13 customer service tips

13 ‘Out of the Box’ Ways To Improve Your Company’s Customer Service

Better customer service makes for a better company and in turn will help a business succeed. Here are some great tips for doing so.

  1. Know What Your Customers Are Looking For

If you want to provide excellent customer service, you first need to truly understand your customers. Spend a little bit of time researching your primary customers. Then, think about how you could fine-tune your services or products so that they are ideally suited to their needs. Working backward like this puts the needs of your customers first, which can help you come up with more effective customer service solutions.

Snapsheet has developed a 5 step process for customer centricity, and it starts with psychology:

Image via Snapsheet

“The foundation and the first principle of customer centricity is psychology. You are building a reality for the customer when they interact with your service, and there are standard psychological principles that govern all of our thoughts. These principles need to be understood and leveraged to create an experience that is contained and consistent.”

  1. Actively Solicit And Listen To Feedback From Your Customers

Never assume that you know what your customers are thinking. Instead, ask them. Most customers appreciate it when you reach out to them for input. Answerfirst’s website says that you may be able to spot areas for improvementt, based on customer feedback

The most popular ways to measure overall customer satisfaction and how it changes over time are:

  • – Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • – Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
  • – Social media monitoring

In addition to reaching out to your customers, you can leverage tools to automate NPS surveys, for example.

  1. Go Above and Beyond To Impress Your Customers

Really wowing your customers is a great way to increase your word-of-mouth advertising. People love to talk about businesses that treat them well. A few unexpected acts of kindness toward your customers can go a long way toward helping you grow your business through referrals.

Remember: It costs 5x to 25x more money to acquire a new customer than keep existing ones happy.

  1. Train Your Employees To Provide Excellent Customer Service

Get all of your employees on the same page in terms of customer service by providing them with training. Consider using an outside company that specializes in customer service training to really help your workforce shine.

Find ways to motivate your employees to provide the best customer service possible every time they interact with your clients.

Utilising a learning management system can improve employee engagement during training. This can help you to develop a better learning culture within your company.

  1. Make Sure Employees Know What Is Expected Of Them

Your employees can only live up to your expectations if they know what those expectations are. Sit down with your staff and discuss your customer service policies.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are a great way to quantify staff performance. Develop customer service based KPI’s to ensure that your customers have a consistent experience, no matter which employee is helping them.

  1. Showcase Employees Who Provide Excellent Service

If one of your employees goes above and beyond to help a customer, don’t be afraid to draw attention to their service. By highlighting examples of great customer service, you can not only reward good employees but can also motivate your other staff members to do better.

Many successful companies cultivate this with Peer to Peer recognition strategies. Software can be used to enable staff to reward and recognise those who go above and beyond in their roles.

Employee Award Templates
Image via SnackNation
  1. Make Your Customers The Focal Point When Designing Processes

Think about the steps that your customers go through, from the moment they discover your business to the time that they make their final purchase. Look for ways to improve the process so that it is easier and more intuitive.

  1. Watch What Is Happening In The Real World

Planning things out on paper is great. However, it is no substitute for real-world observations. Spend some time observing how customers and employees interact, both with each other and with your products and services, looking for ways to improve.

  1. Keep Track Of Problems And Complaints

Any problems that arise provide an opportunity for learning. Find out why errors occurred or what caused specific complaints. Then, look for ways to overcome those issues. In some cases, that may mean providing additional training.

Zendesk recommends monitoring these 10 metrics to track your help desk performance:

    • – New tickets
    • – Ticket volume by support channel
    • – Support tickets solved
    • – Response time and wait time
    • – Resolution time
    • – Backlog
    • – Predicted backlog
    • – Ticket distribution
    • – Satisfaction ratings
    • – Individual performance

 

  1. Have Your Employees Go Undercover To Check Out Your Competition

Have your employees do a little bit of mystery shopping with your competitors. This gives them a chance to see how other companies are handling customer service. It also can help you get new ideas for how to improve.

AdvantaClean CEO Jeff Dudan went undercover on the TV show Undercover Boss. In the program he transforms into Dusty the Technician on this funny and emotional episode. Watch it here:

  1. Solicit Input From Your Staff Members

When it comes to customer service, your employees are on the front lines. That means they are the perfect people to ask for ideas. Every so often, meet with staff members to see if they have any suggestions on how to really impress customers.

Consider holding group brainstorming sessions to come up with some unique or original solutions.

Many companies have started implementing paid volunteer leave based on staff feedback. National Australia Bank employees volunteered over 18,000 days generating $7m of in-kind value for community organisations.

Imagine getting paid to rock a family apparel t-shirts that help charities out in the sun all day! It certainly beats being stuck in an office 🙂

  1. Think About Handing Out Rewards For Excellent Customer Service

Motivate employees to provide excellent customer service by giving out rewards. Consider allowing customers to nominate staff members who do a great job.

Zappos employees can earn Zollars or “Zappos dollars” for participating in training by answering questions or volunteering to help out

  1. Keep Your Employees Happy

If your employees are unhappy in their jobs, trying to get them to treat your customers well is an impossible task.

To help put your staff members in the right frame of mind, have them see what things are like from the point of view of the customer. This simple action can not only help them feel like their opinions matter but it also can go a long way toward creating better customer service for your business.

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