Why is Providing Great Customer Service So Important?
Do you want your company to be known for providing excellent customer service? It seems like a simple thing or common sense, but it is something you really have to work at. You can have the best product out there, but if your customer service is lacking, you won’t close the deal. Here are twelve strategies that you can use to ensure you are providing great customer service.
10 Strategies for Great Customer Service
1. Listen to what your customers are telling you: This is probably the #1 most important thing in providing excellent customer service. Everyone wants to be heard. Imagine everyone with an imaginary sign around their necks saying “I want to be heard.” Although being a good listener is the #1 rule of good customer service, equally as important is being responsive. Think about what your customer, thinks, feels, and wants. What can you do to make it better? What can you do to ensure your customer has a great experience and goes away happy?
2.Make customer satisfaction your #1 concern: The key to a successful customer service strategy is focusing on the client and their happiness. A customer-centric approach involves far more than just providing satisfying customer service interactions. A customer-centric approach is about aligning the products/services with the needs of the customer. Know what your customer wants and needs before they do. The first step towards providing customer-centric service is to truly understand your customers. That goes back to my first point of listening to your customers. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of your customers, you have to really listen to them. So, as you see, these first two steps go hand in hand.
3. Welcome complaints: Well, no one LIKES a complaint, but complaints can be learning experiences. Building on the last point of listening to your customers, learn to better utilize customer complaints. Based on what customers say, you know what you are doing well and what you need to improve on. Think of it as free marketing research, so take advantage of this! Have a process in place for the correct way of handling customer complaints.
There are real benefits to handling a customer complaint well, as well as consequences to not handling complaints well. Customers are likely to recommend a company to their friends if a complaint has been resolved efficiently (for example. a restaurant offering to buy dessert, a drink, or a meal to make up for a long wait or a problem with the order). A customer is also likely to spread the word if a complaint has been handled badly or worse yet – ignored. Don’t forget about the influence of social media!
4. Create a consistent feedback loop: Creating a consistent feedback loop really builds upon my first three strategies. Creating a reliable customer feedback loop enables you to improve the way you serve your customers. Listen to your customers, but also listen to the reps that are working with customers. They have some excellent input as well.
5. Remember THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT: This phrase was first coined by successful retailers, with the idea that customer complaints and feedback should be treated seriously so that they do not feel cheated or deceived. Do whatever you can to ensure that the customer leaves you happy. The result might be a return sale or a referral. A good salesperson can sell anything, but it’s all about sending the customer away happy, so they might want to do business with you in the future or refer their friends.
6. Don’t make the same mistake twice: As stated earlier, all customer complaints and mistakes should be treated as a learning experience. The crime is not in making the mistake the first time. We are all human, after all. The mistake should not be made a second time! What makes excellent customer service and more customer service is how organizations choose to deal with problems and complaints.
7. Don’t underestimate the importance of customer loyalty: Customer loyalty can be defined as a customer’s willingness to interact with or buy from a specific company on an ongoing basis. Many times a customer will associate favorable experiences with a brand or organization – therefore increasing the likelihood that they will make repeat business with that business.
It is generally easier and more cost effective for business to retain a customer rather than acquiring a new one – Business 101. If you focus on these loyal customers, they will more than likely continue to buy from you over and over. Driving repeat business is great and generally repeat business is a large part of a company’s revenue. Not only will loyal customers keep coming back themselves, but they will also spread brand awareness through word of mouth, so by maintaining a relationship with your loyal customers, you are creating brand ambassador.
8. Check in with customers OFTEN: Check in with your customers to make sure they are happy with the product and the customer service you are providing and make specific changes where necessary. Ask for feedback and be responsive. Every customer just wants to feel that their opinions and wants matter . Nothing can be more frustrating than the feeling that you are not being heard or that your input doesn’t matter.
Actually, I just bought some new kitchen appliances the other day. The salesperson not only gave me her business card, but also told me to call with any issues or questions I may have in the future. Another example of this that I recently encountered is – that I opened a technical case, regarding an issue I was having. The technician followed up with me in a few days to make sure everything was working alright for me. This is the kind of customer service that set you apart from your competitors.
Unfortunately, I recently experienced the exact opposite of this. I was having some work done at the house. This company did not update me regularly on their progress. In the end, they got the job done and it was done well, but because of my bad customer service experience, I am not likely to recommend that company (even though their work was good).
9. Be courteous and show respect: It is important you keep this in mind ALWAYS, but you must also train your employees of the expectations and standards you want to maintain in this area. You want your company to develop a reputation for providing exceptional customer service.
10. Be a REAL PERSON: People want to do business with a PERSON, not a COMPANY. Be friendly and personable at all times. You need to do what you can to make YOUR company stand out!
11. Know your product or service inside and out: It is vital to know your product or service well and make sure all your employees do too. Obviously, people want to do business with someone that is knowledgeable or comes across as an expert. If a customer asks a question, you don’t know – FIND OUT THE ANSWER!
12. Maintain a positive attitude: Attitude is everything! A positive attitude can made a negative customer experience turn into a positive customer experience. Since many of your customer experiences may not in person, the tone of your voice is very important. A single customer service representative can alter a customer’s perception of a certain brand or company.
For example, an angry customer calls with a complaint and is greeted by a friendly, warm, and personable customer service agent who listens to, acknowledges, and resolves their concerns. More than likely, that customer is going to leave satisfied and probably willing to give that company another shot. Say another customer calls with that very same concern, but they are instead greeted by a crabby, unfriendly customer service agent who does not listen to, acknowledge, or solve their problem. Chances are that customer will leave unhappy, vow never do business with that company again, and will probably bad talk that company to their friends.
There are a lot of businesses out there doing the exact same thing you are. You want to make yourself stand out so that people are more likely to want to do repeat business with you and refer you to others. Providing great customer service is an easy thing you can do. It’s not difficult, but there are some important things to keep in mind.
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One area in which Dynamics 365 shines bright is in Case Management.
To learn more about how Case Management in Dynamics 365 helps you to provide great customer service, listen to our on-demand webinar: Case Management in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. View our other on-demand webinars on our