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4 Tips to Improve Customer Service

Customer service – or more generally, customer experience – is fast becoming the number one focus for businesses.

Whereas in the past it was enough to have a killer product, in today’s heavily networked company environment, that’s no longer sufficient. Customers take a more holistic view of their time with a company and rate it on their interactions with it from start to finish.

The question, therefore, is how can companies improve their customer service across the board to meet changing expectations? Take a look at the following tips:

Tip #1: Evaluate All Your Touch Points

The nature of customer service has changed quite considerably, thanks mainly to the evolution of technology. Instead of just interacting with a company over the phone or by email, customers are coming into contact with businesses through a variety of – sometimes unexpected – channels. The challenge for CEOs and business leaders is to make sure that those channels operate to a consistently high level and, more importantly, talk to each other.

Right now, most companies have a problem. A customer will interact with them through, says, their website chat and spend time giving them information. Then that same customer will ring up the organisation a day later by phone, only to find that they have to give out the same information again to a different rep because the systems aren’t integrated. It’s a good idea, therefore, to pay attention to key touch points and ensure that they’re communicating effectively.

Tip #2: Get Better At Interacting With Customers

If you’re a high volume business, your sales reps need to go through a set process or script to meet customer needs. However, as any manager knows, these processes are rarely followed diligently, especially without adequate oversight. Lodge Service, a specialist market research company, says that mystery shopping experiences help organisations learn how to improve their customer service in the best ways possible. The reason for this has to do with perspective. Although managers may think that they’re doing all they can to improve customer experience, often they’re relying on flawed data or incorrect methods. It’s almost always better to depend on the client themselves for valuable feedback on how operations could be improved.

Tips #3: Build An Engaged Workforce

Most companies have some form of customer service training. But if your colleagues aren’t engaged in what they’re doing, then it’s probably a waste of money. Disengaged employees lead to dissatisfied customers in the long run.

How can you build employee engagement? The best way to do so is to give your team some kind of overriding purpose, not just short-term objectives. It might be wise to scrap sales reports and scorecards for a short time and allow individual reps to find a new calling in their work.

Tip #4: Make It Easy To Give Feedback

Although it might be hard to listen to criticism from customers, it’s necessary. Customer feedback is essential for finding out how to improve your business. There are all sorts of tools to do this, from CRM to “contact us” pages on your website. Digital technology makes gathering feedback cheaper and easier than ever.

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