Recently I had a dispute with my phone carrier, who will remain nameless. My data speeds had been throttled despite having been only one third of the way through my data, and not one of the two human beings I spoke to before could assist me. Without many other options, I thought I’d try my luck on the online chat but that didn’t turn out very good in the end either. During this frustrating process I may have lost my cool a few times, but the customer is always right, right? Not always. In the end I canceled my service and my otherwise decent view of the company is now changed. How can we learn from this carrier’s mistakes? Here are five tips to amp up your Customer Service strategy to help you gain, not lose customers.
A customer’s time is valuable, be efficient and be available!
Any good customer service rep should internalize this. In my situation, I spent roughly two hours trying to resolve my phone’s issue. In my mind, things escalated to, “am I going to have time for this in the future?”-which ultimately led to them losing my business. Having a truly devoted customer service rep may have prevented this from happening.
Instead, each person I spoke to rushed me off the phone, after suggesting that they had did everything they could to resolve my problem. Do your business and the customer a favor and do a quick recap of what you helped them with. Give them the option to ask for more support, and provide them means to follow up if need-be.
Personalize your customer service experience
No customer is the same, so why should your support be? Customer service and support should be tailored to each individual customer. With my phone service I was told that my notes would stay on file in the case that I had to call back. Well I called back, and I still had to repeat my issue several times; this made me feel lied to, and depersonalized. To prevent this from happening, keep accurate notes on each customer complaint so you can refer to them in the future. This will also help you determine reoccurring problems for training and development purposes.
Add a face to your business
The current state of technology has led many businesses to move online when dealing with customer service and support. While online support allows greater availability when your offices are closed, offering solely online or telephone support dampers the personal connection you have with your clients. Try to set aside time to meet with clients in person, or to conduct video Skypes with those that are far away. This will give your company that personal touch that so many crave and it will make it more difficult for them to leave in the future.
Establish and keep a good internet presence
That’s not to say the internet isn’t a good tool too; many customers prefer doing things online due to the sheer convenience of it. To begin, establish your business on all of the major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.) and reply to customer posts and concerns as quickly as possible (use mobile notifications so you can do so even when you’re away from a computer). On your company pages have a section for feedback and use it to constantly improve the customer’s experience. Also, be sure to put up bios and photos to further the personal feel of your company.
Make customer service a priority, now and in the future
Being committed to customer service is an ongoing process so make sure your team is aware of this, and devoted to the cause. Dan Rosenberg, from Cash for Cars, says that one reason he thinks customer service is so crucial is because, many times, that’s the only connection a customer has with a company, and their impressions of the company come from those interactions.
In order for customer service to succeed, your team members must stay engaged and dedicated to the customer service experience. Holding weekly-monthly meetings is a great way to help train employees to learn better customer service techniques and practices. These meetings can also be used to go over current concerns and issues, as well as to review your company’s policy and philosophy on customer service. Be sure to poll your team members regarding their views, and to keep the conversation open. The goal is to gather as much information about your customer service experience as possible to better improve upon your operations. You don’t want to end up like the phone carrier in my previously mentioned example, do you?