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Improve Customer Service Almost Immediately With These 6 Tips

Customer service, like it or loathe it, is all the rage in business these days. Whether the hype can be blamed on every individual having access to countless eyes and ears via social media or on an actual decline in quality customer service, the businesses that are offering customers the best service are often growing leaps and bounds compared to their competitors. Whether you sell shoes or offer piano tuning, your customers expect a lot from you. Start exceeding expectations by improving your customer service almost immediately with the following six tips.

1. Get Interactive

How do your customers want to interact with you when they have a problem, a question, or a complaint? Depends on the customer, right? With a SaaS customer service solution like eGain, you won’t have to constantly monitor every channel your customers might be frequenting. Instead, you can simply inhabit their omnichannel world. Interact with your customers and potential customers everywhere and in every way they want to from email and social media to live chat and virtual assistant. There’s no need to hamstring yourself when it comes to the ways in which you can offer service. The easier you are to get a hold of, and the more readily you respond via the channels your customers prefer, the better you’ll be perceived when it comes to customer service.

2. Empower Employees

Far too often, the natural inclinations of employees to do what’s right when it comes to the customer are hampered by the rules and regulations of the company for which they work. Don’t keep your employees from solving your customers’ problems. Instead, empower them to grant customers the good service you say you want to provide. When it comes to fixes that are clear, related to errors on your part, or not too expensive, don’t require a manager to sign off. Let your customer service rep OK the change and you’ll have happier customers — and employees — almost immediately.

3. Always Be Available

Even banks don’t keep banker’s hours anymore — at least not on the World Wide Web. The days of addressing customer concerns during “business hours” have long passed. With the advent of the Internet and its global reach, customer service has become something that must occur at all times, or a business won’t be able to remain competitive. Whether you outsource it or staff it, you need to make sure that, when it comes to customer questions, complaints, or concerns, your door is never closed.

4. Use Names

In many ways, this next piece of advice should be followed in nearly every interaction one has with another human being. Use the person’s name. Regardless of whether you were contacted via email, phone, Twitter, or chat, address your customer by name (or handle), and instruct your employees to use their names as well.

What follows will be a personal exchange between people, rather than a customer service exchange between a company and a customer. Are you still a company and customer? Of course. It’s just that people enjoy being treated like the individuals they are. It’s a simple move and takes little effort, but using your customers’ names will pay big dividends in the customer service department.

5. Be Nice

While it should no longer need any mention on a list like this one, the reality of poor customer service dictates that “niceness” be given ample attention. Far too often, companies view customer needs as silly, secondary, or lacking in merit. When customers are seen in this light, they’re subject to poor treatment. Avoid this trap by always, in every circumstance, regardless of the complaint or the way in which it is made, treating your customers with kindness and respect. If your organization’s default is to be nice, even if a customer doesn’t get a demand met, he’ll at least know he was treated like an individual with value.

6. Get Feedback

Whether you routinely win accolades from customers or you’re routinely maligned, ask for feedback regarding your customer service. Customer insight is valuable — even when what they have to say stings. Allow for more than just a standardized, multiple-choice response, and when a theme emerges — or a really good idea — act on it. Nobody knows more about what the customer wants than the customer. As much as you can, give it to them.

Improving customer service can feel akin to hunting Bigfoot, but it doesn’t have to. Follow these six tips, and your organization will improve customer service almost immediately.

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One Response to Improve Customer Service Almost Immediately With These 6 Tips

  1. Sarah Kaczanowski November 20, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

    These are great tips, and so true! As a consumer, I’m always more likely to buy a product or recommend to a friend it there is great customer service. If I can chat with a real person either over the phone or over a livechat who can make suggestions and isn’t hampered by corporate regulations to assist me, I am a happy customer.

    I encourage all companies, especially smaller businesses just getting started to have a dedicated support strategy for their customers. You are completely right, that if the customer is not happy, they can publish it to all different types of social media! Whether you hire a virtual assistant to handle your customer support requests for a few hours a day, or use a virtual receptionist company to answer your calls and take messages, it sends a great message to your customers to be able to talk to a real person. One important factor to keep in mind is once you have decided to hire is to be sure to do due diligence in the type of service you want. Every company is different and so finding the individual or the agency that can represent “your brand” is really important. Most of the successful business owners we support appreciate the personalized approach we provide with a “dedicated” rep verses the impersonal response – but whether you decide to outsource or hire in house – it’s important to make sure your rep’s accurately represent your brand!

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