10 Customer Service Tips
We’ve talked about the importance of customer service on the blog before with our Customer Service 101 post, however, it’s such a big part of running any business – so we’re talking about it again with these customer service tips!
Last time, we mostly focused on how to deal with complaints – one of the biggest burdens of running a business and something that’s very hard to overcome. In a 2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey, a whopping 76% said they see customer service as a ‘true test’ of how much a company values them. So, with that in mind, this time we’re showing you how to let your customers how much you care with 10 customer service tips:
The customer is always right
Even if they’re not, they are. The worst thing you can do is argue with a customer, so put on a smile and work with them to alleviate their concerns or complaints.
Go out of your way
There’s nothing better than word of mouth marketing, and one way to do that is to go out of your way to help a customer. They’ll feel super special and important (which of course, they are!) – just make sure to apply this to all your customers.
If a customer has had a bad experience no matter how small, make sure you apologise and make it up to them. This could include missing parcels; damaged goods; or a lapse in communication. One sour experience can stop a customer returning to your business, so make sure you let them know that it’s not a normal level of service for you and give them a reason to come back in future.
Never take it out on the customer
If you’re having a bad day and a particularly difficult customer comes along, it can be really easy for your mood to come out in contact with your customers. Always remember to leave your mood out of it and speak to the customer with respect. A particularly handy tip we’ve learnt from our days as a receptionist is to always smile when you are talking on the phone. It may sound silly, but the person on the other end can hear it in your voice – and who can resist a smile?!
Never bad mouth
This is one I see a lot and it always baffles me why people do it. Never ever bad mouth a customer. Not even on your personal profiles, as they are easily found and despite stringent security settings. It can be easy to forget how large your audience is, even amongst ‘friends’. It’s simply unprofessional, don’t do it.
Always reach a resolution
If a customer is unhappy, it’s imperative to reach a resolution that satisfies them. That might mean offering them a refund or a goodwill gesture – anything to make sure the next time the customer thinks of your business they’re not left with a sour taste in the mouth.
The general timeframe for responding to messages, emails, etc. is 48 hours. However long you would like to aim for, make sure this is clear to the customer. It should also be in your Terms and Conditions. A speedy response time means you’re likely to satisfy the customer so they won’t take their business elsewhere.
Have a number of customer service methods available
All businesses should have at least 3 different communication channels available to their customers – phone, email, contact form via a website, social media, etc. Only having one is frustrating for the customer, but having a multitude of options makes you appear accessible and trustworthy. Don’t forget to make sure your full address is visible on your website too, it’s a legal requirement!
Build on complaints and feedback
If a customer gives feedback or submits a complaint, it’s really important to act on it and implement procedures to ensure the problem is dealt with and doesn’t occur again. Remember how valuable feedback from customers is, as they are the backbone of your business and their complaints and feedback are vital to the growth of your business.
Be polite and professional
This one sounds really obvious, but it may surprise you how many businesses use curse words, slang, put x’s at the end of messages, and use generally unprofessional language in their communications to their customers. It’s not appropriate to address your customers like a friend in the street. Make sure you’re always polite, professional and courteous.
Give people more than they expect
By exceeding expectations, your customer will have a positive memory of your business. Returning customers account for 70% of business, so it’s vital to retain loyal customers. You could give them a surprise discount, or ship their order earlier than expected. Whatever you do, exceed their expectations and they’ll be a customer for life.
A great way to help you implement all of these customer service tips is through customer service portals such as Live Agent, Freshdesk, and Zendesk. These help you get your communications in one place. Facebook, Twitter, and emails all go to one dashboard where you can reply from. They also create ‘tickets’ of each conversation, mention or email so everything really is all in one place.
I hope these 10 customer service tips have helped, have I missed any of your favourites?