Client retention is key to success in business. So, if you want to keep customers, you need to consider all points of their journey with your company. Ensuring you provide quality products is important, but what is your business like at delivering good customer service?
If people feel mistreated and unappreciated, they will take their money elsewhere. In order to keep your clients happy, you need your staff to work on providing excellent customer service and building good relationships on multiple platforms.
To see how achievable this is for every brand, supplier of button badges, Badgemaster, investigates ways your staff can deliver outstanding customer service to help keep profit margins high and competitive threat low.
What is good customer service?
Providing good customer service doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’ve ever heard the saying: ‘the customer is always right’, you’ll be aware that many companies operate by that policy. Essentially, when a customer has an issue or a query, it’s your staff’s responsibility to resolve that issue in a polite, professional and friendly manner. If not, your customers are likely to move to another company.
Did you know that 70% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour? This statistic is testament to how a company can safeguard its client retention through customer service even after a consumer has claimed to have had a bad experience. Not convinced? 54% of millennials, 50% of generation X and 52% of baby boomers all stated that they stopped doing business with companies because of poor customer service.
Clearly, investing time and effort into this area of business is important, but what methods can your staff adopt to build and improve customer-company?
Personalising your customer service
The first step to providing excellent customer service is not treating your client as a number. You might sell to thousands of people all over the country, but that customer only chooses you when it comes to purchasing a particular product.
Research has discovered that phone customer service is the least favoured line of communication, but that doesn’t mean the personal aspect of customer service is weakening in importance. Face-to-face and social media platforms can offer in-the-moment resolutions with a human touch, so this should be one of the first parts of customer service your staff improve.
For some customers, being personal is crucial. A member of staff using a customer’s name, rather than simply sir or madam, can make all the difference between diffusing and escalating a bad situation. But how do you differentiate between customers who want to be addressed formally and those who prefer a more casual approach? Over the phone, you can simply ask the customer which they prefer, while on social media, the vibe is naturally more relaxed and informal, so using first names is almost always acceptable.
Customer service is all about communication. A client is addressing a member of staff for help and advice, so speaking to them with care and a friendly manner is critical. Each opportunity you have to interact with the customer is an opportunity for you to build a relationship of trust, which is vital for both customer and business relationships. If a customer trusts your staff, they are likely to be loyal to your business.
Using social media to improve customer service
Digital platforms offer a world of opportunity for businesses. Not only can you sell your products using online shops, but you can also offer quicker responses to customer queries and complaints, so a social customer interaction should be high on your list of digital strategy priorities. Providing customer service through social media campaigns has become a popular line of communication between customers and businesses.
Looking at recent studies into customer service and social media, we can see positive figures to encourage companies to invest effort and resources into training staff for online customer-client interactions. Customer service communications over Twitter have increased 250% in the last two years, which implies that customers prefer to put less effort into making a complaint than before (e.g. waiting in a call queue over the phone or heading into a shop). Therefore, if you have a line of communication available on social media, you can provide a preferable platform for your customers’ complaints and typically resolve the issue more quickly. This is better for both your staff, who have more time to respond than over a phone or face to face; and you customers, who will be happier that they haven’t had to go in store or run up their phone bill.
If you’re still hesitant to channel customer complaints to digital platforms, consider the statistic that more than 32% of customers rated phone and voice communication as the most frustrating customer service channel. Speedy responses are top priority for customers and being put on hold and listening to a scripted member of staff can be time-consuming and annoying.
Social media is an excellent tool for dealing with issues as a business. Just make sure you answer any complaint swiftly — you’re likely to find bad social media reports if your customers wait days for a reply.
Start refreshing your staff’s knowledge in customer service and you’re sure to see a positive outcome company-wide.