Resources | 9 min read
Improve customer service by avoiding these top 5 mistakes
Establishing a business and managing it is not a piece of cake. There are a lot of factors that have to be taken care of when wanting to promote your business and flourish it. A company can only grow if:
- It understands what the customer need is
- its product or service reaches out to the correct audience
- Retains and improves its quality
- Continuously brings innovation and keeps itself up-to-date with the latest trends
With technological advancement and globalisation, the business market has become more saturated than ever.
With millions of choices around, all businesses must develop a key differentiator from their fellow competitors.
Simply manufacturing a product or offering a service can not do any good if you can not stand out in the market.
Improve Customer Service: Your Comprehensive Guide!
Knowing these facts, one can simply not deny the importance of having excellent communication with existing customers. Regular customer interaction and feedback will enable you to work out on changing customer needs and how you can keep your business up with the latest trend in the market.
Hence, all business owners and employees can agree on the importance of maintaining excellent communication between the company and its customers.
Customer interaction is of various kinds. Every customer has to be taken care of in a way as to retain him and in turn, make him an advocate of your brand.
One happy customer brings in more customers, and the chain keeps on increasing exponentially. Let’s take a look at how many types of customer interaction there could be.
- New customers wanting information before they make their first purchase.
- An existing customer who seeks some clarification regarding his purchase or wants to troubleshoot a problem.
- Customers who want to make a complaint.
- Customers who want to compliment.
Every customer interaction matters. However, some interactions may have to be prioritised over others.
For instance, complaints and problems should be heard and acted upon immediately.
If you are in customer service care, you must have come across words like customer experience, reviews, loyalty etc.
Understanding the meaning of these terms and working in favour of these means that you have mastered the art of providing excellent customer service and all ready to reach the heights of success.
The main goal of business owners is to generate positive revenue streams.To do so, customers should be attracted and retained at the same time.
This makes a customer loyal to the brand. A loyal customer brings in more value to the company as extensive marketing alone does.
This ‘free-advertising’ can be done if you satisfy a customer and make him believe that he genuinely matters.
Companies spend thousands of pounds on marketing every year. What many of them don’t realise is improving customer service is a thousand times more effective in bringing in customers than traditional marketing. In the digital world, people have already done their research on what product/service they want and from which company.
They prefer to choose based on reviews and recommendations. When a company invests more in delivering the best than in letting people know what they provide, they are marketing their product without having to market through conventional means.
When companies offer customer service, they are working on positive word-of-mouth advertisement.
A survey result shows that 86% of people will pay more for better customer experience.This means that if your customer service is extraordinary, you can even charge more for your service/product!
Creating a positive customer experience is not as difficult as you might think. Taking care of a few simple things can set you on a path of an endless favourable outcome.
But ignoring a few things can affect you adversely. Let’s discuss the five biggest mistakes you should avoid when interacting with customers.
Never wrong a customer!
Many companies use slogans such as ‘Customer is always right’. Why do you think so?
Well, the answer lies in the fact that when a customer is choosing you over your competitors, how can he be wrong?
In other words, if a customer wants to point out something, listening to him is always a good idea. Maybe his outlook can improve your product/service and benefit you in the long run.
Call to action: Don’t point out the customer if he is at fault.
Listen to what he says. Give effective, implementable solutions real-time and offer them your assistance.
If need be, disagree and correct them politely. Remember, assuring customers is more valuable than just selling.
Never disown your mistake!
All humans make mistakes. Even machines can be faulty sometimes. Nothing can always be perfect, so never claim that.
No matter how careful one can be, there is still a chance of error. If you know a mistake has been made, don’t disown it.
Politely apologise for the mistake and ask how you can set things upright again. Offer compensation or a refund where necessary.
Do everything that you think can win your customer back.
Call to action: Apologise and offer compensation if required.
When a problem has occurred, let the customer know right away. When you acknowledge a problem yourself, it shows that you take responsibility for your service and are genuinely interested in resolving it.
Your ultimate goal should be to satisfy the customer with whatever it takes.
According to a survey conducted by Carey School of Business, 74% of people showed satisfaction when compensation was offered along with an apology.
This indicates that a customer can be satisfied by apologising and attempting to resolve the issue. After all, customer satisfaction is our ultimate goal!
Don’t let a customer feel like he’s just another person around.
Personalisation is the key to have happy customers. It is a surer way of letting your customers know that they are valued. Showing personalised content or giving suggestions based on user preference will help you gain customer trust and loyalty.
Setting a template and telling the same repeated things over and over again is a big turn off for potential and returning customers.
Call to action: When a customer needs a recommendation, take care of his personal choices and then offer him a deal.
During the interaction, ask what your customer wants. Get insights from analytical tools like feedback system and NPS to know customer history with your company and what their personal preference is.
Tracking customer behaviour is made very easy with CRM software. Use these tools to enhance customer service.
Ask if a customer needs some additional support. Show the world that every customer matters to you and that you genuinely care about their individual experiences.
Passing the customer. Not cool, you know?
Make a customer feel important. It is vital to fill the gap between a customer’s expectations and the company’s performance.
This gap can be filled only by achieving customer satisfaction.
One of the biggest mistakes customer service agents make is to redirect customers from one channel to another.
For example, if a customer brings forward his complaint on social media inbox, try to respond to him there and then.
Don’t make him call or email the same complaint to a separate department. You must convey the complaint to the concerned department and get them back as soon as possible.
Call to action: Don’t divert customers. Make the arrangements yourself.
Sticking to the company’s policies is always the right way of doing work, but sometimes it becomes necessary to think a little differently and handle the situation wisely.
When you offer a bit more than what your competitors are offering, you get to make a more significant share in the market!
Rudeness shows. Get your attitude, right!
Customer interaction can take place in-person, through a telephonic conversation, via email or any other digital means.
Customer service agents need to follow a particular protocol while interacting with customers.
Your expressions and body language might not matter when communicating via email, but it could mean everything during a one-on-one session. Having the right attitude at work is momentous.
Here are a few suggestions to follow:
- Use a friendly tone while writing messages or replying to emails.
- Smile when you’re taking a phone call.
- Don’t use harsh words.
- Always speak softly and coherently.
- Show that you truly care about the service you are offering.
Call to action: Show the right attitude and look for a win-win situation.
A customer might be annoyed, frustrated or in any state of mind, but the same cannot be expected from a customer service agent.
Humanly, it is not possible to be in a lively mood always. Anger, frustration and annoyance can develop any time during a long day.
It is better to take a short break and unwind yourself rather than coming to blows with a customer.
Empathy is not a difficult trait to develop. Just try to be calm and look for an adjustment that could be made.
It may take excessive time and energy, but in the end, you will be happy to win back a customer and get all the praises you deserve from the HR.