9 Strategies To Improve Customer Service Quality
Customer relationships are the lifeblood of every business. The level of good customer service a company provides directly affects their retention rate. Competition is high, and consumers call the shots. To retain turn new customers into loyal customers, sharp business owners put a high focus on improving customer service quality.
However, customer interactions involve much more than just answering questions and solving issues. To improve customer care, a business needs to look at all touchpoints and improve the customer’s experience from the top of the funnel to follow-ups after the sale.
Follow these strategies to improve customer service quality and help your business run smoothly to create profit.
1. Get To Know Your Customers
Before you can implement strategies to meet your customer’s needs, you must first get to know your customers better to understand their needs. A great way to learn more about your customers is to create customer personas to grasp who your target audience is, including their wants, needs, and behavioral patterns.
Once you craft your customer personas, get your team together to brainstorm how your product or service can best suit their needs. Think about every touchpoint from the first time they see an ad, to the ease of using your product or service, to reaching out for support. How can you make their experience better, smoother, and more enjoyable?
Learning who your customers are will help you understand their wants and needs from your business throughout their buying experience. You can then implement strategies to satisfy their needs quickly while providing a positive experience with your brand.
2. Invest in Your Customer Service Team
Your customer service team is likely the only human contact your customers have with your brand, so it must go well. Customer service agents are seen as the voice of the company and it’s imperative they represent your business positively. Invest in customer service rep training to ensure your team knows how to deliver excellence and exceed customer expectations.
Your customer service team must have a good understanding of what your customers want and need when reaching out for support. They also need to know how to deliver that support with a decent response time.
Customer service training helps your team learn how to:
Empathize – Many don’t realize empathy is one of the top customer service skills needed. It’s showing your customers you understand how they feel and their point of view in the situation. Consumers often purchase based on emotion. So, knowing a customer is emotionally invested and showing empathy during a support interaction helps bring a sense of relatability, which can build trust.
Communicate – A customer service representative must answer customers’ questions accurately and effectively. But first, they must actively listen to learn the customer’s needs, and show they hear and understand what that customer is saying. Providing clear communication with thorough answers and immediate solutions to satisfy customers’ needs is vital for great customer service.
Take responsibility – A customer service agent should take full responsibility for the client’s wants and needs and do what they can to fulfill them. It may require a lot of patience, but the best customer service agents take customer requests by the horns and go above and beyond to ensure the customer is satisfied. A customer service experience can still be a good one even if the customer’s request is not fully met.
Set the customer service standards and ensure your team knows the expected level of service. Ensure your team has access to a knowledge base, supportive managers, and the tools needed to deliver exceptional customer support. Provide the support your team needs and encourage them to do their best by acknowledging their wins and rewarding their hard work.
3. Promote Customer Feedback
The truth is, you don’t really know how satisfied your customers are with your service unless you ask. Not getting customer feedback in business prevents growth. You must ensure your customers are happy with your service each and every time.
There are various ways you can get the valuable customer feedback needed to obtain metrics on how well your team is doing at satisfying customers’ needs. The easiest way to get customer feedback is to promote customer service surveys.
Hearing what your customers have to say about your brand and the service they received will help you learn where your team may be falling short and what areas are doing awesome at creating happy customers.
After gathering customer feedback and analyzing the surveys, you can put a plan into action to improve.
With the customer service survey responses, you can:
- Learn which customer service agents need additional training
- Understand if there are processes or policies that are causing customer upset
- Discover successful actions in your customer service strategy
- Implement changes required to help reach your goal of total customer satisfaction
- Recognize and reward employees for delivering consistent 5-star service
4. Develop a Winning Culture
A winning company culture is everything. It’s employee engagement, values, the mission, and the attitudes of the entire organization. The team as well as the customers can feel a positive company culture, and it’s proven to add to a company’s success.
Happy employees that feel respected, valued, and have job satisfaction are more likely to be committed to the organization’s success, and this trickles down and can boost customer loyalty as interactions make them feel satisfied and genuinely cared for.
Developing a winning culture with a customer-focused mission is an excellent way to improve customer service.
Boost your company culture by:
- Recognize and reward great work often
- Set positive examples
- Add some fun to the workday
- Promote open communication and listen to employee’s opinions and ideas
- Connect team members to a purpose
- Encourage growth
- Create team-building activities
- Getting employee feedback and making changes when necessary
- Promote the company’s mission and goals
- Implement incentives
Invest in your company culture, and your employees and your team will invest their efforts into your company’s success. Your custoemr-facing employees are the backbone of your organization and should get treated as the critical frontline assets they are.
Ensure your culture is always uplifting, goal-oriented, and positive. Your employees will reward you with focusing on the customer experience, and your customers will reward you with repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. It’s a win-win for all.
5. Be Available
The days of Monday through Friday 9-5 customer service hours via phone call only are out the window. Customers want service when it’s convenient for them, through the channel they choose, and they want it in real-time. If you’re going to improve customer experience, you must show up when your customers need you.
The best companies provide customer service 24/7, through various channels, including phone, SMS, online chat, social media, and email. Being available to provide service when and how your customers need it adds to a positive experience with your brand. Many companies choose to outsource their customer service function to a provider that can deliver this level of service.
6. Be Proactive
Companies strive to deliver a product or service that is so perfect and self-explanatory that customers never need support. Unfortunately that is very rarely attainable, and a better route to plan for is being proactive to help close the gap on customer service needs.
Proactive customer service is taking steps to resolve customers’ issues before they arise. If you have an existing business, analyze your service tickets to learn what your customers are reaching out for to determine how you can solve thee problems ahead of time for future clients.
Walk through your entire process as if you’re a customer. Is it easy to purchase from your company? What questions come up? What product or service issues arise? What are the stopping points in the buying process?
Really take a hard look at your business from the eyes of your customers to see where you can improve for a smoother and more pleasant experience.
Proactive customer service is providing self-help options, too, such as FAQs and chatbots to answer commonly asked questions. Many consumers enjoy self-service options to resolve issues on their own when possible — automation can help save frustration as well as resources.
7. Get Personal
Consumers today expect more personalized service. They want service that is effortless and tailored to their specific needs.
Providing personalized service includes:
- Calling customers by their name
- If applicable, knowing their history with the company (past sales, preferences, etc.)
- Making your customers feel welcomed with a friendly attitude
- Asking questions to genuinely understand their wants and needs
Having excellent customer service software for your team is essential for delivering consistent, personalized service. When your customer service agents communicate with customers, having the client’s buying history and complete journey so far helps provide the personalized service customers expect.
8. Analyze Customer Complaints
You can have the best company with an award-winning customer support team but still have customer complaints from time to time. It’s vital to analyze customer concerns to strategize solutions that can reduce the issue or even prevent it from happening in the future.
The best customer service agents can win over upset customers and prevent churn. However, it’s best to be proactive and avoid causing any trouble at all.
Take customer complaints seriously. Figure out what caused the issues and determine if it might cause problems for other customers. If so, implement necessary changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Ensure your customers feel heard by acknowledging their concerns. Help them feel valued by clearly communicating solutions and do what you can to show appreciation and retain them. The last thing you want is an unhappy customer giving your brand a bad rap. If you have to go out of your way to satisfy their needs, it’s best for your business and its image to do so.
9. Make the Customer Experience Positive and Effortless
Many companies have lost customers due to the difficulty of purchasing or receiving services. A pleasant customer experience will help retain customers. You might not be the cheapest in your industry, but if you provide an exceptional experience, customers will pay more for it.
Ensure your customer’s journey throughout the buying lifecycle is excellent every time. Your customers want to make a purchase with minimal effort, quickly, and when they reach out for support, they want it to be friendly, efficient, and fast.
If you make it inconvenient, time-consuming, or too demanding at any point for your customers to buy from you or receive the support they need, you will likely lose them to competitors.
Providing exceptional customer service is critical for the success of a company long-term. To increase customer retention, you must improve customer service quality. The people on your team and your company culture are where great customer service begins. Focus on employee happiness and job satisfaction, as these trickle down to the customer service quality they provide.
Ensure your customer’s experience is consistently effortless, personalized, and positive, and that friendly and efficient customer service is available when needed through various channels. After analyzing customer service survey responses and using a little elbow grease, your business will be on the road to delivering excellent customer service.
Are you ready to hire an awesome team with the experience and expertise to deliver flawless 5-star service? If so, contact Awesome CX today!
How To Create Actionable Customer Personas | Forbes
When The Best Customer Service Is Self-Service: 5 Customer Experience Design Best Practices | Forbes