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Tips to improve customer service

Published Jan. 3, 2020

The most important people on your business journey are your customers. If they are satisfied with your products and services, they are more likely to recommend your business to the people in their circle.

 

No matter how great your entrepreneurial venture and ideas may be, the success of your business will depend on mastering customer service skills.

 

Here are some tips to ensure your customer service offering is top-notch:

 

  1. Understand your customer’s needs. Make sure you know who your clients are and how your product or service can better suit their needs. Conduct market research to ensure you are in touch with your target market.
  2. Listen to customer feedback. Make sure you measure customer experience and how you can improve on your offering. Take complaints seriously - understand what went wrong and why. Do quarterly customer service surveys to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ expectations. 
  3. Offer value added services. Make your business a one-stop shop for clients and customers. Going out of your way to ensure customer satisfaction will ensure they recommend your services to others.
  4. Provide customer service training to your employees. Make sure your employees understand the importance of excellent customer service and offer training sessions to improve customer relations. Putting your customer service policy in writing will ensure streamlined processes. Also, ensure your employees feel valued so they are motivated to offer your clients good service. Reward employees who practice good customer service consistently. 
  5. Build your business around your customers. Follow your customer’s journey through the initial  sales process up to after-sales support. Make sure you streamline processes and maintain excellent service standards. Compiling standard operating procedures will be useful to ensure high standards are met and maintained.
  6. Keep your promises. Follow through on your promises so you don’t lose your customers’ trust. Regularly evaluate your product or service to be sure it's priced, packaged and delivered correctly.
  7. Use customer relationship management (CRM) software. This is useful to track and resolve customer service issues. 
  8. Manage customer service complaints on social media. In an always-on, digital world, it is inevitable that you will receive complaints on social media. Make sure you respond appropriately and in a timeous manner. This is the best way to avoid online brand failure. 
  9. Never deliver a product or service you wouldn’t accept yourself. Don’t simply focus on completing the transaction, make sure your offering keeps clients and customers coming back for more. 
  10. Embrace AI. Use artificial intelligence to handle certain customer interactions automatically. This will ensure fast and efficient communication with clients. However, make sure you don’t lose the human touch. 

 

Tips for employees dealing with customer complaints:

 

  1. Stress management. It is important for employees dealing with angry and dissatisfied customers to remain calm under pressure. 
  2. Conflict resolution. Training employees to resolve conflicts will assist them in balancing customer demands and company policy. 
  3. Empathy. Your employees need to put themselves in the customer’s shoes to fully understand the problem. Only then can they offer useful solutions. 
  4. Listening skills. Customers feel understood when they know they are heard. Effective listening will ensure the customer feels valued. Treat your customer as an individual and refer to them by name. 
  5. Knowledge. Offer customers knowledgeable responses and alternative solutions based on fact. Know the solutions you can offer without breaching company policy. 

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