Data reveals that 93% of customers are likely to purchase a product or service from a company that offers good customer service. Contrastingly, 58% of American consumers are likely to switch companies if the customer service they experience is poor.
With data revealing the importance of customer service at hand, how can you improve your business's customer service? That we’ll find out in this guide – keep on reading to learn the 8 proven ways to improve your customer service big-time.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer service of a company refers to the sum of consumers’ perceptions and emotions based on their buying journey; from pre-purchase to consumption and post-purchase period.
To put it simply, customer service refers to a customer’s impression of a brand – how well they liked its culture, the salesman’s behavior, the pricing, the product/service quality, the policies, and everything in between.
Customer experience is a combination of people and products. Providing remarkable customer service is crucial for companies to increase their rate of customer loyalty and get more customer recommendations. According to data, a 5% increase in customer loyalty and customer retention rate can grow a company’s profit by between 25% and 95%.
8 Ways To Improve Customer Service
Here are the 8 proven ways for businesses to improve their customer service:
1. Understand Your Customers
The ultimate way to improve your brand’s customer service is by understanding the requirements, interests, pain points, and struggles of your customers. When you know what exactly your customer is expecting, delivering that becomes flawless.
Though all customers are not equal, creating a graph of your ideal customers is a smart approach to understanding your audience. Have the following factors in mind when trying to find out who your customers are:
Remember: You can deliver a better service when you have a picture of your ideal customer in mind.
2. Encourage Customer Feedback
Customer feedback analytics is effective in a brand’s growth. Bad feedback can help you find flaws in your small business, fix them, and perform better than competitors. Whereas, good feedback can encourage your prospects to make a decision, increasing your conversion rate.
According to a study by Microsoft, the brands that proactively invite and accept customer feedback are considered 77% more favorable by consumers. Another research shows that 52% of people worldwide want companies to take action on customer feedback.
3. Be Approachable on Multiple Channels
How easily your customers can approach your brand representatives is an important element of your overall customer service. It’s recommended that your support agents are available across different channels to help the customers out and listen to their complaints.
These channels should particularly include phone support, live chat support, and email support. Speaking of phone support, it’s recommended that you use a business phone service to ensure your customers are treated professionally.
4. Invest In Customer Service Training
An important part of improving your customer service is investing in a proper training program for your customer service representatives. According to data, companies that manage proper training for their employees get 21% more profit. Every month, we recommend using a call center audit template to see if your employee training is effective and verify the service quality they provide.
Your training program should be focused on helping your representatives improve their customer service skills. The first step to doing that is understanding what your product/service is and how it works. Properly dealing with customers and taking their feedback is another essential customer service skill your employees should master.
5. Automate Customer Service Solutions
It’s not possible for small brands to invest in proper 24/7 customer service backed by real human beings. In such a case, setting up automated customer service solutions is a smart way around. An automated customer service solution is anything that helps your customers solve their problems without depending upon a real human being.
Some examples of an automated customer service solution are email autoresponders, chatbots, knowledge base, FAQs sections, canned responses, etc. Speaking of chatbots, they can be implemented on your brand’s social media channels as well as its website.
6. Have a Formal System for Handling Complaints
Customers feel valued when a formal representative listens to their complaints and consulates them that their issue is being solved. As a result, having an effective system for handling customer complaints can help improve your customer retention rate.
A good way to deal with customer complaints is to ensure only the staff working in the complaints department deal with complaints. You can set up the call routing feature on your business phone system so an employee can forward a call to a relevant colleague.
7. Measure the ROI From Customer Experience
Improving the customer experience of your brand can take investment and getting approval for the investment might require a quantitative ROI. Therefore, determining your return over investment in terms of customer service is the key to making effective decisions towards improving your customer service further.
Follow the steps below to do that:
Step 1: Determine which metrics of your brand were impacted by the customer service. These could be revenue, customer retention, upsell, cost-to-service, and customer satisfaction.
Step 2: Look at the customer behavior analytics to determine the improvement in user experience. Now, compare that to the metrics affected due to investment in improving customer experience to determine the ROI:
ROI = [(money gained - money spent) / money spent] x 100.
If spending $1,000 on customer service earns you $1,500, your ROI is 50%:
8. Go the Extra Mile
Overdelivering is the key to retaining customers and making them loyal to your brand. The effort required to go the extra mile is sometimes small but not in the eyes of consumers. An example is a jump in Coca-Cola's sales when they started printing names on their bottles.
Some great ways to go the extra mile for your customers and create a lasting impression are as follows:
Here’s the approach of Austin Nicholas of GetFocused regarding this: “Sell twelve, but, whenever possible, include an extra treat to make them smile and feel the value.”
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to ignore the importance of customer service, damaging their brand in the long run. Strengthening your customer service can help retain your customers which is sometimes more affordable than acquiring new customers.
If you’re looking to grow your brand in huge profits, it’s high time that you make efforts to improve your customer service. According to James Cash Penney, “The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sales that count.”