5 Improvements to Make to Your Company’s Customer Service Plan
The reputation of a company is largely dependent on its customer service. Customer’s expectations have increased over the years, and this is not about to change. As such, customer service is an increasingly essential and pivotal role regardless of the industry you are in. For this reason, it’s important to continually make improvements to your customer service strategy. Here are 5 ways in which you can do this.
1. Maximize on channels of getting feedback
The only way to know how you are faring in the business world is by asking your customers and encouraging open and honest feedback regularly. This will not only highlight your possible areas of improvement but will also rubber stamp what you are doing right. Enhance what you are doing right and re-work what you’re doing wrong.
Have as many channels as you possibly can to collect feedback and respond to all reviews-both good and bad. Also, have satisfaction surveys on hand for customers who come to your premises. Most customers are happy to fill these out.
This will give you invaluable data to help you give your best. It also communicates your commitment to providing the best services to your customers. They will feel valued and heard.
2. Be available to your customers
Ensure your customers can reach you when they need to. Having an office is a great start; however, there are many purely online businesses today. For these, email and social media handles are the go-to. Be on as many platforms as possible so that you can be reached easily. And go a step further to ensure your customers know these channels.
Other ways to be available and accessible is by having occasional face-to-face interactions such as trade shows and fairs, road shows and other such events.
3. Support your customer care people
Do not overlook the people in customer service. They know your customers best. You want to give them as much support as you can so they can be as effective as possible. Support them in the following ways.
• Ensure that there are clear objectives that align with your organization and that these are well understood. This will prevent the team from pulling in different directions.
• Have occasional training sessions to ensure they are well equipped to handle their duties.
• Allow your customer care team to get personal, but remain professional. It sounds contradictory, but it’s not. It is important for your team to get to know your customers, talk, share and listen to their experiences. A customer does not just want to have a stiff, mechanical interaction with your staff. They want to speak and relate to someone. If your team can professionally channel this, the battle is half-won.
4. Establish a measurement plan
Anything worth implementing is measurable. It’s the only way to know what works and what needs tweaking. Some of the metrics you can use in this case include customer retention rates, conversion rates, resolution time, as well as customer satisfaction surveys. These will provide you with real, actionable data to measure and re-evaluate if need be.
You can also do a comparative analysis between the resources injected vs. the outcome and see what strategies are worth keeping.
5. Innovative surprises
Reward loyal customers with innovative surprises. These can be as creative possible. For example, having your company CEO serve a customer or respond to an inquiry or an online comment.
It does not have to be that drastic though. Customers will appreciate little efforts to show them that they are valued. Think personalized giveaways over Christmas, or a personalized thank you note on email on their birthday. Or even knowing a client’s phone number and calling them by name when they call. The goal here is to connect on an emotional level and make the client feel special and that your company appreciates them.
Think of customer service as a continuous cycle which does not break. Come up with new innovative strategies and ensure that they are implemented across the board. Then measure their effectiveness, make improvements and implement again. Further invest in the people delivering the service, whether in terms of training or provision of tools that will help them to perform efficiently and effectively.