Customers are the backbone of all businesses, and therefore we must talk about how to improve your customer service.
The fact that customers are the reasons why businesses exist cannot be denied.
This is because businesses and companies are set up to provide solutions and make provisions for customers through their goods and services.
However, have you wondered why people stop purchasing goods or requesting the services of a business or company?
Or has the question of why customers often complain about a business or company crossed your mind?
It is because offering goods and services to customers is not all there is making a business successful or achieving the goals and objectives of customers.
There is a lot to having a successful business than producing goods or offering services.
Research has shown that there are quite several factors that hinder a business from successfully achieving its purpose.
It ranges from low quality of goods and services, lack of value, poor communication, customer service, etc.
Customer service is a very pivotal part of every business that should not be taken for granted.
This is why the focal point of this blog post is how to improve your customer service.
Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll consider what customer service is and look at customer service types.
We will also consider the importance or advantages of good customer service.
Of course, we will see the disadvantages of poor customer service and how to improve your customer service.
First, What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the interaction or conversation between a customer and a business.
It could be a team member or staff representing the business.
It is also the relation between a company or business and its buyer or customers.
Customer service could also be described as the assistance or service provided to a customer by the business they patronize.
This is done by being available and guiding customers throughout the process of their patronage.
This can be before purchase, during purchase, and after the purchase has taken place.
When discussing how to improve customer service, it’s also important to discuss the various types or examples of customer service.
Types of Customer Service
Customer service is of different types and forms, they include;
Phone Customer Service
Phone customer service is a type of service offered to customers via telephones.
It is one of the easiest and fastest customer service forms as it allows customers to reach you conveniently.
Email Customer Service
Email customer service, also known as email support, is a type of customer service done by sending messages through an email.
It is a convenient way for customers to communicate and relate with a business.
Live Chat Customer Service
Through live chat customer service, customers can reach out to customer care representatives and receive immediate assistance or response.
Social Media Customer Service
Social media customer service is a type of customer support offered via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
It is quite convenient because customers on these platforms can easily reach out to the business for assistance.
On-Site/Physical Customer Service
On-site customer service or support is that which is technical and needs to be done physically.
This can be at a given location by a consultant or an expert in the required field.
Customer self-service is an online customer service that allows customers to find solutions without reaching out to the business for assistance.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated customer service that provides self-service options to customers.
It is also a computer-operated phone system that interacts with customers and provides them the help that they need.
Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service involves predicting customers’ future needs and providing solutions in anticipation of these needs.
It is also a type of customer care service aimed at preventing the occurrence of any future problem.
Importance of Good Customer Service
Here are some reasons why every business should strive to build and improve its customer service.
It’s basically because it plays a major role in every business’s ability to achieve success and build good customer relationships.
Increased revenue or profit
An increase in the revenue generated by a company is a benefit and importance of good customer service.
Customers will conveniently spend more on a business that offers great customer service.
Increase in Customer lifetime value
Good customer service results in an increase in customer lifetime value.
This is the net profit of a customer’s patronage during their lifetime to a business they patronize often.
Customer Retention and Loyalty
An advantage of good customer service is that it increases your company’s or business’s ability to retain customers and build customer loyalty.
This means that customers will now be able to make repeated purchases from your business and company voluntarily.
Also, they will remain dedicated and consistent in their purchases.
Customer loyalty and retention have a lot of benefits that boost the growth and success of every business.
One of the major importance of good customer service is that it adds value to your products and services.
This is essential because customers lookout for businesses or companies that can offer goods and services.
They also look out for those that provide them with the value of their money’s worth.
Boost in Brand’s Image and Reputation
When your business or company provides the best customer services to its customers, these customers will have nothing but positive words and remarks to make about your business.
They tell other people on or offline about your business.
This helps add value to your company, boost your company or brand’s image, and help your business stand out in a very competitive market.
It creates an Opportunity for Growth and Development
Customer service is also a way businesses and organizations can receive feedback about their business from their customers.
Hence, customer service is an opportunity for a business to use the information provided on their goods, services, and other customer-related issues for improvement and development.
Acquiring New Customers
Good customer service serves as a marketing opportunity that allows businesses or companies to acquire new customers.
When pre-existing customers are pleased with a business, they recommend and refer the business to others who become new customers.
This saves the cost of marketing and advertising to get new customers.
New customers could also become potential loyal customers.
As much as the benefits of good customer service are exciting, there are also downsides to poor customer service.
Likewise, you must know these things if you must learn how to improve your customer service.
Therefore, here are the dangers of poor customer service.
Dangers of Poor Customer Service
If your business does not make an effort to boost and improve its customer services, it is said to have poor customer service.
Poor customer service brings about the risks of experiencing the following;
Decrease in Revenue or Profit
When a company or a business had a poor customer service system that constantly leaves its customers dissatisfied and displeased, the customers will leave the business to patronize a competitor.
Pre-existing and new customers also begin to leave the business, and such a business’s profits begin to decrease.
Bad Image and Reputation
While good customer service helps build your business or brand image, bad customer service ruined your reputation and image to customers and potential customers.
This is because no one wants to patronize a business with a bad reputation.
Loss of Customer Loyalty and Retention
The ability to retain and build customer loyalty is highly dependent on your ability to provide your customers with a good experience.
If your customer service is not so great, the possibility of a customer making a second purchase would be very slim.
And this can lead to your inability to build customer loyalty or achieve customer retention.
Customer Lifetime Value Decreases
Customer lifetime value will decrease if the customer service of a business is very poor.
This means that the net profit that your business acquired from a particular customer’s relationship with your business would decrease or become non-existent.
Losing of Employees
When your customer service is poor, it causes frustration and stress on your employees and not only your customers.
When employees have to deal with dissatisfied, angry, and upset customers continuously, their morale and enthusiasm toward their job begin to decrease.
Increase in Marketing Expenses
When your customer service is poor, you will lose customers.
Therefore, you’ll have to channel your business resources into advertising to get new customers.
Thereby increasing your business expenses.
Now that you know what’s at stake if you don’t improve your customer service, here’s how to do it.
How to Improve your Customer Service
To avoid losing customers and your profits through poor customer service, certain techniques need to be employed and enforced.
1Getting Constant Feedback
One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to create a room or platform for feedback from your customers.
Creating a platform for feedback means allowing your customers to share their thoughts, experiences, needs, disappointments, and dissatisfaction.
This does not only informs you about their experiences.
Also, it helps you to win their trust and confidence while making improvements where necessary.
2Personalize Customer Communication
Always personalize your customer communication by making use of your customer’s name.
This might be during a one-on-one conversation or a phone call, responding to a text or email message.
It is a great way to relate to your customers by showing them that every customer is important to you.
3Enforce a Stronger Customer Service Support Team
This could be done by hiring trained and qualified customer care representatives or training your existing customer care representatives.
You can do this either by organizing classes or workshops with professionals.
It also involves teaching them the essential qualities of customer relations, such as patience, attentive and reflective listening, understanding and empathy, professionalism, good written and spoken communication skills, etc.
4Listening to your Customers
Listening to your customers is another method or way in which the customer service of your business.
This entails reflectively and attentively paying attention to your customers without interruption.
This is in a bid to understand your customer’s needs, requests, and complaints without any form of misinterpretation and misconception.
Listening without interruption also shows your customers that they are respected and valued.
Empathy is an essential requirement for improved customer service.
Showing care and concern to your customers when they reach out to you, understanding their emotions, feelings, and disappointment helps you improve your customer relationship.
6Be Transparent and Honest
Transparency and honesty are also a part of improving your customer service.
Never make empty promises to your customers and never lie to your customers or avoid issues.
Instead, try telling them the truth and proceed to provide them with a quick and effective solution.
7Have Multiple Channels of Communication
Making use of various communication channels is a way to improve your customer service.
- Creating FAQ pages that provide self-help to customers by answering certain questions
- Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that help you to stay in touch with your customers
- creating email addresses, active customer care lines for phone calls and text messages.
8Apologize and Take Responsibility
In addition to ensuring that your client’s issues are fixed promptly, always apologize and take responsibility when problems or issues arise.
Then offer a solution rather than avoiding the situation or blaming the customer.
9Offer Constant support
Another way businesses can improve their customer service alongside creating Omni channels is by providing constant customer support.
This is because it is almost impossible to predict the time and the day’s customers would lay a complaint or reach out.
Regardless of whatever day or time, somebody must always offer them the assistance they need.
This assistance could be in the form of employees taking shifts or working during the weekends.
10Make Attractive Offers
Additionally, customer service can be improved by making irresistible offers to your customer.
These offers include gift vouchers, discounts, loyalty cards, holiday discounts, free tutorials, or training.
Also included are free trials, buy one, get one free, gift cards, packaged deals, random customer gifts, rewards, etc.
11Reward Loyal Customers
Rewarding loyal customers helps to improve and build your customer service.
It involves offering them gifts, promo and discounts offer.
Additionally, personalizing your product and services by customizing products or services with the customer’s name or photograph.
12Create Policies that Allow Customers to do Business with you Easily
Policies such as reforms, point-based comings, free shipping, guarantees, etc., encourage customers to come back.
It also allows customers to do business with you easily and improves your customer service.
If your policies are too strict and not flexible so that they look out for your customers, it could result in bad customer service.
Final Thoughts on How to Improve your Customer Service
Any service-oriented organization’s survival is dependent on its customer satisfaction.
As such, the key rule to follow and imbibe is the understanding that the customer is king.
This way, you will focus your attention and efforts on ensuring that every customer has a good experience with your business.
With this at the back of your mind, all hands will be on deck to improve your customer service.