Boost customer service with proven tips
Your prices are non-negotiable. Your customers trust you, choosing your brand over those of your competitors—even when your prices are higher. Your employees are loyal and stakeholders are content. Your company is respected, and your reputation is strong when the key elements of a successful customer service strategy are in place.
A clear purpose
To provide superior service, your employees need a solid understanding of your organization’s true underlying purpose. They need to know what your brand brings to your community. A strong customer experience action statement will explain why your customers buy from you—why they can’t get what you are offering elsewhere—and provide clear direction to everyone in your business.
Prioritize customer service
Customer service needs to be a regular topic of conversation in executive and team meetings across the organization. It is so much more than just a good idea or lip service; it should be continually communicated as one of your company’s core values.
Beyond customer-facing employees, “invisible” service providers such as back-office workers and those in contact centers and warehouses also greatly affect customer satisfaction and need an understanding of the impact their work has on customers’ lives.
Could your organization’s customer service vision use an update? Be sure it aligns with current and prospective customer expectations, needs, and preferences along the customer journey.
Understand customer’s viewpoint
World-class leaders provide a consistently great brand experience for their customers, employees, vendors, and community. Do you know how your customer experience looks or should look when operating at its peak potential?
As a leader, have you ever experienced your own company’s customer service, or worked alongside your customer-facing employees? In addition to feedback from customers, such practices can help define current and potential problems. They can help determine your company’s customer service goals: how to ensure the loyalty of current customers who spend approximately 67 percent more with your brand, what you can do better, and how you can turn new customers into raving fans.
Processes and tools
Customer service processes can be defined as all the actions and steps taken by your customer service team while customer service tools are the hardware and software supporting those processes.
How is the communication between your team members and across your locations? Rather than messages scattered here, there, and everywhere, one central method for messaging should be one of your top business goals. One reliable method can greatly reduce miscommunication, helping all team members stay informed and able to provide a much higher level of customer support. This is especially important when a resolution can’t be completed instantly, and a customer needs to communicate with more than one customer service representative.
In the words of Derek Caron, manager, primary storage, at Dell: “Nothing is more feared by a customer than a disconnection from a knowledgeable human being.” Providing streamlined, seamless interactions across multiple communication channels is an important customer experience strategy. Research has shown that 92 percent of customers will spend more with a brand when they don’t have to repeat information.
A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. For exceptional customer service, it’s essential for your company’s processes to be standardized company-wide and integrated, so your customers think you might just be able to read their minds.
Tools commonly used in customer service include social media channels, phone systems, CRM systems, live chat, and chatbots. In addition to working across applications and being user-friendly, be sure all tools used in your organization are compliant and secure.
High employee engagement
As we know, customer service representatives are on the front lines, building relationships with customers. But what about your current CSR training program and your relationship with them as individuals? The best business strategy for a strong bottom line is no longer simply about keeping customers happy. Post-pandemic, becoming the brand that the best talent wants to work for is directly tied to your company’s growth. I recently shared that our employees’ work lives are a frequent topic of conversation. Even when not at work, employment-related topics take up half of their thought lives during waking hours!
Starting at orientation and during the onboarding process, equipping your team members to offer a best-in-class customer experience generates the highest levels of loyalty and enthusiasm.
Eliminate any guesswork for your new hires. Train them on your brand’s signature experience, including clearly defined customer experience deliverables. They need to understand the non-negotiable experiential standards to follow to provide a consistently engaging experience along the customer journey, an experience not offered by the majority of your competitors.
Be sure they know what they should never do, and what they should always do when certain situations come up. On day one, sharing your organization’s top 10 above-and-beyond stories will set the tone for high employee engagement, overall employee experience, and an above-and-beyond culture in which every employee knows how to deliver heroic service.
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John R. DiJulius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or email@example.com.
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