13 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service
Do you have an amazing product that can’t be beat? A team of super skilled employees? While these are two great things to have, there’s still a third piece missing: customer service. No matter how impressive your product is, you will have to provide your buyers with the full experience. And that means improving customer service skills within your organisation.
Providing the most positive experience to your customers doesn’t mean a complete overhaul in how you do business - you’ll be happy to know that just a few small tweaks can make all the difference. Check out the following tips and see how many you could add to the mix!
1. Identify a common ground
Bond with your customers by sharing similar interests and finding common ground. For example, if one of your regulars has a dog and you also have a dog, let them know about it. You’ll always have something to talk about and this builds trusting relationships.
2. Really listen
Listen carefully to what your customers are saying and reflect that in your response by paraphrasing, reflecting feelings (e.g. “that must have been difficult” or “how exciting for you”), summarising the conversation, and asking questions to clarify.
3. Don’t be afraid to apologise
It’s not uncommon to hear people advise never to apologise, as it admits fault. But admitting fault and saying sorry for it will cause your customers to trust you more, so don’t hold back if you know that you or your company owe someone an apology.
4. Be accessible and available
This applies to service in store and out. Always have enough staff on the floor, provide a contact telephone number manned by knowledgeable employees, and communicate on a variety of online platforms, including email and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Your customers should feel like they can always get in touch.
5. Provide opportunities to leave feedback
How to improve your customer service? Ask your actual customers! Whether it’s a short survey at checkout, an email, or an old fashioned suggestion box, this is the best way to get immediate feedback on where you could be lifting your customer service game. Don’t forget to implement all of the reasonable advice, too.
6. Be a person
This may sound a little vague, but simply being a regular human will do wonders for your customer service. Empathise with your customers and put yourself in their shoes before reacting. Try to imagine yourself in their situation and how you would want the enquiry handled.
7. Be patient
It’s not uncommon for customers to become frustrated or angry if they aren’t pleased with the transaction or a product in general. Remember number six above and try to empathise and solve the problem that way. If all else fails, patience is key - it’s important to never lose your cool, even if the customer is being unreasonable.
8. Know your products
Knowing your products inside out will ensure a superior customer service experience and create a feeling of confidence in your customers. Being a product expert will also help boost your sales!
9. Don’t waste the customer’s time
It sounds obvious, but it needs a mention here. If you’re unsure about the location of a product or other product or transaction information, don’t try to figure it out for yourself if a more knowledgeable employee is around. Ask them for help and ensure a more efficient experience for everyone involved.
10. Smile often
A big smile goes a long way - they really are contagious. If you look happy, your customers will feel happy.
11. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Unsure about a product’s delivery date? Then don’t promise the customer they’ll have it by their nephew’s birthday. Only make promises you can actually keep and you won’t have to deal with any fall out later.
12. Be clear
Sometimes product information is not as obvious as you think it may be (after all, you work with these products all the time). Explain things clearly to your customers and make sure they understand. A great way to do this is to explain it so even a child would understand. Just remember not to sound patronising.
13. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
If you’re unsure, there is no harm in saying you don’t know the answer to a particular enquiry and that you’ll follow up with someone until you find out. Your customer will see right through you if you pretend you know what you’re talking about and won’t appreciate their time being wasted.
Do you have any customer service tips to add to the list?