With price-matching, web-based shopping, and a multitude of other ways to ensure they are getting the best price, customers no longer need businesses in the same way as they once did. For this reason, price is no longer the driving factor for many clients. Instead, they seek exceptional customer service and the feeling of being part of the company in some way. For this reason, companies around the world have had a stronger focus on customer service recently than ever before. Here are 7 tips to help your company bring its customer service to the next level.
- Remain Positive – Use positive language when speaking with clients. Instead of telling clients what you can’t do, tell them what you can. By spinning negatives into positives, clients will remain in a better mood during an issue and will be more likely to have a positive feeling about the resolution, even if it is not what the customer hoped for.
- Smile – Whether on the phone or in person, a smile can go a long way. Customers can hear if a customer service representative is smiling over the phone, and smiling generally leads to a happier disposition on the phone. By encouraging your team to smile both in person and over the phone, you will see the customer experience increase, and you will see your staff’s morale increase, as well, which will further help the customer experience.
- Knowledgeable Staff – Make sure whoever is speaking with the client knows what they are talking about. Nothing is more frustrating to a client than being told the wrong information or placed on an excessively long hold. It’s ok to say you don’t know something, but know where to find the answer.
- Be Available – Make sure your team is available to help with client questions and concerns. If your sales team also helps with customer service needs, be sure those employees remain as engaged for service as they do for sales. If your customer support is all by phone, make sure those lines are available and the wait times do not get out of hand.
- Give Recognition – Use great customer service experiences as opportunities to give recognition to team members who are doing a great job. This will both boost morale and underscore the importance of providing world class customer service.
- Hire the Right People – Spending a little more to hire qualified employees will pay back dividends in loyal, repeat clients. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to hiring customer service representatives.
- Track Customer Service Progress – Set tangible, realistic goals, then track successes. By setting goals and tracking what is and is not working, you can quickly eliminate activities – or employees – which do not conform to the customer service model you are looking for. Similarly, it will help you find the activities which are best suited to help improve customer service.
This is hardly an all-inclusive list, but it should give you a starting point for finding world class customer service, which in turn should help your business thrive in the current marketplace.