What is the one thing a customer is most likely to remember? You might have a great product or provide an excellent service, but the single most memorable thing will be the direct interaction your customers have with your company. If you’re wondering what you can do to improve relationships with your customers, the only answer is to improve customer care.
If you have a customer service team, they are the face of your company. If you’re more of a one-person band, then the onus is on you to treat your customers right. Do you know what makes for good customer service? It centres on listening and attending to your customers’ needs and desires.
Here are some ideas you can use to improve your business’s customer service.
What Are Your Goals?
Before you start looking at ways to improve your customer service, you need to have a good understanding of your audience and the direction of your business. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What does your company do best?
- Who needs the products or services you’re offering?
- How do you communicate with prospective customers?
- What are your goals over the coming weeks, months, and years?
- How are you going to measure your success?
Make sure your goals are achievable and track your progress closely.
Always Ask for Feedback
If you want to improve your business overall, it’s vital you receive feedback from your customers. If you don’t ask them how they feel about your service or product, how can you be sure you’ve met their needs?
There are several ways you can obtain their comments. For example, requesting telephone numbers or email addresses so you can send them surveys to complete. How you get the feedback is not as important as finding out whether you’re meeting or exceeding customer expectations. The comments you receive can be used to improve your products or services and increase sales.
Provide Customers with Secure Payment Options
Improving payment options for customers is a great way to meet their changing needs. Not so very long ago, customers would be more than happy to pay for services using cash or cheques. Nowadays, however, digital technology provides the consumer with a wide selection of payment choices. Ensuring your payment process is secure, though, is one of the most important elements. Merchant services from Humboldt offer secure payment processes to all businesses, regardless of industry. Be sure to make use of such security measures.
Here are ways to improve your business’s payment process:
- Allow customers to make payments without the need to open an account.
- Don’t use a service that directs people away from your site when they want to pay. You want your brand name to be the last thing they remember rather than the payment provider.
- Reassure your customers about the security of your payment systems. This requires a little more than just telling them. Have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your website. This provides a secure connection and encrypts credit card information. Complying with the standards of the PCI Security Standards Council is also vital.
Strengthen Customer Service Skills
Are you sure your customer service team has the right skills for managing your customers’ needs? You might be able to use CRM software, but it can’t compensate for any shortcomings in your team’s skill set. What skills are required for a customer service rep? They must be empathic, patient and consistent.
Adaptability and good communication skills are also important. Your customers will appreciate a customer service agent who wants to see a problem through to a final resolution. However, they must be able to stay focused on your goals and achieve the right balance.
What’s more, the perfect customer service agent will be one with a pretty thick skin. The customer is always right after all. There will be times when they need to swallow their pride and accept the blame or negative feedback. The customer’s happiness should be at the forefront of their minds.
Practise Pro-Active Customer Service
Try to make your customers happy before they come to you with problems. Show your customers that there are real people working on their behalf. It’s important for your customers to feel like they have access to real people, rather than bots and FAQs pages. Social media can be used to your advantage. When people post comments on your pages, write prompt responses. Post photos and bios on your website.
Part of the personal approach means always being available when a customer needs you. If you can, meet customers personally, or at the very least offer video calls. When your customers are in different time zones, be prepared to work early or late when needed.
Offer VIP treatment for your best customers, so they know they’re appreciated. Bring customers together in various ways. Invite them to take part in webinars, offer interactive websites, use social media, trade shows and conventions.
Your business needs money to survive. To make money, you need customers. If your customers are happy, they will tell friends and family members about you and keep coming back for more.