10 Best Practices to Improve Customer Service
1. Be there when the customer needs you
What matters to consumers is access to information, plenty of people choose not to make a purchase due to not having sufficient information when shopping. That’s why it’s so important not only to provide detailed descriptions and access to information on the product or service, but also the contact at the particular moment. A chat feature on a website, a helpful employee at a brick-and-mortar store, quick contact over e-mail, or through a call with a consultant. Just keep in touch with the customer.
2. Act fast
Time is money. In sales, you have to act sensibly yet dynamically. A customer wants to learn the offer now, not wait a week or two for it. Answer e-mails or messages on social media as soon as possible. If you can’t respond right away in a competent manner, make sure to reach out with a ready solution as soon as you can. Research shows that quick reaction to customers’ inquiries has a positive impact on perception of the quality of service.
3. Keep your promises
Things like brand image, customer service quality image and customer loyalty are built on keeping your promises. Deliver what you promise, both when it comes to the product and the contact with the customer. If you promise to help solve a problem, you should bring this to its conclusion. Make sure that the customer has found a solution. Be their counselor/partner throughout the entire transaction and all issues related to the product.
4. Maintain quality service regardless of the channel
A thing that makes customers annoyed is different standards and quality of customer service depending on the channel. It doesn’t matter if we get a message at an online store chat, over e-mail, Facebook or other social media, or as a phone call. Our reactions should always be quick, comprehensive and satisfying to the customer with the same standards maintained. Some customers don’t want to have to make a phone call and prefer e-mail contact, while others will only accept talking over the phone. Let’s make sure that, regardless of the channel chosen, they get the same quality of service.
5. Implement automation
Good CRM systems allow to implement advanced automation related to the first contact with the customer, maintaining customer relations, automation of marketing activities or obtaining post-sales feedback. It’s a good idea to utilize those tools to increase customer satisfaction, ensure quick contact or obtain necessary knowledge to improve the service or product.
6. Be an expert in your field
In the era of supermarkets and marketplace platforms, there is no shortage of salesmen of everything and more, who only care about sales, without having any knowledge on the product. Consumers appreciate and are willing to pay more for a product or service when they get served professionally. If we are able to provide them with a comprehensive answer or advice, they will be more satisfied with the service and more likely to come back to us in the future and recommend our business.
7. Follow the trends
In 2013, a similar summary was presented on the Salesforce web pages in form of infographics. It featured advice about “going mobile” or “utilizing gamification”. Today it might seem pointless to write about such solutions, as most companies realize how important it is to develop communications through mobile devices – a website optimized for smartphones, an e-store tailored to cell phones, or a mobile app. The gamification, on the other hand, never took off, even though elements of it are used in different ways in many areas of our lives. That’s what makes it a good idea to take a sensible approach to novelties or trends described by gurus. They can’t be ignored, however, and it’s worth following the most promising ones. That’s why you should be up to date with trends and try to implement them in your business fast enough, but also rationally.
8. When possible, get to know the customer before conversation
We live in the era of data, it is adequate processing and utilizing of data that allows us to achieve the right advantage in business. If it’s a B2B type customer, then before the planned meeting we should make sure to find information on them. When it comes to contacting a consumer, on the other hand, who has already been our customer before, we can always look up their information in our CRM system, notes, transaction histories, and provide them with more personalized communication and predict what their needs are.
9. Take care of a good CRM
Our recipe for better communication and customer service might be a CRM system tailored to the company’s needs. Adequate tools will allow for efficient and effective communication. A good CRM means easy overviews of the contact info database, ability to manage the contact base, clear history of transactions and contacts with a customer, ability to automate communication and take care of building relations. It is important to choose the right CRM system and implement it in a way that is adequate to our company’s needs.
10. Take care of involvement and satisfaction of your employees
A company is made by people, people are also our customers and it is relations between people that contribute to finalizing transactions and customer satisfaction. We should take care of our employees, of their involvement in the company’s activity, of their adequate knowledge and skills. A good employee who is satisfied with their job will also be able to take care of consumer satisfaction.
Customer service is a challenge, but it’s also the element that allows to gain significant advantage over competition even when our product is more expensive and similar to another. That’s what makes it important to take care of good quality.