Customer service best practices require a lot more than a smile, although that's certainly a good start. Happy customers lead to repeat business, increased positive reviews (which boosts local SEO), and increased social signals with positive sentiment (which boots overall organic search visibility), and no company can exist without their customers. Here are five easy ways to ensure your customers feel loved.
1. Ask the Right Questions
Every company should ask this question daily: What can be done to make things easier for the customer? It might be online live chat support, always making sure customers can quickly reach a live person, or spending a little more time with responsive design. When things are easy, customers are happy and that should be the primary goal of every business.
2. Personality Management
How customers are treated starts with a warm, welcoming personality and a smile. Smiling while speaking with a customer on the phone is one way to make your voice sound happier, warmer, and friendlier. It's strange that it works, but it really does (try it!). On the flip side, customers can instantly tell if an employee doesn't want to be there or is having a bad day. This sets the tone for the entire transaction and can easily drive away customers. Monitor interactions, have regular training sessions and put the right people in the customer interaction positions.
3. Follow Up
There will be problems no matter how committed a company is to service. Handling it quickly and professionally is step one, but following up is just as important. Customers need to know your company cares and doesn't push things under the rug once a solution is found.
4. Try Customer Service Focus Groups
Focus groups let business owners survey a group of potential customers and find out what they want, the service they expect, and it can create a mold for better service practices. But be prepared and keep an open mind; it can be surprising or disturbing to hear feedback straight from a group of customers or potential customers. It'll take a thick skin at times to go through this process.
5. Entice the Staff
In an ideal world, all employees would provide top notch service because they truly care about the business and the customers. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Add an incentive, such as a prize for the employee with the best customer service rankings, and make the prize worth fighting for–such as half days on Fridays for a month with no pay cut. A rewards system works.
Throughout the process, make sure employees are being monitored in a fair way. They should be aware of being monitored, and it should be a part of the annual review. Support packages are available, and it's usually possible to keep an eye on all electronic interactions if you need to monitor communication streams between your employees and clients; that's often a great place to start in order to detect potential problems and resolve them.