All it takes is one bad customer service experience to drive loyal shoppers away. Follow these tips to improve communication in customer service ASAP!
According to a recent survey, well over 90% of people said that they would at least consider leaving one company to do business with another after a bad customer service experience.
What does this mean for you if you’re a small business owner?
Well, for starters, it means that you need to make providing great customer service a top priority. It also means that you might be able to snag customers from opposing companies by making your customer service better than theirs.
And how exactly can you improve communication in customer service? It’s not that difficult to do it. But you will need to be prepared to take the right steps to right the ship when it comes to improving your company’s customer service skills.
You should start hammering out the details for a customer service strategy right away. Here are some of the things you’ll need to know as far as how to improve customer service.
Make It Easy for People to Contact Your Company in Several Ways
First things first: If your current customers or potential customers want to get in touch with your company, it should be easy for them to do it. You should give them a variety of options with regard to how they can reach out to you.
Customers should, of course, be able to call you on the phone to ask a question or voice a complaint. But they should also be able to:
- Send you an email
- Connect with you on social media
- Provide you with feedback on your website
The more ways that your customers can get in touch with your company, the better. A big part of your customer service plan should be opening up opportunities for people to touch base with your company as necessary.
Come up With a Standard Greeting for Your Customers
When your customers reach out to you for one reason or another, you should have a standard greeting in place that awaits them. Your employees should be trained on what they should say when they pick up the phone to talk to a customer or when they begin writing an email back to a customer.
This should be as uniform as you can get it from one employee to the next. You can improve communication in customer service by making a concerted effort to provide the same level of customer service to each customer who contacts you for help.
It’s good to get into the habit of asking customers for their names and then addressing them by name early and often. It’ll help to build more trust up with your customers and show them that you value them and their business.
Encourage Your Employees to Actively Listen to Customers’ Questions and Complaints
Active listening is a skill that everyone should work to improve, regardless of whether or not they work in customer service. But it’s especially important for those in customer service to be great active listeners.
Active listening involves:
- Sitting back and listening to what a customer has to say
- Paraphrasing what a customer says to prove you were listening to them
- Resisting the urge to pass any kind of judgment or to react emotionally to a customer’s questions, concerns, or complaints
- Working with a customer to address their needs in a timely fashion
Although anyone can practice active listening, it’s not a skill that’s particularly easy to master and develop. It’s why you’ll need to make it a point to stress the importance of active listening to your employees and to encourage them to be better active listeners.
Make Sure Your Employees Are Experts in Your Specific Field
This should almost go without saying, but it’s amazing to see how many companies hire people who don’t have a strong interest in their specific industry. They aren’t experts in their field by any stretch of the imagination—and it shows!
This can hurt your company if someone calls you up to get an answer to what seems like a basic question and can’t get anywhere with it. They’re going to get frustrated if you have an employee who doesn’t know what they’re talking about while speaking with customers.
You should do your best to hire people who have experience in your field. This alone will improve your customer service efforts by leaps and bounds.
Talk to Your Employees About How to Handle Difficult Customers
No matter how knowledgeable your employees are and how hard they work to provide good communication in customer service, there are going to be customers who throw them for a loop. These customers will be difficult just for the sake of doing it and will cause nightmares for your employees.
In these situations, it might be just about impossible to please customers. But you should talk with your employees about how they can make the most of a bad situation without making it any worse.
If nothing else, you want a difficult customer to walk away feeling like your employee tried their best to make them happy. It’s all that you can ask for in these instances.
Consider Outsourcing Your Customer Service Needs to an Answering Service
Do you feel as though you simply don’t have enough time to focus on improving communication in customer service?
You might want to think about outsourcing your customer service needs to an answering service.
Learn more about how an answering service can benefit you and your company. It’ll allow you to spend more time worrying about the other aspects of your business.
Improving Communication in Customer Service Is the Key to Your Company’s Success
If your company earns a reputation for providing bad customer service, it’s going to come back to haunt you. Regardless of how great your company’s products and/or services are, it’s not always going to make up for poor customer service.
By working to improve communication in customer service, you can change the perception of your company. You can keep your current customers happy and encourage them to tell others about you. It’ll lead to your business blossoming and growing in no time at all.
Read our blog for more tips on improving your business practices.