When you get your customer service right, you will increase loyalty and get more returning customers – which will ultimately help you grow your business. There are lots of customer service tips you can use to improve your relationship with your customers, but start by avoiding these five common mistakes.
1. Bad communication
Communication is essential to providing a good customer experience. When you take ages to reply to your customers or fob them off with boilerplate replies, it hurts your relationship with them.
You need to be personal when dealing with customers. Make sure they can always get access to a real human member of staff when they have an issue, and take the time to resolve their problems and make them feel appreciated.
Go one step further – don’t just solve a problem, but follow up with them later to find out if everything is still okay. This makes customers feel valued, helping you to resolve bad situations and turn them into great experiences.
2. Making customers wait too long in queues
Customers never want to wait around. If they have to stand in a long queue, you’re much less likely to see them again. Unnecessary queueing is a big problem in shops and other businesses that serve the public – but it’s one that you can solve.
If you own a retail store, you could implement contactless payments to speed up payment times, or install self-service kiosks to speed up the process without having to bring in more staff.
3. Not making yourself available
One of the most important customer service tips is to ensure your customers can contact you when and where they want to. When your customers want to contact you to resolve a problem or simply ask a question, you need to make it easy for them to reach you.
These days, just providing an email address or phone number on your website isn’t enough. People want to contact you in the way that’s most convenient for them – and that often means via social media.
Using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, you can answer customer questions directly and help to resolve their issues right on the platforms. That way, they can contact you without having to go to your website first, saving them time and improving the experience.
4. Not providing enough information
Don’t make your customers search endlessly for information when they have an issue they want to resolve. These days, when customers have a problem, they want answers fast.
One way to provide them with the information they need is to set up a comprehensive knowledge base on your website. This searchable database allows customers to find answers to their questions quickly and without the need to contact you directly.
You can reduce the number of enquiries you receive, which takes pressure off your customer service agents. More importantly, it allows your customers to find the answers they need faster, providing a better solution for everyone.
5. Not listening to their needs
You might have the intention to do everything right and to provide a positive experience for your customers, but you can still do it wrong if you fail to listen to what they want.
Don’t assume you know what your customers want: ask them. Ask them what you can do better, how you can improve your service and what they really want from you.
Use surveys, ask them in emails and read your customer reviews. Find out what they dislike about your service, and then improve what you’re doing.
Customer service tips: what changes can you implement today?
These are some of the most common mistakes businesses make – and that you can easily avoid – so follow these customer service tips to instantly make improvements.
Finally, don’t think of customer service as just a way to deal with problems once they’ve arisen. Be proactive – work to prevent problems from happening in the first place. Do this, and your customer service is certain to improve dramatically.