When it comes to providing excellent customer service, many businesses fall short in hitting all the marks. However, when looking at the success of the nation’s leading customer-forward businesses like Chick-fil-A and Amazon, it’s clear that focusing on the wants, needs, trends, and feedback of customers is critical if you wish to outshine competitors.
In this article, we’ll explore why good customer service is essential, as well as creative measures your company can take to boost customer service and drive profits.
How is “good” customer service defined?
Ask any successful CEO or businessperson about what makes a business thrive and chances are they’ll answer that it’s much more than simply pushing a great product or providing outstanding services. They’ll likely tell you that having top-tier customer service is a huge determining factor in the rise of a reputable business. While this is applicable to companies and corporations across virtually every industry, the detailed definition of “good” customer service can vary depending on what each business offers. As a general rule, however, good customer service can be broken down into four main categories:
- Providing efficient, effective assistance or help to every customer who interacts with your brand
- Having in-depth knowledge and care for your business’s inventory, experience with all products and services, and knowing your customer base intimately enough to help them make the right choices
- Treating each customer with the respect, consideration, and friendliness that helps build trust and high regard for your brand
- Ensuring all transactions are completed with the utmost care and transparency
Below you’ll find more in-depth information about the importance behind each of these common touch points, as well as helpful tips you can implement into customer service goals to help your company become as customer-centric as possible.
Have you ever had a simple question you need answered or wish to quickly connect with a business only to receive prolonged radio silence in return? Not only does this lack of communication prevent you from getting the assistance you need, but it can also create a ripple effect on how you view the company: feelings of frustration or anger morph into feelings of disrespect which then result in a sense of distrust.
Therefore, your company should focus on responding as quickly as possible when a customer reaches out. With the help of 24/7 call centers, your business can be accessible around the clock and your customers can get the help they want, when they want, from professionals who are specially trained in dealing with customer service issues. Along with helping to boost your company’s bottom line, providing timely, effective assistance can also help retain and build customer loyalty.
Pro tip: Ensure all employees working on the customer service front are given proper training and have the knowledge needed to avoid causing customers further irritation or frustration. Furthermore, remember that patience, friendliness, and empathy are key when dealing directly with customers, so be sure to put employees with these qualities on the front-lines.
Knowledge is wealth
What you should know: Customer service specialists who lack intimate knowledge about your company’s inventory, products, services, and mission pose a threat to a creating a positive customer experience. Similarly, without in-depth knowledge of your customer base and what the wants and needs of your customers might be, representatives won’t be able to take a proactive approach to quickly and effectively resolving issues. By having a thorough knowledge of you company and the industry, customer service employees can better assist clients and help them make positive choices that will keep them coming back.
Pro tip: Make an effort to get to know your customers. If possible, you can even go as far as learning their names (there are various applications you can utilize to boost interpersonal relationships with your customers) or where they are located. Not only will this help ensure a positive experience, but it will define your business as one that truly cares about its customer base.
Remember the golden rule
What you should know: The golden rule couldn’t be more applicable when it comes to good customer service: treat others the way you want to be treated. Along with being one of the most important aspects of working with others to create a positive interaction, showing respect, friendliness, and consideration also helps to boost your brand amongst consumers. Though word of good customer service doesn’t always spread as quickly as bad experiences, most customers won’t hesitate to tell others if they’ve had a good interaction with your company.
Pro tip: In addition to being respectful during customer interactions, go the extra mile to show your company cares by reach out to customers after the issue is resolved; Send a thank you letter for feedback, ask for improvement suggestions, or let them know how they have positively impacted your business.
Transparency builds trust
What you should know: Being transparent is absolutely key in good customer service, as it helps prevent any potential issues and answer any common questions. Being transparent also helps provide customers with the critical information they might need to know to minimize surprises in the future. For example, having a clear FAQ page on your website is a great way to easily and effectively inform visitors of important company information, policies, procedures, etc. Similarly, by clearly notifying customers of return policies on items prior to every purchase, they can be more informed and confident about their investment.
Pro tip: Never assume anything. Instead of assuming customers will read the fine print or see the big “sale” banner, make all important or exciting information as clear as possible. Whether this means posting critical info on various areas of your website or clearly communicating it to customers visiting brick-and-mortar stores, the more you’re able to be transparent the better experience your customer will have.
A final note on good customer service…
While your company can go above and beyond to abide by superior customer service standards, it’s important to remember that you can’t always please everyone. However, by following these tips and understanding the importance of providing an excellent customer experience, you can boost your chances of making a positive impact on the majority of your customer base and ultimately improve your bottom line.