Customer needs are simple to define but may be more challenging to fulfill. Most customers simply want:
a) Great service.
b) Delivery of promised product or service.
Different companies fulfill the above needs with varying degrees of success. Some go a bit over the top, others provide no or terrible service, but many are able to achieve these two deliverables.
Customer Service Strategies
If you are hoping to improve the service your business provides to customers, we are here to help! Use the below seven strategies to give your customers the experience they want.
1. Provide responsive customer service
Many factors go into excellent customer service. Numerous companies only focus on having call centers set up where employees can field complaints. However, customer service is more than just responding to complaints or issues. Here are a few additional things to think about when you consider the customer service your company provides:
- The moment of initial customer contact.
- Providing many ways for the customer to reach out with questions, comments, reviews, and – of course – complaints.
- Communicating with the customer about product delivery.
- Clearly defining the product/service and assisting with integration.
- Educating customers on the product/service.
2. Train your staff for a consistent experience
Giving your customer the experience they expect means that your team needs to be trained in providing that experience. This can be done through in-company training, setting out well-defined policies, and providing scripts where required.
Delivering a consistent experience to customers is not just a great way to provide them with an excellent experience; it’s a wonderful way to reinforce your branding. Consistency and repetition of the same information is a cornerstone of great branding.
3. Define quality control policies
We normally think of quality control as something that applies to products being manufactured. However, it’s important to have quality control policies that correct potential service or delivery problems. If a team member runs into something that they believe will hinder customer experience, be sure there is a way to get the issue corrected, ASAP.
4. Provide policies and resources for issue escalation
“Can I speak to your supervisor” is a pretty common refrain when it comes to poorly delivered customer service. Instead of putting the onus on a customer to get out of a maddening service loop, provide internal policies that allow the employee to escalate an issue.
5. Do customer followup
After-action surveys and check-ins are additional tools for a company that strives to provide exceptional service. In this light, it’s essential to follow up with a customer after an interaction or after they have purchased your product. This follow up action will help keep customers happy and enable your team to catch issues before they infuriate a customer.
6. Offer additional benefits to long-term customers
Years ago, before free checking was typical, some banks advertised that new customers would gain access to a free checking account. When existing customers asked if they could switch and take advantage of this special offer, the bank said no – hoping to keep those existing customers by making it very inconvenient to close an existing account. They lost many thousands of existing customers and made less money in the long run due to the cost of their extensive marketing campaign.
The lesson here is that it’s valuable to keep existing customers because even if it’s annoying to change service providers, customers will do so if you alienate them enough.
That’s why we encourage companies to find ways to keep their long-term customers while they also work to attract new customers.
7. Give some services or tools away for free
Adding value with a free service or tool is a great way to please customers. One of our team members signed up to a service that sends two plants a month to her home, and the plants came with an added insert on plant care, plus a few ways to resolve common issues with those particular plants. This small added free service encouraged her to sign her brown thumbed mother up to the plant delivery service for Mother’s Day – giving them a new customer.
Small, free value-adds like this can go far in keep customers happy with your product or service.
Are you hoping to take your company to the next level? The business consulting team here at Business Success Consulting Group can help! Contact us today and find out how else you can improve your business to attract more customers while keeping your existing clients.