Savvy businesses no longer view exceptional customer service as a necessary evil and an economic drain; it’s now considered essential for increasing profit margins. 93 percent say it’s one of their top strategic priorities and 75 percent want to use it as a competitive differentiator. New data from Forrester shows that even a 10 percent improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into millions of dollars in increased revenue. Conversely, poor customer-service experiences are devastating for revenue. Current data also shows that about 30 percent of a company’s customers have poor experiences and are likely to turn to another vendor. Unfortunately, companies struggle to offer experiences that satisfy customers at a cost that makes sense.
Why is it so difficult to deliver good, cost-effective customer service?
Today’s customer service technology ecosystem is complex. There’s been an explosion of communication channels, touchpoints, deployment methods and vendor consolidations. So how do you get better? Here are 10 astute strategies for improving your customer service for an increase in your bottom line and that we cover more thoroughly in our corporate speaking events.
1.Understand your customers demand quick, reliable service. Customers deserve quality service from each interaction, delivered in a timely fashion, over every channel they use to connect with your company. They expect to have situations resolved in 24 hours or less. Make sure your on-line service via email, chat or blog is as expedient and reliable as speaking live one-on-one by phone.
2. Answer the stinkin’ phone! And if you are truly unavailable, show your customer the common respect to return the call personally. I think some small business owners believe that their personal inaccessibility gives customers the impression they are big time. Really? Customers interviewed said they were four times more likely to purchase from and refer a company who returned their phone calls and were more likely to find a new vendor from those who did not.
3. Avoid hiding behind social media. Texting, Facebook messages and email are much less effective for building rapport and closing business than live telephone contacting or face to face interaction. Many business owners have actually resorted to canceling appointments via text or FB/LI messaging. Not only are they risking their appointment missing the message but it shows a total lack of respect for another’s time. This is a great way to lose a client.
4. The customer is always right. (even when they are not) Be courteous. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are words that will never go out of style. humbly admit when you are wrong. Remember you can be right or you can be rich.
5. Listen –Let customers talk and listen to what they have to say. Whether they have an idea for a new product or improved service, are asking a technical question or making a complaint; pay attention. Then act on what they have told you.
6. Under promise and over deliver. Only promise things you can deliver. Reliability is key and if you let a customer down they will not come back. Broken promises can be hugely damaging to customer relationships and lead to mistrust.
7. MAN UP and deal with it. Never brush complaints under the carpet. “You can’t please all the people all the time” is not a good business mantra. However trivial it may seem to you it is important to the customer, so deal with it accordingly.
8. Go the extra mile. Always look for the extra step you can take to go above and beyond expectations.
9. When needed, send your customers to your competition. If you do not have the product or service that best fits your customers needs help them find someone who will. This is huge in building rapport. Become your clients trusted advisor. It will pay off big dividends in the long run.
Without an in depth knowledge of human behavior your staff will not be able to deliver great customer service. Hold regular refresher sessions and encourage new ideas, feedback and appraisals. Give your staff the information, skills and responsibility they need to offer great customer service.
Pici & Pici specializes in sales and customer service training. We help companies cut costs, increase productivity and enhance the customer experience.
- Improve Your Operational Efficiency
- Decrease Employee Turnover
- Improve Employee Morale
- Enhance Customer Loyalty
- Gain Quality Referrals
Contact us at 407-947-2590 for a free consultation.