In today's highly crowded and competitive business world, companies both big and small strive hard to stand out among the competition. Because customers are the backbone of every business, customer retention and acquisition is the state of play.
Successful business owners can stay above board because they adopt good customer service strategies. Great customer service is the recipe for customer retention and acquisition. It makes for better customer engagement, greater satisfaction, and a better customer experience. Therefore, businesses stand to benefit immensely by improving their customer service.
Here are 10 customer service strategies to help your business stand out among the competition.
What Is a Customer Service Strategy?
Customer service strategies are carefully planned and executed techniques geared toward improving customer interactions and experience. Excellent customer service experience leads to more loyal customers who tend to buy more, provide referrals, and drop positive reviews essential to business growth.
10 Customer Service Strategies Every Business Owner Should Know
If you are a business owner or service provider hoping to increase your customer base through efficient customer service, you don't need to break the bank to achieve this. In this article, we detail 10 practical and successful customer service strategies.
Make Sure You Have the Right People on Your Team
Having people with the right mindset on your customer service team can go a long way in bringing about customer satisfaction. When recruiting customer service agents, look for people passionate about resolving other people's problems to add to your customer support team.
Great customer service begins with understanding your customers' problems and looking for the best way to resolve those problems in the shortest possible time and way thus leaving customers happy. All customer care representatives must possess adequate product knowledge, excellent communication skills, and empathy, among other qualities.
Invest in Good Employee Training
You should always prepare your customer service agents to meet customer needs and expectations. Customers want agents who will assure them their problems will be solved and not repeated. Therefore, you need to prioritize employee training.
You can organize periodic training sessions and webinars geared toward improving their skills and keeping them updated on the latest products or services. Part of this training should emphasize response time and understanding what customers expect as soon as they reach out to them because customers consider response time very important when they have a question or complaint.
Keep Your Employees Happy
Your employees will need to be happy about the job to show commitment and put in their best. Only happy employees can go the extra mile in trying to resolve customers' complaints. Hence, you must put in effort toward ensuring your customer support agents are always happy.
You can regularly send an appreciation email to hardworking employees. This will help them stay motivated because they know their hard work is recognized. Additionally, you can create a pathway for them to be shareholders in the company, offer bonuses and incentives, etc. It is important to recognize their knowledge and experience by asking them for feedback regarding what they feel should change or stay as part of the job.
Be honest, transparent, and open with your employees to earn their trust. When customer support agents are happy, they are less likely to become aggressive, even to the most annoying customers.
Receive and Act on Customer Feedback
Sixty-six percent of customers expect businesses to understand their core needs. Therefore, you take measures to understand what your customers need.
One practical approach to understanding your customers' needs is through real-time customer data collected at various stages of your relationship. Encourage your customers to give feedback by providing survey forms. SurveyMonkey and JotForm are excellent ways of setting up surveys.
Feedback data from a survey is also vital in calculating your net promoter score (NPS) and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT). Both NPS and CSAT are key customer service metrics. While NPS tells you the number of customers willing to give you a recommendation, CSAT gives you an idea of how satisfied your customers feel with your products or services. A higher CSAT means a higher NPS, since customers are more likely to provide recommendations if satisfied.
Alternatively, you can set up live chat support, leverage social media channels, send personalized follow-up emails, or set up a customer complaint system. Customer feedback is a pointer to your customers' satisfaction and dissatisfaction with your products or services. Good customer service commands you to act on the feedback by seeking ways to improve your service standards.
Think Ahead of Customer Issues
The inability to understand a customer complaint after the first explanation or forcing customers to explain their complaints to multiple agents is a hallmark of poor customer service experience. According to HubSpot, 33% of customers get frustrated when put in such a position. To avert such situations, therefore, you need to hire customer service agents smart enough to think ahead of customer issues.
Customer service team members should be able to view your products or services from the perspective of a potential customer. This allows you to figure out potential problems customers may encounter and provide answers to them.
Another solution is to include a FAQ section on the company's webpage. Team members should be aware of such questions and answers in case it comes up during their customer interaction.
Make It Easy for Customers to Get Help
Part of efficient customer service is ensuring customers access to quick help when they have challenges. Therefore, businesses need to provide exceptional customer support through various means. You can combine an omnichannel strategy with a self-service approach.
An omnichannel strategy scales and unifies support channels like social media, email, phone, and live chat. It provides customers with an integrated and seamless customer service experience from the first touchpoint to the last. However, an omnichannel strategy may not always be available 24/7 to provide real-time support. A self-service approach encompasses having a knowledge base (e.g., blog articles and FAQs), chatbots, a customer portal, and customer forums.
Maintain Good Service After the Sale
After-sales service refers to the various steps business owners take to ensure their customers are satisfied with the product even after purchase. Exemplary service after the sale helps improve long-term customer relationships, customer retention, and customer loyalty.
You can provide excellent service after the sale by requesting customer feedback on the products purchased with a promise to offer better service when they come back.
Keep Track of Customer Interactions
There's no better way to learn more about your customers than to track their interactions on various platforms. Customer tracking tells you who your customers are, their location, shopping habits, and more. It makes it easier for you to understand what they want and how best you can improve your products or services.
In addition, it allows you to know who the unhappy customers are and find a better way to handle them. It is easy to execute customer tracking via email, social media, or the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Here are six metrics you should focus on:
- Purchase history
- Customer contact information
- Sales funnel
- Traffic channels
- Email metrics
Use CRM Platforms
One practical approach to establishing and maintaining customer connection is through customer relationship management (CRM) software. A CRM platform is a system designed to help businesses establish coordination among team members and stay connected to customers.
With a good CRM platform, you can help customers anytime and anywhere since you can access it on various devices. Examples of CRM platforms you can use include Pipedrive, HubSpot CRM, and Salesforce.
If you want to make your CRM platform more customer-centric, you can integrate social media. The customer data (stored in the CRM software) links to their public profile on the target social media platform. We refer to this as social CRM and it encourages tracking.
Create a Culture of Good Service Among Employees
Your employees need to understand what customer service entails. They also need to have a culture of exemplary service among themselves. Having a culture of exemplary service brings about unity and understanding among employees. This can positively affect how employees relate to customers.
You can organize training, seminars, or symposiums to teach your employees basic work ethic with the goal of encouraging professionalism. It's also essential for employees to extend what they have learned to offer better service to customers.
Stay on Top of Your Business Finances With Skynova
Running a business can be time-consuming. For instance, while prioritizing customer retention and acquisition, you also need to think about delivering quality products or services, maintaining a healthy workforce, and monitoring your finances. Therefore, you need to create a balance.
Staying on top of your business finances will ensure maximum profits in the long run. With Skynova's accounting software, you don't need to worry about managing your business finances. Our software solution helps business owners manage their cash flow, create invoices, record transactions, and ensure their business finances are in check. You can then focus on other aspects of your business.
Notice to the Reader
This article presents suggested customer service strategies for businesses. Although these strategies, if well-executed, can increase customer retention and acquisition and boost profitability, there's no guarantee they'll work in your specific situation. If in doubt, always seek expert opinions, especially to broaden your perspective on these strategies.