Improving customer service can confer significant benefits to your business. Enhanced customer service can increase customer retention rates, increasing overall profits, and improving customer acquisition ROI. Additionally, happy customers often make for happy employees – and vice versa. If you’ve ever wanted to improve employee morale, improving customer service and making customer interactions fun and enjoyable is a great way to do it.
How to Improve Customer Service Internally
There are really two parts to improving customer service. The first is making internal changes to your organization. These are the changes your customers don’t see explicitly, but they make all the difference when doing business with your company.
Here are four ways you can build your business around excellent customer service:
1. Set very clear expectations for your employees
You want your company to stand out from the competition. To do so, you need to set clear expectations for employees so they can see how working for your business differs from working elsewhere. Policies such as “we always greet a customer when they walk in” or “smile when answering the phone” may seem basic, but not every employee has been trained in the fundamentals of good customer service. Set your standards so your team is on the same page from the get-go.
2. Create staff policies and have your employees sign off on them
It is one thing to write staff policies. It is another to have employees read them and agree to follow them. When building excellent service into your business, it’s important to have agreement from employees from the start. That’s why you should not only write policies but also ensure employees read them, ask questions, and agree to follow them.
3. Make a list of what is core to your company and use that in your hiring process
Hiring interviews can often be crammed full of the standardized questions every business asks. Instead of doing this, consider what values are core to your company. Does your company focus on quality? Is a high standard of ethics intrinsic to your value? Do you need to ensure staff treats one another with respect?
Make a list of your company’s core values and find ways to include them in the hiring process. Ask “what if” questions and find out how a potential employee would react to scenarios that could happen in the workplace. Ensuring a new employee shares your company’s values will help ensure they are a good cultural fit and help you find people who will connect with customers on a deeper level.
4. Build customized systems that embrace your standards
Build processes and procedures that help your employees embrace the standards you have laid out. Many businesses in a particular industry have similar processes, but how you execute them will set you apart.
For example, let’s say you have a shoe store for both adults and children. In this example, you have listed “play” as vital to your company in your core values.
To add “play” into the experience of shoe shopping, you could build a small play space for kids to enjoy while parents shop for themselves. This involves extra effort and a system for keeping the area clean and stocked with favorite toys. But, the small gesture aligns with your core value – and your store will likely become a family favorite.
How to Showcase Improved Customer Service
The difference will show in everyday customer service when you do the above. However, there are also ways you can explicitly improve customer service so that existing clients and leads can immediately see how buying from your business will be an excellent experience. These are:
1. Clearly communicated your brand value to customers
Many brands have a webpage about their values where they list all of the great things they believe. This is fine, but it’s more impactful when these values are demonstrated in the daily operation of a business. Think about brand values as you build processes and procedures – and find ways to incorporate them explicitly and implicitly into every customer interaction. Many successful brands have both done this well – and failed horribly in various campaigns to showcase their values. The key here is not so-called “virtue signaling” but actually ensuring every part of your business breathes your expressed values.
2. Find out what customers want yourself – don’t just follow industry trends
When you follow industry trends, you are following someone else’s footsteps. In a recent interview with Ruth Domber, founder of 10/10 Optics, Ruth shared that she chose not to follow the trends and forecasters within the industry and instead focused on what was missing in the industry. In this case, her business is now a leader in the industry.
Follow Ruth’s example and listen to customers and their needs – rather than talking heads and industry forecasters.
3. Treat customers as brand ambassadors
Every one of your customers has the potential to be a brand ambassador. In a 2021 survey, 46% of respondents shared that they told friends about brands they loved – and 44% of respondents told friends about a great customer experience. This means that almost half of your customers will likely be ambassadors for your brand – so why not give everyone that five-star experience?
4. Follow systems so that customers have consistently excellent experiences
Consistency is key in just about any experience. This includes consistency in customer service. When you can create a great product and provide a fantastic experience, your customers will stick with your brand – and refer others to it. Create and follow systems within your company so that every customer has the same excellent experience with your company.
Do you want to see a lower churn rate and more referrals in your business? Get in touch with Business Success Consulting Group today to share your needs and find ways to systematize your business for consistent results.