By Pol Arellano
Unforgettable… that’s what you are. Or at least that’s what your business should aim to be for your customers. Of course, we’re referring to being unforgettable in the good, remarkable way — not the unhelpful, disastrous way.
And to fall under the first category, you need to make sure that you create an amazing customer service experience for all your clients. But how do you do this — or better yet, how do you make sure that good customer service is being implemented — when you’re running a busy business?
Great customer service gets you customer satisfaction, patronage, and referrals. And if you’re smart (which we know you are), you’ll make customer service a priority.
Here are 6 tips on how you can create a better customer service experience for your clients:
1. Create a customer-centric company culture.
Everyone in your company — from top to bottom — should understand how completely serious you are about being of great assistance to your clients.
Make customer service an integral part of your company’s guiding philosophy. It should be easy to understand and remember, and it should be the star of your new hire orientation sessions.
Instilling the importance of putting people first to your employees will arise from fully committing to making it a part of their daily work habit.
Don’t skimp on the visuals, too — you can put posters up, put it on the backs of identification cards, and make it a part of all your company email signatures. Devote time to tackle it on company newsletters, weekly meetings, and post-mortems.
To ingrain the importance of quality customer service to your people, they must always see and hear it — so that no matter how busy work gets, giving great customer assistance will always be their first instinct.
2. Don’t pass customers around like a ball
If your customer calls a problem in, try to resolve the issue in one call. Do not pass a customer to another person just so they could repeat the (ultra) long spiel they just gave. If they’re in your store, don’t make them speak with countless other employees who wouldn’t be able to help with their woes. Don’t let them wait for hours.
Not only is this a waste of everyone’s time, but it will only further aggravate a client’s frustration. Not good.
Improve your resolution and escalation procedures so that you can accurately and swiftly resolve customer issues.
Customers should always be directed to the right person, and not be passed on to a slew of individuals. Doing this would be favorable to busy companies, as all clients will be directed to the appropriate individuals at all times — saving other employees’ precious work hours in the process.
3. Communicate clearly and sincerely.
Problems arise when customers understand one thing, while the company states another. Hence, communicating clearly is essential to eliminate misunderstandings.
So if you say that a feature is included in a certain plan or getting that free tablet means that they’d have to get a more expensive option, make sure that they understand the terms completely. Be ready and willing to go by something repeatedly. Make things crystal clear.
When customers call their problems in or present them in person, make sure that you fully understand what they’re saying by clarifying their statements. Active listening is vital to getting right to the heart of the issue and resolving it swiftly.
Make your customers feel that you’re eager to listen to their issues and that you sincerely want to be of help. In some companies, top management even take the time to address email correspondences from customers themselves. This shows that no matter how busy they are, they allot time in communicating with their customers.
4. Be “wow” worthy.
Ever hear about companies doing exemplary customer service work and being praised (and going viral) on social media? That’s because they’re doing it right.
Strive to be that company that always exceed customers’ expectations by providing incredible assistance. Going above and beyond for your clients should be nothing short of a daily goal.
Spend time with your clients, even after an issue’s been resolved. Make sure that your clients are fully satisfied with their concerns or requests. Ask how you can make the overall experience better.
Don’t forget to empathize and work towards getting a concrete resolution, especially if you run into a client who didn’t have a great experience with your service or product. Be sincere.
In short, go the extra mile for your clients. If you find yourself short of office staff to handle incoming and outgoing calls and in-store customers, it’s a good idea to outsource some of your tasks to reliable professionals such as virtual receptionists and virtual assistants.
These individuals are trained to build rapport with your clients, handle all calls and address concerns right away. They are also there to help you anticipate callers’ needs.
5. Give professional advice.
At times, being professional means being courteous, conscientious and helpful enough to the point that you may direct your customers outside of your company — just because what they need can be better serviced elsewhere.
Being professional means providing honest, objective advice with the goal of truly being helpful to the best of one’s ability.
Now, hear me out. Yes, you will lose their business because you direct them somewhere where their needs can be better met. But they will always remember your selflessness and valuable input, that they will surely be back — with referrals, to boot.
Exceptional companies do this because they’re secure in their products and services, and they’re confident and transparent enough to pull it off.
6. Be ready and available.
Make sure that someone is always ready to answer all calls, respond to tweets, reply to private messages, DMs and more.
Having an avenue for your customers to air out their concerns, ask questions, or give feedback is essential to providing an amazing customer service experience.
Speedy service is always the goal when it comes to communicating with clients, especially when they have an urgent issue that they need to be addressed right away.
If their issue can’t be resolved immediately, let your clients know and update them regularly. If you say you’ll call back in 5 minutes, do so. Don’t say something that you won’t do. Don’t be that company. You’re better than that — no matter how busy you are.