Customer service is crucial for business success, strengthening your company’s reputation and ensuring customer retention to earn repeat business and generous referrals.
Businesses today can’t afford poor or even mediocre customer service. According to the recent Achieving Customer Amazement (ACA) Survey report, 83% of customers will abandon your company because of bad customer service, and 67% will share their negative experiences with others.
Consistently providing excellent customer service is the best way to retain customers, boost satisfaction and grow your business. We’ll outline seven critical elements of excellent customer service and how you can implement these best practices into your sales process, support channels and overall operations.
It’s not enough for a business owner to understand the importance of customer service. The entire team must strive to delight the customer. Consider the following seven tactics and take the time to inform and support your team to create a common goal of excellent customer service.
Every customer deserves to be treated as a vital business asset. Set this standard from the beginning to ensure your team knows that customer satisfaction is the No.1 priority. Retaining your customers is critical. The future of your business depends on your customers, so your team must treat everyone well at every touchpoint.
Prioritizing your customers includes:
Your customers want to know you value them. Provide the best service possible whenever possible, and hold on to your customers for dear life.
Customer loyalty is crucial to your business’s long-term success, ensuring repeat business, positive word-of-mouth referrals and loyalty to your overall brand.
No one wants to do business with a company that everyone is complaining about. If your business offers poor customer service and low-quality products, word will travel quickly, and your customers will take their business elsewhere.
Ensure everyone in your company strives to do their best to give your customers an unforgettable experience to protect your brand reputation. Your customers should have such excellent experiences with your business that they want to share them.
Customer service is where the magic happens. Each interaction gives you a chance to prove to your customers how much you care. Focus on ways to create relationships that matter by training empathetic service reps who don’t just offer generic responses. Your team must embrace the philosophy that your brand’s reputation is of the utmost importance.
It’s OK to make a mistake; after all, we’re all human. However, when your business messes up, your frustrated customers will likely expect some exceptional customer service to resolve the issue. It’s essential to know when and how to apologize for a mishap.
Tips for customer apologies include:
Always own up to your mistakes instead of placing blame elsewhere, and take the necessary actions to ensure you and your team never make the same mistake twice.
Did you know? Customers coming away from a poor service experience are more likely to post a negative online review after a bad experience than happy customers are to post a good customer review.
Ensure your customers can reach you when they need a problem resolved or just a listening ear.
Being reachable means:
Responsiveness is a critical element of customer service. To develop a responsive customer relations team, train your employees to return every email, phone call and other form of communication within 48 hours. Even if your team responds to complaints or demanding customers, every return phone call or email should be a priority.
Customer service requires excellent communication skills. Even if you consistently teach your team customer service best practices – such as responding promptly and apologizing when needed – these lessons may fail to translate to happy customers if your agents don’t know how to listen to, interpret and address customer complaints.
Excellent communication is unquestionably among the most important elements of customer service, but it’s easy to overlook, so don’t make that mistake.
Today’s consumers want a zero-friction experience in their customer journey. Each customer interaction with your brand must feel consistent, and customer service is no exception.
Prioritize providing a consistent experience in the following ways:
Customers expect a seamless experience when buying from your online store or interacting with your business website. The best website builders and design services can create smooth online shopping and intuitive website navigation.
Good customer service is crucial for many reasons. These are some of the most significant:
Excellent customer service depends on employees who can adjust themselves to customer personalities. How you care for your customers will shape how they perceive your business. Place a strong emphasis on making your customers happy, from their first contact with your business throughout their journey.
Your business’s philosophy toward its customers should align with your overall company vision. When every team member is on board, it’s much easier to work toward a common goal. Ensure your team strives to perform its very best, and place equal importance on each component of your customer service philosophy to ensure everyone lives up to it.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.