Customers are at the heart of any business’s success, so keeping them happy is key. Not only can customer reviews and experiences affect the future of your sales, but building loyalty and retaining a customer is actually three times less expensive than acquiring a new one. So improving your customer service will only benefit your business going forward.
In this article, we will cover the following ways to improve your customer service:
- Ask for feedback and respond to it
- Offer multi-channel support
- Create a personal experience in every interaction
- Improve response time
Ask for feedback and respond to it
Asking for feedback makes your customer feel that you value their opinion and are invested in improving their experience. Building this trust and loyalty may even turn a potentially negative review into a positive one.
After dealing with a customer enquiry, always ask for feedback after the interaction. This gives you a chance to make a negative experience (for example, your customer has not received their order, or a refund from you is delayed) into a positive one. Finding out what parts the customer felt were handled well, and what wasn’t, will highlight the areas you need to work on.
You could ask directly for feedback over the phone or in person. Or, if you’re using email, follow up with a personal message after difficult enquiries to get detailed feedback.
To save time, you can use automated email software, such as Hubspot, to follow up after the interaction and pull together a report of all your customer feedback.
Try to respond to all feedback you’re given (positive and negative), whether it comes in the form of an email, a tweet or an online review. It shows that you care about your customers, who are much more likely to be loyal to a brand that is transparent in answering questions.
Offer multi-channel options to improve customer service
Provide a variety of ways for customers to get in touch with you. This improves customer service as it makes it as convenient as possible for your customers, for example, they might not have time to wait on hold on the phone, so live chat might be quicker. As well as the typical phone and email channels, here are some of the ways you can make yourself accessible to them:
Mobile friendly website
Ensure your website is optimised for mobile. For a customer to navigate your site and find any answers they need, they must be able to effectively use your website via their phone. Mobile is now the most common way that customers do their research, and if your website doesn’t function well on mobile it will create a bad customer experience.
Many website hosting platforms have plugins that allow you to use a live chat function. This is a fast and simple way for customers to get in touch with you. If you can’t be available on live chat all day, then highlight the hours you will be or disable the features during your ‘off’ hours.
On your website, you may want to create an area that troubleshoots and shows customers how to fix an issue. This could be as simple as directions on how to return a product or a detailed guide on how to fix a piece of computer hardware.
Recently, self-service has become the preferred method for customers looking for help, with 40% preferring to find the solution themselves via a business website instead of having human contact.
With this changing customer behaviour in mind, publishing the answers to some of your frequently asked questions will be a useful resource for your customers.
Social media for customer service
Using your social media as an outlet for customer service interactions can be a valuable strategy. Not only will you be publicly solving issues for your customers, but it gives you a chance to show off your expertise and create trust around your brand on a public platform.
Find more details on why social media can be important for business here.
When offering multi-channel services, there needs to be evidence of contact to provide a consistent communication history for each customer. A customer relationship management system (CRM) will allow you to make notes on a customer’s file after every interaction. This means that if a customer uses a different contact method to reach you again, you can offer a consistent quality of service because you have all the relevant information to hand, including notes from a phone call, a copy of a live chat conversation or any emails that have been exchanged.
Create a personal experience in every interaction
Creating a personal experience is key to building loyalty with your customers. For example, always use your customer’s name. This friendlier approach is a central tenet in many big brands’ customer service guides.
Send personalised responses after the first customer enquiry. A follow-up email should feel like it was written by a person, not a robot.
An excellent way to add a personal touch is to send thank you notes to your clients. If you have the resources to send a short note with every product order then do so – it makes customers feel valued. You could also consider sending holiday cards.
It’s a simple, and some might say old-fashioned, task but receiving a handwritten note from your business could make you stand out, and generate word-of-mouth support.
Faster response time to improve customer service
Solving your customer enquiries as quickly and effectively as possible will improve the views on your service. If you can’t reply to an enquiry immediately, try to send automatic responses that clarify the timeframe for a response.
Again, try to make this sound like it came from a human and avoid the common ‘you will receive a response in 3-5 business days.’
Improve customer service with Countingup
Now that you’re spending your valuable time improving your customer service, you can use Countingup to save time on tedious accounting admin. The Countingup app and business current account makes your bookkeeping easy by automating complex tax and accounting tasks, so that you don’t have to worry about it. Find out more here.