How to Make Improvements During Customer Service Week
In honor of Customer Service Week, we’ve compiled a list of customer service tips that will help you refine your customer service methods, and in turn create stronger relationships with your patrons.
1. Track the reasons that customers contact your business – We understand it can be tempting to handle customer complaints as they come, without creating a record of what the issue was, and how it was resolved. But if you fail to log frequently asked questions or criticisms, you won’t be able to identify reoccurring issues. If there are problems that consistently arise, it should be a priority for you to create a lasting solution.
You won’t be able to hide this from your customers. With the popularity of review sites like Yelp and Foursquare, your business will likely receive negative press if you continue to make the same mistakes. Thus, potential customers will be aware of these reoccurring complaints, and could choose a competitor instead.
To start, utilize a customer service platform that allows you to track customer interactions. The more information you can record, the better. Then, create a report that includes any repeated problems, so that you can discuss this with your staff. If everyone is on the same page, you’ll be able to move forward with a permanent resolution.
2. Determine how long it takes to resolve issues – In addition to logging the reasons for customer inquiries, you should detail how long it takes for questions to be answered or issues to be fixed. This will help you to identify weaknesses in your customer service process.
Perhaps your staff needs to be better at communicating, or there is a long delay in responding to customers’ initial messages. Maybe there is a certain platform that you are not checking frequently enough, like social media messages or your business’s email inbox. If you examine the amount of time it takes to assist your customers, you can fix the specific procedures that are not effective.
3. Ask customers for feedback – If you’re simply responding to incoming concerns, but aren’t actively reaching out to customers for feedback, you may be missing out on an opportunity for immense growth. By sending out email surveys or posting social media polls, you’ll provide customers with a convenient way to give constructive criticism.
By taking these comments into consideration, you could elevate your customer service strategy and avoid conflict before it even occurs!
4. Utilize social media and social listening tools – While there is no harm in utilizing traditional methods, you should consider upgrading your customer service technology.
For instance, you could invest in implementing a chat service on your website, which will allow you to respond to customers immediately. Your patrons will appreciate an immediate response, and this will lessen the amount of inquiries you get through other channels.
Another technological addition could be purchasing software such as CustomerWise or Zendesk. These additions will allow you to take a more organized approach to customer service, and will make recordkeeping infinitely easier.
Whatever technology you decide to pursue, ensure that it solves a consistent customer service issue that you are facing.
5. Provide customer service training – When employees are hired, they should go through extensive customer service training. This training should prepare them for common questions they’ll receive, and provide them with clear instructions on how to interact with customers. Teaching your staff to be attentive and knowledgeable about your business will reduce miscommunications, or any unprofessional responses from your employees.
6. Optimize your website – Make it easy for your customers to find the answers to their questions on your website. Not only does this save you time, but it makes their experience stress-free. Being as clear and transparent as possible will build trust with your customers, and decrease customer service inquiries. Taking time to answer simple questions is a waste of time for both you and your patrons; so, make the most of your website and display frequently asked questions there.
7. Reward consistent customers – Customer service isn’t just about addressing qualms; offer enhanced customer service by recognizing loyalty. If your business doesn’t have a loyalty or referral rewards program, it might be time to create one. Your customers should feel valued, and if they don’t, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Make appreciating your customers a priority, and your business will likely reap the benefits!
Use Customer Service Week as an opportunity to reflect on your business’s customer service tactics. Following recommended customer service tips will allow you to provide your patrons with a superior experience, and ensure that you are making the most of your time.
Do you have any tips for small business owners during Customer Service Week? Let us know in the comment section below!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.