What's Good Customer Service & 10 Ways On How To Improve It
Major Points of the Article
Good customer service is key to long-term business growth that can increase your profits and revenue.
It can be improved in 10 different ways, however, the main one is to be a customer-centric business
Being a proactive problem solver with a positive attitude can be the best thing when faced with negative situations.
You may have a great product or service, but if your customer service is unhelpful, or unreliable, then the word is going to get out, which can deter your potential future customers.
That is why customer service is key to long-term business growth, but how can you improve it? Firstly, you will need to understand what good customer service is for your particular industry and then focus on the following 10 ways on how to improve it.
What's Good Customer Service?
For each industry, it can mean different things, such as if you were a cafe then good customer service is the coffee comes fast, hot, and with a smile. In comparison, if you were a tech company, then good customer service is being easily reachable, and solving problems fast.
There are of course common threads to good customer service, such as valuing your customers' time, having a pleasant attitude, and more... But, the biggest one is exceeding your customer's expectations.
10 Ways To Improve Your Customer Service
As mentioned earlier, it is exceptionally important to improve your customer service, as it is a factor in your potential future customers and long-term business success. More importantly, consumers will pay more for great customer service, which can mean an increase in your profits.
But, how do you improve it? Below are the top 10 ways to improve your customer service that you should work on.
1. Know Your Product/Service
Every day, you will be faced with the challenges of customer questions that relate to the product/service. Being exceptionally knowledgeable in what you offer will increase the trust people have for you.
Essentially, you need to believe in your offer, be able to discuss features, and show your customers the benefits for them. Including, being able to solve problems if something isn't working quite right. Make your business the knowledgeable go-to business that solves problems fast.
2. Maintain A Positive Attitude (Always)
One of the biggest of the ten, a positive attitude goes a long way to great customer service, as your customers will read into how the business is presented to them (which they can take very personally).
Most importantly, always be positive. This is because a negative customer experience can be turned into a positive customer experience with the right attitude. This attitude can be conveyed in body language, facial expressions, written word, and even tone of voice.
One area to be aware of though is the written word. Too often, the written word is misinterpreted because it lacks the other in-person signals (i.e. body language, facial expressions, tone of voice).
To minimize this misinterpretation, you can add emojis to convey warmth and humor. However, you can always pick up the phone to increase that positive attitude with the tone of your voice.
3. Be A Problem Solver
Research has shown that over 80% of customers that had a negative experience with a business told others about it. That is why you must solve their problems and be an exceptional problem solver.
In fact, there will always be problems to solve so don't just meet their expectations, go the extra mile, and exceed them. Be creative in solving the problem if you have to, because once the problem is solved that customer will tell others of the great service they received from you. Leading to even more customers.
4. Be Responsive
Responding quickly is a feature that every customer is looking for because they value their own time. That being said, if the reason for them reaching out to you is viewed as a "simple" problem to fix, they will want it to be fixed very quickly. In contrast, if it is more complex, they can be more understanding.
This is where "1. knowing your product/service" complements this, as you will be very knowledgeable while being able to solve the problem fast.
So in summary, you should respond quickly, communicate and set expectations on how long it will take to be fixed, and make sure the issue is completely solved before moving on. Otherwise, if the issue isn't completely solved, you will infuriate the customer.
5. Provide A Personalized Service
Customers are people with feelings and thoughts. They want to be treated as an individual, and that is why 40% of customers say they want better human service.
Essentially, customers want to interact with a person and be known as a person. So do you know your customers' names, birthdays, interests, hobbies, or families? This may not be possible for everyone, but if you are using a script, giving a personal touch can go a long way in showing you care.
6. Make It Easy For Customers To Help Themselves
Not every customer wants help in solving their problems. In fact, 81 % of customers will attempt to fix it themselves.
This is very important because making it easy for a customer to solve their own problems will save you time, money, and increase your scalability. This is usually done through a help section, FAQ, videos, or even youtube.
7. Be Customer Focussed
Your customers are the life of your business, so it only makes sense that you should focus your efforts on them. Creating a customer-centric business is good business as you will humanize your customers and humanize yourself.
People like interacting with other people, not companies.
8. Be An Active Listener
There is no use in having a support line/email/etc... if you are not actively listening to the customer. You need to focus on what the customer is REALLY saying in order to solve the customer's REAL problems. Because only by doing this will your customer be happy.
This means, throwing out your agenda, removing all assumptions, understanding their emotional state, and repeating the problem back to them in your own words to show you have heard them.
9. Keep Your Word
Much like it is in your personal life, it means even more in business. If you make a promise to do something, you need to make sure you deliver on time to the customer. In doing this, it will raise the level of respect and trust your customers will have for your business.
However, if you fail to meet a promise, offer something to make up for it. Better yet, if you underpromise and over-deliver, you can avoid breaking your word.
10. Be Proactive
This is when you have done everything that needs to be done, yet you still want to do more for your customers. Going this extra mile can mean the customer "loving" your business even more.
The extra mile can be:
anticipating your customers' needs before they inform you.
doing something nice for them (which can encourage them to do something nice for you like buying your products/services).
sending them small gifts (more so on their birthday or just because).
Having good customer service can accelerate the growth of your business. In fact, Paradelta Strategy can help in this area. They are a business strategy and brand equity-building company that specialises in reviewing and improving your business. Over the years, we have helped businesses across Australia to grow and expand, nationally and internationally, and grow significantly in profits. To get assistance with your business, simply email us at email@example.com or schedule a no-obligation discovery call here.