Excellent customer service is the bread and butter of all the world’s greatest businesses. Whether you’re selling computer software or have an organic grocery service, you’ll have customers with questions and complaints. The way you respond to those inquiries will make all the difference in how those customers feel about your company.
If you handle customer service well, you’ll develop a loyal customer base of people excited to talk about your business with friends and family. This word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable to your bottom line, and something every company should strive for.
But what is excellent customer service? Keep reading to learn 7 helpful tips and excellent customer service examples to improve your business today.
1. Quick Response Times
First and foremost, customers want to be heard quickly. As the world around us speeds up, so do expectations about wait times and response times. If your customers are put on hold for 30 minutes before they speak to a customer service representative, they’ll be in a bad mood before they even have contact with your business. Even the kindest, most patient response will be soured by the long wait time. Make sure you have an efficient system and enough customer service representatives to meet the needs of your inbound calls and emails.
2. Know Your Customer Base
Customers are more loyal to a company if they feel understood and can relate to the business. This can be done with effective marketing, but it can also be done by having great customer service. Know your customer base inside and out. Research where your customers hang out online, how they like to communicate, and how to connect with them. Offer multi-channel customer support so your customers can reach you on the platform of their choice.
3. Admit Mistakes
No matter how great your business is, there will be times you make mistakes. Admitting those mistakes will make you seem more human and relatable to your customers. You’ll also earn points for taking the blame, rather than turning it on the customer. Train your customer service teams to admit when the company has done something wrong and apologize freely. It will go a long way to build rapport with your customers.
4. Go Above and Beyond
If you really want to get your customers talking about you, go above and beyond the call of duty. This is the kind of action they’ll be telling their friends about and will spread your business like wildfire. For example, if a customer calls requesting a refund on a malfunctioning product, you can go the extra mile by giving them a refund and sending them a replacement, free of charge. You can also offer discounts, free upgrades, or other services to surprise and delight your customers. Simply showing patience and taking time to ask how the customer’s day is going can be another way to go above and beyond with your customer service.
5. Show Empathy
While customers love when a business admits mistakes and delivers unexpected surprises, most of all they want to be understood. For this reason, customer service representatives should be experts in expressing empathy to everyone they engage with. They can show empathy by listening carefully, recapping what the customer has said, and validating their experience. They might even ask what the customer would like to happen before they proceed with the conversation. Offer training, case studies, and role playing to help employees hone this valuable skill.
6. Know Your Product
All the other important customer service skills your employees develop will be wasted if they don’t have a thorough understanding of your product or service. Many customers come to customer service with a simple question about a product, and they’ll be frustrated if they don’t get answers from your team. Make sure your customer service team is well-versed in your company and product. They should see the product up close, use the product themselves, and undergo extensive training to know the ins and outs of how the product works.
7. Incorporate Customer Feedback
During the course of your conversation, customers will freely offer feedback on what they think about your product, customer service, and company overall. This is key information you should not only listen to, but also take the time to incorporate in your company structure. If you repeatedly hear the same complaint, you know it’s time to take a look at how you’re doing business and fix the problem as soon as possible. Conduct frequent surveys, read online reviews, and look for other ways to respond to and utilize customer feedback.
Improve Your Customer Service Today
Now that you’ve read these 7 tips and learned the answer to “What is excellent customer service?” you are better equipped to give your customers the quality service they deserve. It will take time to make all of these changes within your business, but don’t get overwhelmed. Make an effort to improve in at least a few of these areas right away, and you’re sure to see the difference.