Customer service is very important if you want to build a successful business. Customers literally make or break your business. Make your customers happy and they will do whatever they can to support the growth your business. Make your customers angry and they will do whatever they can to shut your business down.
Therefore, the customer service experience that you provide is what makes or breaks your business. If you are not serving your customers with excellence, then they will seek the service of other businesses that provide them with an excellent experience. You do not want your business to succumb to failure just because you did not know how to treat your customers well.
If you would like to know how to improve your customer service, here are 42 tips that will help you produce an excellent customer service experience.
1) Invite your customers with a friendly greeting
Have you ever walked in a business where it felt uninviting and the staff talked to you rudely? It made you not want to do business with that company. You need to train your employees to be warm and welcoming to your customers. They need to always put on a smile and and be friendly when interacting with your customers.
2) Ask your customers how they like to interact
Some people like talking on the phone. Few people like communicating through text.Others like email communication. Find out what your customers preferred method of interaction is and communicate with them using those methods. This helps to increase favorable interaction.
3) Ask how you could provide them the best service
Guessing tends to produce the wrong assumptions. Just ask your customers how your business could better serve them and implement those changes. If they are outrageous the request, ignore them. But, if the request are reasonable, then you should have no problem providing what has been requested.
4) Ask for their input
Ask your customers to grade your performance. You want to know how well you are servicing their needs so that you can know where to improve. The best businesses are always seeking improvement over being content.
5) Find out what works best for your customers
Let your customers know why you are better than your competition. Remind them why they chose your service by consistently providing them quality products or services, that is backed by a great customer experience.
6) Involve your customers in your decision making
Let your customers know about the changes that are being planned to be made and ask for their opinion about your decisions. This will help you to learn if your planned changes will positively or negatively your customer relationships.
7) Interview your customers
Send your customers a list of questions to find out what they believe represents the perfect business. Even though no business is perfect, you can guide your business towards providing the types of products and services your customers desire. This will help to create customer loyalty and grow your customer base.
8) Find out what works best for your customers
The best businesses are focused on making it easy for their customers to be customers. You want to make the entire process easy. They should know where to find specific information, who to get in contact with for a particular question, and how to properly work their product or use your service.
9) Engage in consistent conversation with your customers
You do not just want to speak to your customers when a problem occurs. You should always pick their brains and find out how their experience is with your business. When they see that you care about knowing their thoughts, their support for your business grows even stronger, staying with you even through difficult times.
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10) Constantly analyze your customer service
Take a look at your organization in progress. Analyze how your employees interact with your customers in person and over the phone. Send in people who are to report back to you the service they experienced. Determine where your business exceeds and where it falls short. You want to ensure that you are providing the best service possible, which is done by understanding how your business is currently performing.
11) Use the “customer is always right approach
Even when the customer is wrong, give them the satisfaction of being right so that you can proceed with solving their problem. There is no point in making a minor issue a major issue. Unless the customer is completely in the wrong in regards to a major issue, just look past little things with a smile.
12) Promote great treatment of your customers
The experience of your customers starts with your. As the leader, show your team how your customers should be treated so they can emulate your behavior. It is better to show rather than just to tell.
13) Always say “please” and “thank you”
You would be amazed to know how much the words “please” and “thank you” mean to your customers. These words show that you care about the individual as a person and not just another customer. Using these little words can set you apart from your competition.
14) Try to refrain from using “no” and “cannot”
These words signify that you cannot do something, which can produce a negative perception in the minds of your customers. It is especially bad when you have to use these words when people are asking about their products or services. If you are truly providing the best products and services, these words should rarely be used.
15) Always have an enthusiastic personality when interacting with your customers
Enthusiasm is a feeling that tends to spread when you come in contact with it. Always present an excited and “can do” attitude when you are in front of your customers or speaking with them over the phone. You can even express these emotions through text and email. This helps your customers become happier, which makes the whole customer service process run much better.
16) Become Invaluable to your customers
You need to become so great that your customers cannot part ways with you. Always meet their needs. Work to constantly improve your products and services. Stay in contact with your customers. Just work to provide the best experience possible.
17) Ignore policy and procedure if it impedes the customer
Sometimes you cannot always follow the rules in place when different situations come up. You can choose to follow the stated guidelines and lose a customer, or you can disregard those guidelines if they do not allow you to keep the customers best interest in mind.
18) Keep your customers separated from company politics
There will be times when internal changes have to be made to improve the performance of your business. While this process is going on do not allow it to interfere with your customer service. You do not want your customers to deal with bad service just because you are dealing with internal problems.
19) Provide the training that makes your staff the best
Your entire organization needs to have the focus on providing great customer service. This is why training is very important, along with continued training. From your receptionist to your top executives, all members of your team need to put customer service first when working for your company.
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20) Treat your customers as a loved family member
Most of us want to do whatever we possibly can to ensure that our family is well taken care of. The same needs to go for your customers. Hold them in high regards because they are an important part of your business family. Without their continued support your business will fail.
21) Gather customer’s experience with your business through surveys
Always send out surveys that your customers can use to rate your customer service and provide their own feedback. Share the information gathered with your team, and work as a collective unit to improve your customer service.
22) Encourage feedback
Remind your customers that they can send in their feedback anytime they choose to. This will help you and your team stay focused on providing excellent service, especially when a customer points out where you are lacking.
23) Search for the best practices to implement into your organization
Your entire organization needs to be focused on providing excellent customer service. This is done by providing your team with the best practices that provide them with the guidelines on how to interact with your customers. This helps to create a unified team performance which makes your company operate better.
24)Make your practices a consistent behavior
You do not want to focus on providing the best customer service one week and then completely blow it off the next week. Practice makes perfect, which is why it is important for your customers to experience your best service every time they interact with your business.
25) Become creative with your service
Sometimes you will need to be creative and innovative in order to differentiate your customer service from the competition. Going the extra mile will help you produce a far better experience for your business that keeps your customers loyal to you.
26) Create a communication strategy with your customers
If you want to communicate better with your customers, you need to focus on a strategy that covers how the communication process will work. This will be the information that says how communication should proceed or end based on a certain set of circumstances.
27) Make your customers a part of your team
Refer to your customers as valued members of your team. Make them feel special by letting them know they are just as important to the success of your team as your paid employees are. Encourage them to interact on a consistent basis with your basis and spread the word of their great experience with your business to their family and friends.
28) Instantly handle problems and issues that arise
Do not wait for days, weeks, or months to handle a customer’s problems. As soon as an issue is brought to your attention, immediately work to rectify the problem. This helps to keep your customers satisfied and makes them speak about your company’s great abilities to solve problems quickly to other people. This word of mouth marketing is great for sending new customers to your business
29) Deal with your customers and staff with care
Your staff are the people who deal with your customers on a regular basis, so you want to ensure you provide them with the best working environment to operate within. If your staff feels like they are being treated well, they will show the same respect to your customers. On the other hand, disgruntled employees tend to treat customers badly. Therefore, treat your employees good so they can treat your customers good.
30) Find the best ways to solve problems
Do not make problems bigger than they have to be. When dealing with a problem, find the root of its cause, and work forward to resolve the issue. Nothing has to be blown up into a major incident. Let calm and clear heads prevail in ensuring that everyone walks away satisfied.
31) Constantly evaluate yourself and your team
There is always room to improve the level of service you are providing your customers. Determine where you fall short and do the same for each member of your team. Everyone needs to performing at the best of their ability if you want your business to exceed the performance of your competition.
32) Let your staff determine why they failed
Instead of telling your employees why they failed, ask them to tell you why they failed. This will help them to better analyze themselves for their future performance. Before proceeding with an action, they will quickly ask themselves if the action they plan to take is the best option. Now you have staff who think and act, rather than just acting without a second thought.
33) Set high expectations
The only way your customer service can be considered excellent is if you promote an environment of excellence. Only accept the very best from everyone within your organization, from the top to the bottom. This creates an atmosphere of the competition to be the best and of high accountability.
34) Have a “next man up” mentality
If you have to let go of one of your employees, there should be someone trained to immediately take their place. This keeps your organization performing without any fumbles occurring. You definitely do not want a change in employees to be the reason why your performance and customer experience suffers.
35) Always solve problems with a smile and a great attitude
There will be times when customers test your patience. Just remember that public opinion will tend to favor the customer over the business. This is why you need to refrain from exploding if you have to deal with a rude customer. Just handle their problem at that moment, and let them know they are no longer welcomed as your customer via email. This solves the problem on both ends.
36) Try to communicate with your customers on all fronts before giving up
Just because you do not get in contact with your customer with their preferred method of communication, it does not mean you give up. This is especially true when you are contacting them in regards to very important information. Exhaust all means of communication before giving up due to no response.
37) Provide solutions rather than answers
Answers are what you give people when you want them to cease from asking you a question at that particular moment. Solutions are what you provide to people when you want to completely solve their problems. Provide your customers with solutions and they will be forever loyal to your business. If you just provide answers, they will become annoyed with your lack of ability to solve their problems.
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38) Follow through on what you stated would be done
One of the worst things for customers is an unkept promise. When you state you are going to do something and it is not done, that signals to your customers that you do not care about helping them. If you make a promise, see to it that the promise is kept in order to stay in good favor with your customers.
39) Keep an open form of communication with your customers
If you made a mistake, let your customers know. Trying to hide from your mistakes until the customer finds out makes the problem become even worse. Get ahead of the problem by trying to establish with your customer how the problem can be rectified. Your customers should know that you will always be completely honest with them and will ensure all problems all resolved in a professional manner.
40) Let your customers know about the value of your products or services
You want to ensure that your customers understand that you are providing them with value that cannot be provided anywhere else. Explain to them how you work to resolve their problems completely. Provide them with results rather than explanations.
41) Always be honest with your customers
Honesty goes a long way when you are dealing with your customers. You never want them to feel as if they need to question your integrity. If you are always upfront with them and keep them aware of certain circumstances, they will remain loyal to your business.
42) Inspire your customers and your staff
Be a leader who encourages their employees to perform well and gives their customers the feeling they are in the best hands. When everyone is secure in your leadership, they are happy and the customer service experience goes a lot smoother.
How would you rate your business customer service? Based on the list provided, you may feel your customer service needs a little improvement. That is a good thing, though. As long as you recognize that improvement can be made, you move in the right step towards providing your customers with a better customer service experience.