5 Proven Ways to Provide Superior Customer Service
Over half of customers make their decision to buy on the basis of customer service. A huge 68% will pay more for services and products from companies with good customer service. There’s an opportunity for any business that can get this right to grow both market share and margins.
Do you want your company to deliver superior customer service to your customers? Read on to learn about 5 methods of customer service that have been proven to work.
1. Communicate with Customers the Way They Want To
Customers need and expect excellent communication even if they are often disappointed by the poor communication they experience. They look for consistency but only 29% of consumers report that they get it. Part of the challenge is that consumers use multiple channels to communicate with your customer service people.
These multiple channels include live chat, email and phone calls. Many businesses find it difficult to achieve consistently high standards across multiple communication channels partly because legacy systems have not been designed around the customers’ experience. There is a solution to this problem in the form of apps that enable 24 hours, 7 days a week, digital communication.
These digital experience apps sit on top of your old legacy systems. They provide seamless conversations and multi-channel tools as well as present information to customers. They do this in a way and on devices that customers like.
These apps can be solutions to particular pain points for customers such as accounts or billing. Alternatively, they can be implemented as a suite of apps covering the customer’s service journey. Companies that invest in their customers’ service experience have almost twice the average order value as those that don’t.
2. Know Your Customers Well
Really good customer service depends on a great understanding of your customers. That’s how you find out what they need and want. How can you expect to give them what they want unless you know them?
Conducting market research is the traditional way to get to know your customers. There are also amazing informal ways in which businesses do this too.
There’s a national day to get to know your customers. Use it to get to know names and communicate directly. Send a personalized email to follow up on a purchase they’ve made just asking them what they think of it and their service experience. Keep it friendly and appreciative rather than use it as an opportunity to sell.
The top customer service companies get up to 60% of their sales through repeat business. Getting to know your customers and having a relationship with them pays dividends.
Encourage customers to join a loyalty scheme. That way you can stay connected. Use the data about them you collect to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries of their first purchase, and illicit their feedback.
3. Research How You’re Doing
Do you provide superior customer experience? If you believe you’re getting there, how will you know your goal has been achieved. You need feedback.
Talk to customers about what attributes of your service or product matter to them. Design your research around how you perform against these attributes.
Conduct a satisfaction survey and repeat it regularly. You will be able to identify trends over time. You can use these trends to adjust investment in different aspects of your customer service.
A risk assessment of your customer service can identify the points at which the customer experience is most likely to fail. Also, identify which aspects of the customer service experience your customers value most. Put your effort and investment behind the most values aspects of service that are most likely to fail.
4. Prioritize Amazing Service Recovery
Everybody makes mistakes at some time or another. The important thing is what you do after you’ve made a mistake.
Those companies that recover well after a customer service failure can turn the disappointed customer into a loyal customer. When you think how much it would cost you to lose a customer in the long-term, it’s well worth trying to retain them.
For items of less than $5, 70% of customers that have a service problem that is recovered well, stay loyal to the brand. More than half of customers who don’t have their problem resolved never return. That’s hopefully many years of profitable business saved simply by recovering.
5. Engage Employees in Delivering Superior Customer Service
Employees who are engaged with the ambition for superior customer experience are your greatest ally. They can often make the difference between an indifferent service and something really special. But how do you engage employees in this aim?
Let your people know that superior customer service is their purpose. It’s what you are all there for. All the leaders of the business and every person is employed to care about customer service.
Provide them with the capacity to deliver superior customer service. They may need training, skills, and information so give it to them. They may need time to deliver so work with them to find the right amount of time to prioritize the superior customer experience.
Celebrate as a team when amazing customer service has been delivered. Share customer feedback and business performance information so people know they are good at this important role. Give negative feedback privately and sensitively and support your people to help them improve.
Once people have been trained, trust them to make decisions in the interest of your customers. Having the autonomy to do the right thing for customers brings the best out of people. It can make your customer experience amazing too.
Passion for Customer Service
Putting this proven plan for superior customer service into action may not be all you need. The added ingredient is a daily passion for customer service. Release your business’s potential with that passion.