It pays to have excellent customer service. Literally. Keeping your customers satisfied, happy, and loyal is 6 to 7 times cheaper than trying to gain new ones. Additionally, companies that offer superior customer service have an opportunity to make even more than those that don't. About 70% of customers say that they would be willing to pay as much as 5-25% more for a product or service if it guarantees that they will have access to the best possible customer service.
Here are six ways you can improve the customer service within your own company, and start gaining access to these benefits:
1. BE PROACTIVE
Keeping open the flow of communication between you and your consumer base will help establish and keep customer loyalty. Don't just wait for them to contact you when they have a question or problem.
The method of communication, or the message you send doesn't have to be complicated, or in-depth. It can be as simple as sending payment reminders, offering shipping updates, or loyalty programs that reward your customers for shopping with you. If you want to go above and beyond, consider sending loyal customers a gift, such as a high value coupon, or a free sample of a new product. As they say, good news travels fast, and sending a surprise when it is least expected can generate a buzz, and send you referrals.
2. OFFER MULTIPLE CHANNELS
Open up as many channels as you can possibly provide. The more ways a customer has to reach you the better. Each generation has a different preferred method in how they contact a company or business. An older generation, such as the Baby Boomers, might prefer to call, while Millennials might rather email or through social media.
In providing more ways to contact your business, you won't limit yourself in your customer base.
3. MORE CONVENIENCE
People, and especially Americans, like speed and convenience when it comes to customer service. If you handle most of your customer service over the phone, consider trying to decrease your hold times without interrupting the flow of service by decreasing call duration. If that's not possible, another solution would be to offer a call-back option so the customer isn't forced to wait, and can schedule a call when it is most convenient for them. That way, they don't have to wait at all, and an agent just calls them back at the scheduled time.
4. PLEASE AND THANK YOU
Don't forget to ask for, and give customers an easy way to provide feedback. If and when they do provide feedback, make sure to thank them, even if it is negative! Any insight you can get about how customers feel about your company, good and bad, can help you to provide even better customer service in the future.
If your customers aren't responding, consider offering an incentive to get them to leave feedback. For example, if they leave you feedback on your website, maybe they are automatically entered into a contest to win a cool new gadget or a $200 gift card.
5. STAFF WELL, TRAIN WELL
How do you build and maintain company success? By building on its foundation.
Hire people who have great communication skills, and the potential to learn and grow with your company. Then go on to train them well by offering them a toolbox of skills that they will need to be successful.
If you invest in the people that your company is built on. Treat them well. They will then go on to treat your clients equally as well. It is a common sense equation, happy employees, equal happy clients.
6. KEEP UP WITH TECHNOLOGY
Technology is changing at such a rapid pace. Keeping up with all the new changes can be overwhelming, but it can also be rewarding...especially in the customer service sphere. It can increase efficiency and offer more accurate data and reporting. Types of software that you might want to think about integrating into your customer service might be CRM or social media management tools.