Customer service is one of the business building blocks that can always be improved. Great customer service can turn new shoppers into loyal repeat customers. A poor interaction, on the other hand, could turn a potential customer into a lost opportunity. Monitoring your business’ customer service performance should be a top priority at all times, but finding ways to implement changes without completely retraining your staff can be difficult. Here are five quick and easy ways you can improve your business’ customer service experience.
1. Answer Calls and Emails Quickly
No one likes waiting, especially if there’s a problem. Responding to questions or complaints as quickly as possible is crucial. While automated messages letting customers know how long they should expect to wait for a response can be a good starting point, customer services teams should always be focusing on improving their response times. During your business’ open hours, answering calls within the first few rings or responding to emails within the hour are great benchmarks to work toward.
2. Be Friendly
Good interactions with a company can make or break a customer’s interest. A grumpy or disinterested sales associate can turn an average shopping experience into a negative one, turning a potential repeat customer into someone who will never come back to your store. On the flip side, though, an interaction with a friendly staff member can turn a one-time shopper into a loyal ambassador. Welcoming customers with a smile and asking about their day can be a simple change that makes all the difference.
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3. But Stay Professional
There’s a delicate line that anyone tasked with a company’s customer service needs to walk. While being friendly helps customers feel like their interactions are valued, staff need to stay professional as well. Employees should be viewed as your business’ experts, able to either help customers directly or get them in quick contact with someone else who can. Keeping a professional approach reinforces your staff’s expertise. Think of it like a really good doctor. They’re friendly. They ask you how you’re doing or whether your family had a good vacation, but they also keep a professional attitude, asking you questions about why you’re there and using their expertise to help provide a solution.
4. Expand Your Communication Channels
It’s not just in-person interactions with customers that can make or break a business. If a customer gets home and realized they were charged incorrectly or there’s something wrong with what they bought, how can they contact your business? Phone and email are the two forms of contact most customers have come to expect. However, opening your business up to other channels of communication like Facebook or Twitter can help spotlight your customer service skills, as well as highlight any commonly asked questions.
5. Always Listen
This may seem like Customer Service 101, but not listening is a huge problem. Everyone’s had at least one experience with a sales person or customer service representative that seems like they’re just going by the script, not actually listening to what you’re telling them. This can be one of the most infuriating feelings as a customer. It’s also one of the easiest issues to fix. Encourage your staff to respond using the customer’s own words while maintaining a friendly tone to reassure them that they’re listening.