You might have burnt candles at both ends to create first-grade products and offer top-notch services to your customers. All these efforts were solely meant to increase conversions and grow your business.
But here's the deal: Your customers are less likely to remember your quality product and talented team. What they never forget is the direct communication they had with your company.
Whether it's a phone call, an email, or a chat, it's enough to win or lose your customers.
Did you know 70% of consumers say they have already chosen to support a company that delivers great customer service?
Not surprisingly, customer service plays a significant role in the growth of your business.
We'll walk you through seven epic customer service tips to help you take your business to new heights.
7 Customer Service Tips to Impress New and Existing Customers
Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash
Whether you're managing a group in a contact center, working in a customer-facing role, or running a business with a team handling your customers, here's the golden rule to your success:
Excellent customer service.
A hardworking company may already have good relationships with their customers, but a smart company will always ask, "How to improve customer service?"
Good customer service involves listening to your customers, talking about their concerns, and making constant efforts to satisfy their desires and needs.
If you want to go an extra mile for your customers - to grow your business, of course - follow these customer service tips to serve them better.
1. Practice Active Listening
Your customer is not a bot, neither are you. Because you responded, "yes, okay, I understand," to your customer's queries, it doesn't mean you have solved their problem or impressed them. The truth is, they might never call you back.
Therefore, you need to be an active listener to understand them better.
A fine line separates active and passive listening methods.
Hypothetically speaking, your customer called you to address an issue about a damaged product they ordered online.
I just received my order, and the XYZ product is broken. I'm very disappointed; I paid $500 for this.
I'll talk to the authority and let you know how we can help you.
I'm very sorry to hear that. I totally understand it's upsetting for you since you spent $500 to purchase this product. I apologize for the inconvenience. I'll talk to the authorities and call you back in 5 minutes precisely.
See the difference? Your customer should feel heard.
Besides making them feel understood, active listening also involves you asking questions about the damaged product like, "When did you receive your order?" "What parts are broken?" etc.?
As soon as you receive a customer's call, your goal should be to learn something out of the conversation and focus on your customer's words.
You can practice active listening with your family or colleagues to develop your skills.
2. Be Patient and Empathetic
When learning about the best customer service tips, you need to develop quality traits like patience and empathy.
Each of us has a different personality and varying characteristics that define who we are. While this philosophy seems pretty straightforward, it becomes quite complicated when you get to meet various people.
Simply put, dealing with different people is not a walk in the park.
Since you're providing customer service, you're vulnerable to meeting all sorts of people: happy, angry, disappointed, rude, and whatnot.
On lucky days you may receive calls from satisfied customers; on other days, you may get to talk to plain mad customers - which might eventually ruin your day.
But here's the catch: don't let rude customers turn you rude.
Because if you do, you'll not only lose them but create a negative brand image. One furious customer can tell a bunch of others to "not shop from your brand" because of bad customer service.
Note that your customer won't remember their tone; all they care about is what you got for them since they spent money to purchase a product from you.
You need to be super patient when handling such calls.
Besides being patient, when a customer addresses an issue, DO NOT respond by saying, "We'll see what we can do."
Listen to their problems keenly and put yourself in their shoes.
See their issues through your eyes and imagine how they feel. This skill is great for earning loyal customers.
3. Know Your Products and Services
As a business owner, if you've hired a new employee, make sure you do not offer them a seat to engage with your customers. A newbie may not have prior knowledge about your products and services, and it may turn the customers away.
Consider a customer calling your company to inquire about a product from a completely ignorant employee. This will create a negative impression of your brand.
If the workers do not know about services and products, what good will the products be anyway?
- a customer might think this way.
While we're not discouraging new hires, you can always train new employees. We recommend each customer service employee should spend time with a product specialist and learn the nitty-gritty about each product and service.
This will help them troubleshoot customer problems and offer them tips and tricks to maximize their product usage.
As a customer service agent, if you still mess up and miss out on the ins and outs of a relatively new product, don't hesitate to share it with your customer.
Again, don't act like a bot and tell them, "I don't know." Instead, explain to them, "The product is new, and I do not know about it yet. I'll ask the authority and revert to you within XYZ minutes."
Don't forget to get back to them. The customer will appreciate your effort to find the right answer.
4. Be Open to Feedback
An old phrase goes like this, "The customer is always right."
Yes, it isn't always true, but this slogan might encourage you to prioritize customer satisfaction.
If we see the other side of the story, we learn that the customer is always right IN THEIR HEAD.
So, you better not disagree with them. It'll make them more argumentative, angry, and hurt your brand reputation eventually.
Your primary goal is to make your customers happy - even if they are mean. So, you have to have a thick skin and be open to feedback.
You may even hear plain wrong complaints about your product, but you have to remain patient because your business growth depends on customer service.
So, instead of getting offended, take feedback as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve your services and products.
Once you implement their feedback, let them know how you switched your company's approach for the better. This will make them feel valued and heard. Eventually, your sales will increase, and so will your business revenue.
5. Use Positive Language
Positive language is meant for positive outcomes. But what is positive language anyway? Let's see the difference between positive and negative language.
Emphasizes negative actions and consequences
Informs your customers what cannot be done
Includes a tone of blame
Positive language, on the other hand:
Emphasizes positive actions and consequences
Tells your customers what can be done
Is encouraging and helpful
Note that your customer cannot see you on a phone call, and so they cannot observe your body language either. Negative language on a call or in an email flips the context of even a very positive message, and your customer may feel you're being rude and unsympathetic.
Your language and tone shape the thoughts of your customer. In other words, you can make them think positively about your company. But you need to use positive language as one of the top customer service tips.
Positive language is proactive, helpful, encouraging, and informative, unlike uninformative and restrictive negative language.
Even if you cannot solve a particular issue of your customer, you do not have to tell them that. Instead, tell them what you can do for them. Here's an example.
I can't place the order right now. The product you want is out of stock until next month.
The product you want will be available next month. I'll book your order right away, so it gets delivered as soon as we have it back in stock. Are you willing to book an order?
See the difference? You have to encourage your customer and help them out, and your spirits must be high while doing so. A low, uncheerful tone unlikely works.
6. Give Your Customers a Way to Provide Feedback
The key to improving your customer service is to know your customers' good and bad experiences. For that purpose, you need to create a way to get their feedback.
You can create an online poll, ask questions on your social media handles, give them a call, or make a feedback form available on your website's "Contact Us" page.
This will make it easier for your customers to pinpoint your company's plus points and downsides.
Collect the feedback and try to implement those strategies for business growth.
Great customer service tips require you to get in touch with your customers and give them a way to tell how they feel about your company.
Even if you solve your customer's problem, make sure you follow up. Send them a support email or call them to inquire if they are satisfied. Let your customers know you care for them.
7. Be Human
Good customer service is not limited to addressing customers' issues reaching out to you. You need to reach out to your customers as well.
Your customers want to feel they have access to humans and not bots. So instead of those typical automated emails and telephone prompts, go above and beyond to satisfy your customers.
Social media is a great way to create engagement and get personal with your customers. Respond to their comments and post photos and details about your company.
Besides, make sure your customers can reach you accessibly. You can offer a video call to your online customers and meet your local customers to know about the pros and cons of your business.
Note that customer service is not restricted to "attending" phone calls to know about your customer issues.
You need to call your customers too, to sound more human, empathetic, and build strong relationships.
Lastly, treat your customers as important members of the community. Make sure you make them participate in interactive surveys, webinars, conventions, and social media.
While customers attend these forums to get to know your company and learn from you, this is also your chance to know them and learn from them to improve your business.
Building strong relationships with your customers is among the golden customer service tips for business owners.
Why Is Customer Service Important to Your Business?
Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash
What good are your business efforts if you fail to win loyal customers? Remember, one loyal customer means acquiring new ones - free of charge!
In other words, positive testimonials of satisfied customers entice new customers.
But how to win loyal customers anyway? Through great customer service, of course.
You may have underestimated the importance of customer service for your business, but read on to find out why it is important.
Builds Your Brand Reputation
When your customer service team lends an ear to customer issues and solves their problem, it leaves a positive impression on your customers.
Stats show that a positive customer experience encourages 69% of customers to recommend your company to others.
While social media ads and paid campaigns work wonders, nothing beats good customer service.
A satisfied, happy client will talk about your services and products to your prospects. Consequently, it'll build a positive brand image.
Your business success doesn't merely depend on your quality services and products. Instead, profitability is one crucial factor in measuring business growth.
Simply put, your company's success and failure are determined by money in minus money out. One typical reason more customers prefer your company over your competitors' is customer service.
Statistics show 84% of organisations working to improve customer service experienced an increased revenue.
Note that the keyword in the stats is "working." In other words, the companies have not excelled at offering satisfactory customer service, yet they yielded positive results during the process.
Happy Employees Create Happy Customers
Customers alone do not play a role in upscaling your business; employees matter too.
Having your employees work for you doesn't necessarily mean they are happy or satisfied with their jobs.
Yes, it may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but let's unveil the other side of the picture.
A poll conducted by Gallup shows that only 15% of people are engaged at work. This means that a whopping 85% of people are unhappy or dissatisfied with their jobs.
Now, let's see how a satisfied, happy customer can add value to your company.
Studies indicate that happy employees are 13% more productive
So it won't be wrong to say that more productivity can make up for great customer service. After all, the positive tone and language of a happy employee are enough to attract your customers. On the flip side, a dissatisfied employee will rarely create any engagement.
So, it's time to reflect: Are your employees happy?
If not, create a poll, and question them about their concerns. Being the company's owner, it's your responsibility to address their issues and solve them simultaneously.
But, again, your very purpose of making employees happy shouldn’t be to improve your customer service solely. Show concern, be empathetic, and care for your employees.
Increases Conversion Rates
Better customer service directly correlates with increased conversion.
Say your customer bought an amazing product from your company. After a few weeks, the same customer is willing to purchase a similar item again.
At this point, the customer expects to get in touch with your team and ask them about the product's availability, and bad customer service can be a huge turn-off.
Note that your plenty of in-stock items and talented staff designing competing products are "good-for-nothing" if you fail to meet your customer's expectations through great customer service.
Improves Services and Products
Actively engaging with your customers - through customer service - gives you a chance to know about the downsides of your products and services.
You may come across some angry, blunt customers. But don't take things to heart. Instead, take it as a learning opportunity to improve your products.
You can consider it a business growth tactic - involving actively with your customers.
Your customers are the backbone of your business, and good customer service is crucial to winning some loyal customers. As a smart business owner, you need to improve your customer service.
For that purpose, you need to implement the above-shared customer service tips.
Nonetheless, great customer service isn't restricted to the tips shared in the guide; make sure you stay updated about new ways to please your customers and learn about their needs.
Cover Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash