8 Ways to Make Customer Service a Priority and Boost your Business

Customer service is of essence to any business. After all, if a firm has no customers who are interested in buying its products or services, then it goes without saying that such a firm would have to be closed down! Therefore, it is extremely important that any entrepreneur or manager invests in customer service, and considers it as a priority for business success. Improving on customer service not only boosts business, but also makes customers happier and more loyal. This is likely to result in repeat purchases, and obviously, higher sales and profits. The good thing about customer service is that there is no need to spend a fortune to make improvements. Let us outline some practical tips which will help you improve your customer service right away!

1. Respond to your Customers
There is nothing worse for a customer than trying to reach a sales representative or customer care agent, and failing to do so repeatedly. Unfortunately, many businesses dedicated a lot of time and funds on automated systems. But in some cases customers will need to connect with a human being. Therefore it is important to invest properly in this regard. If the firm is too small to set up a call center, make sure to have someone in charge of the phone. Freephone numbers work well with customers. Just make sure there is someone to pick up the phone, ideally at all times of day!

2. Try to Provide Individualised Customer Care
If your customer is frustrated about something, make sure to apologise and show him/her due respect. It is also best to try to set things right, so as to ensure that you do not lose your customer. Giving a refund, or a substitute product are some examples that go a long way in making customer happy. Also bear in mind that most customers feel valued when they are asked for their feedback.

3. Follow-ups
Following up with your customers so as to get their feedback. You need to know if your customer was pleased with his/her shopping experience. If he was not, you need to act accordingly, and learn to ameliorate. A good after-sales service is very important. Proper post-sales support can make a big difference in your company’s reputation and on the possibility of retaining customers.

4. Invest in a Customer-Centric Culture
Make sure your customer service representatives and support staff are properly motivated. Employees who are willing to serve customers well, are an asset for your business. So, you need to make sure that they are praised and rewarded, so as to retain that good attitude, which will in turn affect your customers positively.

5. Place importance on Customer Empathy
You need to bear in mind that all exchanges with customers are to a certain extent, emotional exchanges. So, your customer care staff need to show empathy to your customers. This can be done by valuing their suggestions, and making sure that they listen to their needs and opinions. They need to know how to act to reduce tension and anger if the customer is not satisfied.

6. Invest in an Efficient Customer Care Infrastructure
An efficient infrastructure helps customers to contact you easily. Avoid long hold times or queues by investing in a system that increases efficiency and facilitates customer interaction. Frequently asked question, online support, self-help options and ticker tracking are some good examples.

7. First point of contact should be final
Avoid bureaucratic systems where the customer has to repeat his problem or question to more than one person. The first point of contact should be the final one, that is, the customer will be satisfied with the support he was given by the employee who answered his call. This calls for properly trained employees.

8. Invest in Good Feedback Systems
Both your customers and employees want to feel valued. Therefore it is important to invest in feedback systems, which will encourage them to give their views and opinions easily and freely.

Try to implement these tips so as to see improvements in your customer care. You need to make sure that each suggestion is implemented in a way that is suitable for your business. Also, bear in mind that improving customer care needs to be an ongoing process. There are always better ways to do things, or innovative methods that will give you better results. So keep working on them so as to boost your business thanks to customer service.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe