Efficient and helpful customer service will not only help retain your current customer-base but it will help grow your business by word-of-mouth. As excellent customer service should be the top priority of any business, here are a few tips to help make things a little easier:
1) Be present at all times
This may sound obvious but it is by far the most important. Your customers must know that when they need you, you will be there. You must be present and accessible at all times. This does not necessarily mean you have to have a 24/7 call centre but you should at least aim to have an email service which is answered within 24 hours.
2) Treat each case individually
You may hear the same complaint or problem over and over again, but each individual customer must be treated as such. The way one person feels about a particular problem (and its solution) will vary dramatically, so do not factory line your answers.
3) Follow through
Whatever you do, do not make promises that you cannot keep. It is easy to appease a customer with grand ideas and promises, but if you cannot pull them off, you will lose trust. If you promise delivery by a certain time, make sure it happens. Do not say it, if you cannot do it!
4) Learn from your customers
If you take each complaint as a piece of advice and work on it, you will build a stronger and well respected company. If your customers can see that you have made changes because of them, they will feel that they are with a company that they can trust.
5) Put your best people person on the frontline
No one wants to deal with a short tempered unenthusiastic employee at the best of times, especially when they have a complaint and need help. Make sure you choose your customer service representative carefully. This person will be the voice of your company and needs to be approachable and needs to reflect your brand accordingly.
6) Do not pass the buck
Do not pass the customer from pillar to post. No matter how difficult the situation is, let the customer know that they can contact you personally.
7) Keep things simple
Do not confuse your customers with too much jargon or terminology that they may not understand. This is the easiest mistake to make as you forget that your understanding of your business is not the same as your average customers understanding.
8) Be public
If you get asked a question in a public space (online), then answer it publicly. If you do not then you risk looking like you are ignoring problems. Future customers will be impressed by your open response to an issue.
Make sure that all of your staff members are fully trained and aware of what is involved when it comes to excellent customer service. Remember that a customer could accidentally come through to anyone on your team so make sure this awareness of excellent customer service runs through your company like a brand.
10) Know your company backwards
The person who deals with customer complaints must know the company backwards and be able to answer any question knowledgably. As a customer, there is nothing worse than speaking to someone within a company who knows less than you do.