Customer service is essential for any business. Customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s important that you do everything you can to treat them well and make sure they’re satisfied. Here are a few ways you can improve your business-customer interactions.
Train Your Employees
Training your employees will help them provide better customer service. They should have a thorough knowledge of your business’s products, as well as soft skills like good listening and communication. It could also be a good idea to train your employees with scenario-based learning and teach them how to interact with customers with disabilities. Having empathetic workers will improve your customers’ experience.
Get to Know Customers
Get to know your customers. Get to know your customer demographic; this will help you better tailor your service to your customers’ characteristics, needs, and wants. You will also better be able to understand your customers and therefore know how to better market your product.
Get to know your customers individually, as well. Address them by name over the phone, through email, and in person. Hearing their name will energize the customer and help you and your employees form connections with them. Taking a friendly, unforced approach is one way to humanize customer-business interactions; treat your customers like friends.
It is a good idea to streamline and simplify your online checkout process. Requiring fewer clicks and less work for your customer will make it easier for them to complete transactions with you and make them more likely to come back. Simplify by waiting until after the purchase to ask customers to register for an account on your site. Offer guest checkout. Try to fit your entire checkout process onto one page, if you can. Try to prevent your customers from needing to click through multiple pages to get to the end of the process. Also, try to offer as many options as possible when it comes to payment.
In your physical store location, use a POS system. There are many reasons to use a POS system for your business. For one, it is far simpler than other avenues. A POS system should be able to use email marketing to keep track of customers, remember customers’ purchase history, and store other customer information, making it invaluable for your customer service.
Provide Timely Service
Customers don’t want to wait, so make a habit of timely service. This could be considered one of the most important elements of customer service. People want to be helped quickly. Check your customer service emails frequently and respond promptly.
Perhaps even consider offering 24/7 customer support. This will require hiring more customer service employees, but immediate response resources, such as a live chat, are great assets to any business. Customers who use live chat services can increase your company’s revenue and are worth 4.5 times more than other customers. Your employees could manage some of this 24/7 customer service work remotely.
Ask your customers for feedback on your products and service. Do it whenever you can, and especially after they make a purchase. Send them a survey about their experience in order to find out whether or not they were satisfied with your company—and to what degree.
Social media is another great tool for gathering customer feedback. You can run polls on your page in order to isolate your business’s strengths and weaknesses in customer service, and you can ask customers to comment their suggestions or requests for improvement. You can easily gauge customers’ reactions and expectations when it comes to releasing new products and services. Having this data will allow you to see where your weaknesses lie and improve your customer service. Try your best to reply to all feedback, whether good or bad.
Send Personalized Messages
After a customer purchases your product, signs up for a free trial of your service, or otherwise interacts with your business, a good idea is to send a personalized email to follow up with them. Reach out personally to offer help and thank them for their patronage. This will help them form a positive impression of you, your employees, and your business as a whole.
Research from Experian shows that personalized emails have a 29 percent higher opening rate, a 41 percent higher click rate, and result in 6 times more transaction rates. According to 96 percent of marketers, personalized messages improve customer relationships.
When writing the email, use the customer’s name. Employ a familiar, friendly tone and consider using a personalized email rather than your business’s main email address.
Reward Top Customers
Reward your customers’ loyalty to your business. A loyalty program will help you gather data about your customers while personalizing the experience for your patrons. Impress your regular customers by giving them an experience to remember, such as special discounts, gifts, or opportunities to access new products before their general release.
Brainstorm unique ideas. For example, if your business makes and sells cookies, offer a tour of the space where you mix the cookie batter and bake the product. Unique experiences will give you the benefit of word-of-mouth advertising through the internet and will impress your customers.
Make Auto-Replies Non-Generic
Automatic replies can be very helpful in that they confirm to customers that their message has been correctly sent and received. They allow you to chat with your customers and deliver instant answers. However, generic replies do nothing to engage the customer. Add some personality in order to make them more interesting. Make your subject lines more friendly than a standard “Your message has been received.” Consider, instead, something more relaxed like “Thanks for reaching out!” If possible for your software, use the customer’s first name in the email and include a thank you in the body of the email. You can also use automatic replies in this way on your business’s social media.
Offer Self-Help Options
Many modern customers prefer to find the answers to their questions themselves without reaching out to an employee. According to a recent survey, 53 percent of customers would prefer to resolve service-related problems themselves. Many people would prefer not to rely on telephone calls.
Providing your customers access to an FAQ page or knowledge base on your business’s website is a very wise customer service move. As of 2015, 81 percent of adults in the United States used an FAQ or knowledge base on a website. Your customers will likely use such a resource, and it will make things easier for both your business and your customers.
There are many small and large changes which will greatly improve your business’s customer service. Customers really appreciate it when a company makes an extra effort to offer good service. Implement a few of these options and watch your business grow.
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