list. In many cases, callers have no idea they’re speaking with a third-party answering service, allowing for a truly seamless transition from your office to a US-based call center.
MAP Communications is one partner to consider. After 30 years in the industry, we’ve perfected the art of customer service. Whether you’re looking for ways to improve customer service or just want some help delivering the kind of high standards you’ve set for your brand, MAP can rise to every occasion. Curious about what kind of value MAP can add to your organization? Sign up for a free trial of our live answering service today!