Great customer service is never set and done. To be great, you have to regularly improve your systems, train your team and collect feedback for future improvements.
The effort is worthwhile. Businesses that deliver excellent customer service can expect sales increases of about 20 percent or more.
How is your customer service? If you’re not sure (or it’s just been a while since you’ve checked in on it), now’s the time to make sure you’re not missing out on any customer service opportunities. The smoother the customer service experience for the customer, the stronger the path to your next sale.
The following are five ways to improve your customer service.
Understand the needs of your customers
Everything your customer service team does should be based on the needs of your customers. Without this, your service will miss the mark.
To learn more about your customers’ needs, simply ask them. You can do this through a survey, email, phone call, text message or any other method you like. Regularly soliciting honest feedback, in general, will only strengthen your customer service efforts.
Allow the information you receive to guide your overall customer service strategy.
Train your team to be empathetic
Whether you have a large customer service team or that team is just you, learning and embracing empathy is critical to delivering excellent customer service.
Simply put, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This is an important first step in all customer interactions and ultimately will grow customer loyalty over time.
But how do you train (yourself or others) to be more empathetic? Check out these five exercises to help build more empathy.
Keep in mind that if a customer service team member cannot embrace empathy, he or she may not be the best fit for your business.
Set individual and team goals
What do you want to achieve with your customer service efforts? And how does that look for your team at large and for individuals on your team? Involving them in your goal-setting process will naturally encourage the buy-in needed to achieve them. They’ll have ownership and motivation tied to those goals.
These goals should naturally inform service standards that you expect from your team. If anything is unclear about your standards, put it down in writing.
Of course, once goals are set, you must track performance. There are a number of KPIs (key performance indicators) that you could monitor if they reflect your goals, such as:
- Customer Satisfaction Scores
- Negative Response Rate
- First Contact Resolution
- Average Resolution Time
- Re-open Rate
Again, focus on the metrics that reflect progress toward your decided goals.
Then, as employees hit those goals, consider rewards and recognition. This could be something along the lines of an employee of the month program, splurging on a team lunch or dinner, gift cards, etc. This effort will keep the morale of your team up, which will lead to more buy-in and more future success.
Streamline your process with the right tools, software
While implementing new technology can be intimidating, the key is that you’re streamlining anything that’s unnecessarily being done manually. Manual processes (such as report generation) are slow and can limit the greatness and effectiveness of your customer service.
As you research customer service performance management software options, keep an eye out for user-friendly features and software that falls within your budget. Identify your biggest needs to prioritize the best tools and software your team needs.
The initial research and implementation can require a lot of time and effort, but once your new software (or other tools) are in use, you’ll see big savings in time and more. In other words, your team can spend more time focusing on the customers and less time with tedious tasks that can be done another way.
Embrace omnichannel customer service
Similar to omnichannel marketing, omnichannel customer service is all about leveraging your multiple channels to deliver a seamless customer experience. Truly, the two go hand in hand in many ways.
Omnichannel requires you to think through how each channel can complement another and work together to create a personalized experience for the consumer whether you’re connecting with them through desktop, mobile devices or brick-and-mortar stores.
It’s about accessibility for your customers and meeting them where they’re at.
Dive deeper with our five tips to boost your omnichannel marketing efforts, and consider where your customer service efforts can fit in with omnichannel marketing (since they are so connected).
Customer service can make or break your business. Take the time to understand where your customer service stands right now and how you can improve it. The time you spend now will pay off in dividends later.
And while you’re at it, check out our six tips to improve your customer retention rate.
As you’re working through your customer service strategy, consider leveling up your overall digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.