ways to improve customer service

Did you know that 70% of customers will return to your business to spend more money if they receive good customer service? Not only will customers return, they’ll spend even more money if they get great service.

The importance of good customer service cannot be overstated. Each year, news outlets publish lists of companies with the worst customer service. Routinely topping those lists? Comcast, Time-Warner Cable, and AT&T.

Do you want to find your company on one of these “worst” lists? Even the best companies could improve their service in some ways.

Here are 8 ways to improve customer service to ensure your customers return again and again.

1. Ask Customers for Feedback

This seems like a no-brainer. Don’t make changes to your customer service techniques without finding out what you do well and what you need to improve upon.

You can ask customers for feedback via email, text, or a link to a survey on their receipt. Ask them what you do well, what needs improvement, and how they think you should improve.

2. Make It Easy for Customers to Provide Feedback

If you want feedback, you need to make it easy for customers to provide it. Don’t make it difficult, or make them create an account, or get useless emails. Make it quick, easy, and user-friendly. If it becomes too cumbersome, people won’t be interested in providing it.

Not only should it be easy to provide, make sure there are multiple options. Young people might be more apt to provide feedback online or through text whereas older people might prefer to do it in person or on paper.

3. Implement Feedback

Now that you have the feedback, you need to do something with it. This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many companies ask for feedback and then never make any changes.

Make sure you are properly using a feedback loop. Don’t ask for feedback and then never make any changes using customer feedback. If the change is not possible, communicate that.

Customers who feel that your company disregards their feedback won’t bother to provide it.

3. Train Your Employees

Think about what you want in customer service when you visit a business. Friendly employees who greet you with a smile, offer to help, and they know how to read a customer to determine if they need additional help or want to browse in peace.

Train your employees to be respectful, friendly, and helpful. They should be given the tools to represent your company. Every staff member a customer comes in contact with should provide the same friendly service.

Take a page from companies like Trader Joe’s, Netflix, Costco, and Zappos. Those companies are routinely named as having the best customer service. You might even consider bringing in a consultant who is an expert in customer service.

4. Use a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shoppers can improve the customer experience by exposing areas of your company that need attention.

This allows you to view your company through the eyes of a customer without worrying about employees altering their behavior because they know they’re being evaluated.

Make sure your employees know that the goal of a mystery shopper program is not to create a Big Brother-like environment, but to improve the organization and your approach to customers.

5. Engage Your Customers on Social Media

Engaging your customers is more important than growing the number of followers you have. Ten thousand followers means nothing if they’re not consuming your content and you’re not engaged with them.

Make sure your content engages your customers so they don’t hide you or unfollow you on social media. That’s the last thing you want.

A social media professional can help with this engagement and advise you on appropriate and engaging content on your social media platforms.

6. Create a Customer Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty programs are an effective way to thank your loyal customers, keep them coming back, and market yourself to potential new customers.

The best loyalty programs provide coupons and discounts, early access to sales and products, and VIP and personalized access.

Popular customer loyalty programs include Walgreens, Starbucks, and beauty supply stores Ulta and Sephora.

7. Be Responsive

Being responsive to customer inquiries, issues, or difficulties is necessary.

You don’t need to be available all day and all night, but responding in a timely manner, even if it’s to say you’re looking into the issue and will get back to them, will go a long way to show your customers that you value them.

Chatbots on your website are one way of being responsive. If customers have questions, chatbots can answer them 24/7.

They can also point them in the right direction if they’re looking for something, or even handle simple customer service issues. Read more here.

8. Examine Every Touchpoint

A bad experience at any step of the process of working with your company can turn a customer off of your business forever.

Look at all of the touchpoints you have with them. If it’s retail, think about every opportunity your employees have to interact with them from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave.

Make sure that your employees are treating them respectfully and are friendly and helpful at every encounter.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Improve Customer Service

Improving customer service is something that won’t cost your business a lot, but will have a huge payoff. Customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals are often the heart of your business. Treat your customers right and they’ll come back again and again and tell their friends.

Use these ways to improve customer service in your business and watch how appreciative your customers are. Appreciative and engaged customers can also contribute to a positive working environment for your employees.

For more tips and resources on how to grow and improve your business, explore our other blog posts.

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