Every successful company must admit that their customers are their single most important resource. Creating an atmosphere that is completely devoted to world-class customer service will ensure that your company continues to expand no matter the economic climate. Take a look at five essential practices that will help to improve your customer service tenfold:
Explore Every Touch point
There is no point in having excellent customer service if a business owner does not cover all of their bases. Many companies tend to make the mistake of focusing on one form of contact with customers while neglecting all other forms of communication. From emails and phone calls to social media updates and traditional mail, begin to think of your customer service as a much larger system of interconnecting pieces. Be sure to make yourself available to customers through various channels, and you will have less issues that are slipping through the cracks.
Improve Your Hiring Practices
Many business owners do not realize just how much damage one bad employee can do. Even if an employee is not in sales or customer service they can cause ongoing issues without anyone noticing for quite some time. Instead of focusing on training or schooling, try to get a true sense of a prospective employee’s personality and work ethic. Training can take place at another time, but a sense of responsibility and friendliness are not as easily taught.
Incorporate Technology into Your Communications
A client should feel as if they can contact you through almost any medium and get a quick response. All forms of communication and touch points should be continuously monitored with a dedication to fast response times. If you are too busy as the business owner, then consider handing over at least some of the communication projects to another employee that will be held responsible for customer service. You also might consider outsourcing some of your customer service tasks to third parties who can provide immediate answers and results to customers. For example, getting help from a third party like Mind The Gap Messaging Services would allow your company to avoid missing important calls from customers.
Hedge off Problems before Complaints Are Made
One of the worst mistakes that a business can make is to ignore a problem until a complaint is made. If an order or bill is wrong, then you should get proactive about reaching out to the customer. An email with an apology and a small discount on the next order could mean the world to a first-time customer. Even if they don’t voice their issues, a mistake that is not rectified will most likely cost you repeat business.
Don’t Create Captive Customers
When your company or the customer realizes that it is not a good fit, then it is best to let them go as easily as possible. Keeping a customer captive by requiring a lengthy process to end a contract or cancel an order is a great way to ensure that they never come back and never recommend your company to friends or family. It may seem like a good idea to continue sending out emails as long as possible, but it will not take much for this contact to become annoying spam.
After a few of these practices have been adopted, you should consider creating a feedback program to ensure that your company is constantly improving when it comes to customer service. It will take more than just answering phones and replying to emails to keep your customers—they need to feel like you truly care about them.