Customer service is everything if you want to run a successful business.
Without customers, there are no sales, and without sales, there is no business, without the aftercare, there is no loyalty. There are certain customer service requirements that every business must abide by if they want to take over a competitor. Without an excellent aftercare and customer service in place, you’ll lose customers and could tarnish your businesses name.
There are many ways to improve customer service, here are our top four:
1. 24/7 Availability & Quick Response
If a customer can’t get hold of you, you could lose their loyalty forever. One of the biggest factors in excellent customer service is speed, especially when a consumer needs information that’s time sensitive. Make sure you have the requirements in your business to facilitate client needs. This could be additional employees to run customer services, office space and more.
Having a live chat option on your website will encourage customers to get in touch if an issue arises. You need to be on the ball 24/7 to run such a service, but it would benefit both the business and the customer if someone is available at all times.
If 24/7 not an option? Simple…Make it clear when people can get hold of you.
Facebook and Twitter have introduced ways to improve customer services with new features to contribute to making it easier for businesses to run a smooth customer service, even if they’re not available every minute of every waking hour.
Make it clear when people can get hold of you. Facebook and Twitter have introduced ways to improve customer services with new features to contribute to making it easier for businesses to run a smooth customer service, even if they’re not available every minute of every waking hour.
Facebook now have the option to send automated messages if you are unable to respond at a particular time. Simply putting ‘Someone will be with you shortly’ is enough to keep customers sweet until you can resolve the issue.
Twitter have also introduced the option to provide tweet response times – you can find this in a bio. For example, Bric Bar, a restaurant and bar in Nottingham, have their response times on their Twitter page. They say they’re most likely to respond between 12:00-17:00.
There is nothing more exasperating than needing customer support but no way of contacting the business. You’d be surprised how many companies have no form of contact information anywhere on social media or even their website. This is a huge mistake. Make sure you have at least one way to communicate with you! Or you’ll soon lose your consumers.
2. Reward Loyalty with Loyalty
Get ahead of your competitors and thank loyal customers with a rewards scheme. Can your business offer something superior for existing customers?
So many companies will only offer ‘New Customer’ deals and often forget about the people who already shop with them. Give thanks to those who have been with you the longest, perhaps offer a reward scheme or monthly deals to keep consumers interested.
The successful retailer, Next, seasonally offer two customer loyalty rewards. One for new and one for current customers. If a new customer signs up, they can spend £15 to get £10 off their first online order. Current customers can introduce a friend and if they spend £40, both get £20 off their next online shop.
Going the extra mile will not only result in a happy customer, but it can also go a long way regarding keeping yourself on their radar for future business.
Encourage new and repeat business with regular email campaigns and exclusive social media discount codes to keep people coming back. If you have social media exclusivity, this is also the perfect way to gain a following in the process.
3. The Customer is Always Right
The customer’s always right… right? As a business, you must develop a thick skin for negative feedback. No matter how successful you are, not everyone will like your brand or product. That’s life. Whether you deal with it via social media or phone call, your customer service team must remain calm and keep customer happiness in mind, even if they’re not necessarily in the right.
DID YOU KNOW
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
- If you resolve a complaint in the client’s favour and they will do business with you again 70% of the time.
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4. Online Tools
A website is your businesses portal, and everything that links to it is its support system. It’s the first impression your customers will have of you, and without a user-friendly, responsive, well-built website, you could be missing out on a lot of potential sales.
Online Tools to Consider
People love to update their social media followers about their recent purchases and experiences. Use social media as a platform to go that extra mile to providing exceptional service and to listen to what your customers are saying. Get involved in conversations, share your positive reviews (and thank the individual for it) and address the negatives with a positive attitude. Customers will appreciate your involvement and knowledge of technology. You could also learn a thing or two about what your target audience is crying out for.
Just like social media, use online review websites such as Yelp and Yahoo as a tool to respond to any reviews made by previous customers, negative or positive. Your presence and corporation will have an effect on what consumers say about your business next time around.
The world is evolving. Everything is online, and following ways to improve customer service will help businesses remain relevant above competitors. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use. Offer the option of emailing a customer their receipt rather than manually, or perhaps provide them with an online feedback form through text or email instead of handwritten comments.
There are many ways to improve customer service, which is often something businesses tell themselves they’ll get around to in time. Sadly, that time never comes. The running of day-to-day business becomes priority and customer service is put at the back of their minds. Take charge now, find ways to improve customer service and you’ll see the results.