Customer service has never been more important. Today customers are demanding a richer experience and your customer service can make or mar your business strategy. Successful businesses have realized that being customer-centric is the way to go. If a company’s customer service is world-class then the benefits of that are very rewarding indeed.
In this day and age of instant networking and communication there is nothing worse than a disgruntled customer. One negative remark on social networking site is all it takes to bring down the brand value of even the biggest corporations. So it is high time brands concentrate on making customer service an integral part of their overall business strategy.
Make them feel important
Customers whose voice is heard and issues are swiftly resolved feel genuinely elated. This should act as a motivation for brands to do even better. Connect with them on a personal level. Being impersonal when dealing with your valued customers does not bode well for progressive brands. Take negative reviews proactively and find out what exactly is their grouse. There is no looking back once the damage is done courtesy of negative publicity.
Consumers buy from brands and people that they trust. Even in this day and age of preponderance of technology, buying is still an emotional affair. Good customer service creates more than just good marketing. It helps to convert ordinary customers into loyal customers and ultimately into brand advocates.
Be a good listener always
When it comes to interactions the more you listen to your customers the more you learn about them and the better you become at serving them. This holds true regardless of your industry type and consumer demographics. In today’s fast-paced world it is tough for anybody to concentrate on anything for a fair enough interval of time. In such a scenario listening patiently to your customers can work wonders and they genuinely begin to trust you. But listening is just half of the story. The other half is acting upon it. This should be a natural follow-up since once you get to the root cause of a query, action needs to be taken.
Set high service standards
It is always good to have a standard service protocol that has a high benchmark. It is the responsibility of the top management to make sure everybody in the company is aware of the protocols and rules. Having a documented service strategy improves satisfaction levels. There is no room for error and any contingency plans can be effectively set in motion due to very less uncertainty involved.
Regardless of how good your product is or how skilled your employees are, at the end of the day it is the service you provide that matters. No amount of shortcomings in your people skills can be compensated by automation or smart CRM software.
Communicate clearly and be adaptable
Customers need clarity when they interact with you. In today’s age when people’s attention spans are short and most are multitasking at any given time it pays to be articulate in all your communication channels. Customer service personnel need to be adaptable and gauge the mood of the customer and set the right tone for communication. When talking in person have a positive body language and let your tone convey confidence and reassurance at all times.
Getting feedback is crucial
What’s the point of all that customer service if you don’t know whether it was appreciated or not. Hence make feedback an indispensable part of your service routine. This helps to stay on top of what the customers are thinking about your service and the brand in general. Feedback should be solicited across all touchpoints like telephone, email, website or one-on-one interactions.
Finally a word of advice – ever remember that the customer is always right. All customer-facing personnel should be able to comprehend the true meaning of that adage. Only then will customer service be a great marketing channel for your brand. This will make sure that customers will be more than happy to be associated with you and be loyal to your brand for years to come.