Excellent customer service is often the key difference for businesses that are successful. As a business owner, you’ve invested a lot of time and money to attract the right customers to your business.
You want to be able to give them the best experience possible. They’ll not only return to your business, but they’ll be more than happy to tell their friends.
A bad customer service experience will drive your customers away, and you can be sure that they’ll tell everyone they know. You’ll have to spend up to 25 times more money to replace those customers.
Do you want to know how to improve your customer service and retain your customers?
Read on to learn the top 5 tips to give your customers excellent customer service.
Why Excellent Customer Service Matters
For many consumers, they’d go for the cheapest option when deciding on a product or service. Companies would respond by providing their products at the lowest cost possible.
That’s no longer the case. By 2020, customer service is expected to be the deciding factor when choosing a product or service.
Customer service is so important to people, they’re also willing to pay more for a better customer service experience.
Overall, customers want to feel good about the choice they made to work with your business. They want to feel like they matter, and they want to be heard.
If you can do that with your customer service, you can earn loyal customers for life.
Tips to Improve Your Customer Service
Where can you begin to improve your customer service? You’ll want to take an assessment of your customer service as it is now. This will give you a baseline to work from as you make improvements.
An easy way to assess your customer service is to ask your customers how they perceive your service. They won’t be shy about letting you know if you’re doing a good or poor job.
Then you can implement these tips to give your customers a world-class experience.
1. Personalize the Entire Customer Experience
Customer service doesn’t just happen after someone buys from you and they need support.
Excellent customer service happens in every single step of the way. Start by asking your customers questions. Ask them how they’re doing and what they can do to improve the customer experience.
Ask them for their name and use it in conversation as much as you can. You can then follow up with your customers with handwritten notes.
2. Think Outside the Box
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re trying to solve a problem with someone, and all they do is say no to every idea?
It’s annoying, isn’t it?
You have to be flexible when you’re dealing with customers. Just telling someone “No, that’s our policy,” isn’t good enough. You have to be flexible and be able to provide solutions for your customers.
Customers will appreciate you if you can demonstrate to customers that you care about their concerns, and you’re willing to go out of your way to help them.
3. Be Friendly & Approachable
You set the tone for your entire company. How you treat your customers is a reflection of not only you but of your brand.
All it takes is one unpleasant interaction to turn a loyal customer into a customer for a competitor. That means that you have to be friendly and approachable in every single interaction.
Your tone of voice will communicate that. A positive tone of voice and sincerity will come across as friendly.
You can also ask your customers how they’re doing and make small talk during the call to lighten the mood. If you can master this, you can talk to anyone.
The key to great customer service is listening to your customers’ concerns. Your customers may be on edge when they call in with an issue with your product or services.
Talking over your customers will only aggravate them. They’ll think that you don’t care or you just want to get them off the phone. However, if your customers feel that they’re being heard, they’ll calm down.
Repeat what customers are telling you back to them. It doesn’t have to be word for word, but it does show that you’re paying attention.
5. Delegate Customer Service
It’s impossible for you to be in several places at once. As an entrepreneur, you try to be everywhere and do everything.
That only leads to burnout.
Customers do expect to be able to reach someone in customer support at all hours. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sleep, but you can come up with ways to take some of the pressure off of you.
If you have employees, you can delegate some of the tasks to them. They know your products and services. You just have to train them on how to handle certain customer situations.
You will want to empower your employees and give them the leeway and authority to make decisions.
Even if you’re handling the business on your own, you still have several options to handle customer service.
You could hire a customer support rep. But that can be costly when you add benefits and employee taxes. Plus, customer service jobs tend to have high turnover. You’d then have to spend your time hiring and training customer service reps.
Another option is outsourcing customer service altogether. The potential downside is that you have to hire the right company to work with and train them on your products and services.
One way to make sure that your customers are getting the best service is to have a telephone answering service to handle the calls. They can take the initial call, set the expectation with the customer, and then you can contact the customer to help them solve their problem.
That type of solution is the best of both worlds. You have control over the level of service, and your customers don’t have to leave a message wondering if you’ll call them back.
Your Customers Deserve the Best Service
Excellent customer service doesn’t have to be a mystery. It’s like any relationship. You have to listen to your customers and address their concerns.
If you show empathy and flexibility in handling their problems, then you’re going to create plenty of happy customers.
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