Customer service? Your customers will never get enough of it.
You have to keep working on it until you acquire your own fan base, it will celebrate you as an epitome of customer service one day.
Why because 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
One can never change the fact that you can count on service desk outsourcing though.
Here are the top 10 effective customer service strategies to help you earn your customer fan base.
- Recruit the Right People
- Satisfied Employees = Satisfied Customers
- Never Lose the Hard Earned Loyalty
- Keep the Leader In You On Constant Check
- Make Yourself an Ardent Fan of Listening
- Don’t be Critical of Complaints, Call for Them!
- Pivot Your POV
- Tools can be Taunting
- Measure the Stuff that Needs to be Measured
- Build a Reputation, Blow Your Own Trumpet
1. Recruit the Right People
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
– Jim Collins
Building a successful customer service strategy requires people with the right attitude. The maxim should be “hire for attitude, train for skills.”
You, as a wise people picker, must maintain a planned training program in both job skills and people skills once in place.
If the market becomes difficult, this is not a place to cut costs. Consider requiring formal customer service qualifications for all employees.
Don’t just complain to your HR department; instead, identify job specifications and make it clear what you want. This will help to ensure that your new employees are culturally compatible.
2. Satisfied Employees = Satisfied Customers
Gallup reports in “The State of the American Workplace” that employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales.
Employee retention is critical to improving your company’s customer service. According to research, employees stay when they are happy and respect the organization for which they work.
Efforts should therefore be directed toward potential identification and development programs, as well as a well-thought-out career plan structure.
Believe us when we say that going the extra mile to make your employees’ hearts smile will work wonders!
Show them that you care for them by:
- Introducing new employee-centered policies,
- Listening to them by collecting feedback,
- Updating the tools and software to lessen their burden,
- Arranging for webinars to leverage awareness of work-life balance,
- Patting on the backs of the outstanding employees
- Rewarding the most crucial efforts from the employees’ side
- Creating plans for the staff’s career growth
However, in order to create happy, engaged customer service teams, we must first ask ourselves the following questions. These will assist us in determining where we are.
- Do your employees enjoy coming to work?
- Is performance affected by mood throughout the day/week/month? Do you understand why?
- Do you have any ridiculous “control” rules that should be abandoned?
- Are any of your enjoyable activities becoming stale?
3. Never Lose the Hard Earned Loyalty
86% of U.S. shoppers said that a loyalty program influences them to buy again from a brand. And there are plenty of loyalty program strategies out there for you to pick from.
Customer retention is typically less expensive and faster than customer acquisition. That is the first lesson of business school, and it emphasizes the importance of customer loyalty.
Loyal customers are active supporters of your company, and they are also more profitable, more interested in assisting you in improving your products and services, and more forgiving of your occasional errors.
However, customer loyalty and customer relationships are not the same things. Some customers do not want relationships but will remain loyal if your customer experience aligns with their values and you are easy to do business with.
4. Keep The Leader In You On Constant Check
Getting customer service right in an organization and continuously improving it requires a long-term commitment from those at the top.
Leaders must recognize the importance of the strategy, believe in it, be active in leading by example, and take actions that support those charged with carrying it out.
As contact center managers and leaders, you must sound the alarm and consider:
- Do you like your internal profile?
- Do other departments and management understand what you do and how critical it is?
- Are company career paths designated to ensure contact center exposure?
- Do you promote yourself through industry award programs?
Make sure you work on your leadership qualities consistently. Remember what you are now will never be enough, work on yourself and never stop.
5. Make Yourself An Ardent Fan Of Listening
It’s most likely not what you think.
Listen to and analyze customer phone calls on a regular basis. Set up feedback groups and suggestion schemes.
Take, for example, speech analytics. Use your own systems to simulate what your customers are experiencing. Pay attention to what your customers and employees are saying to you.
Don’t send out a customer satisfaction survey just because it’s the norm, and keep things as they are. We want a customer and employee feedback strategy that is actionable.
This strategy could include calculating metric results, using focus groups, or conducting various types of surveys. Whatever you do, make sure the results are actionable, accessible, and auditable.
Once you’ve determined your goal, here are a few more ways to listen to customers and employees:
- Social Listening
- Independent Pollsters
- Customer/Staff Panels
- Third-Party Review Sites
To cut to the chase, enjoy listening!
6. Don’t Be Critical of Complaints, Call For Them!
Following on from the previous point of listening to your customers, another excellent customer service strategy emerges, which is based on the concept of better-utilizing customer complaints.
Consider it this way: complaints are free to market research. As a result, they should be welcomed.
But how can we make better use of them? Here’s a good four-step procedure to follow:
- Make certain that you are aware of all of them.
- Brilliantly resolve the ones you get.
- Stop them from happening again.
- Learn from your mistakes and pass them on to others.
While this proactive approach may result in an increase in complaints in the short term, it is a deception. You had them all along but didn’t realize it.
7. Pivot Your POV
Many organizations approach processes from an internal perspective, attempting to “improve” them without considering the customers or employees who must use them.
Is the process step truly beneficial to everyone, or does it simply make life easier in one area at the expense of others?
We also need to get the team on board with new processes and follow up after they are implemented.
Along with this, let’s just add a second note that we need to get the team invested in new processes and follow up after they’ve been implemented.
Only by doing so will we be able to determine whether we have met our vision of what success looks like, which we should have established at the start of the process.
8. Tools Can Be Taunting
If any tools are introduced primarily to cut costs, it is unlikely that real improvements in service levels will be realized, especially in the long run.
One or more of them could be very useful if they are considered an integral part of a strategy to improve customer service.
Just be cautious when using tools. There are no quick fixes for improving customer service, but there are some that can be achieved quickly.
Instead, when implementing new contact center tools, we should take a “crawl, walk, run” approach, with the main technology goal of being able to “do ALL channels well.”
With this goal in mind, take a step back before introducing new tools and ask yourself:
- Do you “promote” excellent customer service?
- Do you respond in a timely manner, as your customers expect?
- How many of your contacts are not voice?
9. Measure The Stuff That Needs To Be Measured
Each of your metrics should provide you with useful information. Is it really worth measuring them if they don’t? Your time is most likely better spent elsewhere.
What this means is that you should measure the right things, not the easiest ones.
Consider the following for each of your contact center metrics:
- Will this be investigated?
- Will it result in any action?
- Is it really important?
Along with these, you should ask yourself whether you’re doing it to give yourself a warm feeling on the inside or to see where you need to make changes.
- Do you compare yourself to other organizations, particularly those in different market sectors?
- Are you maximizing performance by maintaining close contact with other departments within the organization, particularly marketing and sales?
- Are all of the processes that improve your performance under control?
10. Build A Reputation, Blow Your Own Trumpet
The full participation and commitment of both staff and customers in a customer service excellence program can be heavily reliant on your ability to communicate with them.
Good communication necessitates a coordinated communications strategy that makes use of all available tools; however, most contact centers are reactive and thus do not reach out to customers proactively. Just take a look at the graph below.
If you are a reactive contact center, your company’s reputation for excellent service can be easily ruined.
Remember that being great at customer service is something to brag about, as long as you truly are.