People buy from people they know, like and trust. People are loyal to brands who consistently deliver on promises made and who treat them with respect. It all comes down to the customer experience and customer service.
A strong company will already have great customer relationships. But a smart company will always be asking “How is my customer’s experience with us?” and “How can we improve?” If you are not constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve your customer service and their experience, then your relationships will stagnate. Here a few simple and easy tips to give your clients’ experience a boost:
Be Available. I think it’s safe to say this is the most important one on the list. No one wants to hear a recording that customer service is unavailable every time they call. Even if you don’t have 24/7 phone or chat coverage, give your customers the opportunity to contact you outside the typical 9-5 hours. Providing an email address that goes directly to customer service is also a big plus. People just want to be validated and noticed when they have a problem or issue.
Be Engaged. Almost as bad as not being able to reach a human being on the phone, is talking to someone who doesn’t care about your issue. Make sure your CS Team is engaged with your customers and your company. If Suzy hates her boss, thinks she’s underpaid, and can’t get along with anyone on the team, then she’s not going to treat your customers with care and attention. This goes back to the core values of your company – leadership should treat their employees exactly how they want their employees to treat their best clients. It’s a trickle-down effect
Let Customers Provide Feedback. It doesn’t matter how pro-active you are, you will still have customer issues to handle. But it’s an opportunity to get feedback as well! Create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback – whether it’s a phone survey, an email survey, or a form on the “Contact Us” page of your website, give your customers a way to give you some feedback so you can improve. It also helps keep unhappy customers from voicing their displeasure on highly visible places like your social media pages. Not only will you discover touch points and skills that need improvement, but your customers will see that you provide top-notch, proactive customer service.
Choosing the Right Team to Service your Clients. Not everyone is cut out to work in customer service – and that’s OK. It’s really a tough job when you think about it. But there are some requirements that everyone on your team should have: Empathy, patience and consistency. Adaptability. Good communication skills. Follow through. Knowledge. Thick skin. We suggest using a profile tool such as DISC to ensure you are getting a great match.
Understand the Customer Process. Many managers forget (or don’t know) what it is like to be a customer of their own business. Observation is the keyword here. If you see your customer’s in person, observe their body language and behavior. Are they relaxed, annoyed, can’t wait to get out of the building? Listen in on some phone calls between customers and your customer service team – what is the tone and language used? Does your front line staff seem attentive to their needs? Red Barn is all about coaching and training. Giving support to your team is a win-win. When they are happier, your customers will be happier. Retention will go up!
Have a Process. This one’s pretty important. Make sure your team knows what it means to be successful in their role. What decision making power do they have to help customers, and when does a manager need to step in? Is there a process that they need to follow for returns, credits, etc.? Define how you measure success in the position and with the customers. And – use this touch point as a sales driver for new customers who call in with questions or to place an order.
Your customer’s experience should be top on your business plan’s priority list. Understand your strengths and weaknesses in this area and make adjustments. Get the team involved and constantly be asking “How can we make it better?”
Meagen Medina, CISR