How important is customer service? When the question of what factors contribute to the success of a business arises, customer service is rarely left out. Providing excellent service and making it your priority to keep your customers happy is one of the ways which you can set yourself apart from your competitors. If you continue to work on improving your customer service, you increase your chances of success. Bad customer service can inconvenience the client, costing them their time and money. As a result, some customers are even willing to spend more money for better service and convenience.
Reviewing the quality of the service you offer your customers allows you to continuously look for ways to improve it. This article will give three tips that will help you improve the customer service in your business.
Not all staff members come in direct contact with customers. Whatever roles the various staff members occupy, it all boils down to one thing – the clients. Assisting, servicing and resolving customer issues is one of the most important parts of the business. If not the most important!
Testing how well your staff members know the product and the business will allow you to gauge the information gap that still needs to be filled. Training sessions can be structured around areas that need to be improved, opposed to touching on information that the staff members are already well acquainted with.
When new systems are implemented in the business, ensure that staff members are informed about those changes or have them go for training if necessary. This is especially important when the changes directly impact the customers. In some instances, staff members who don’t fully understand the product or the business still manage to be fully operational, carrying out their daily duties successfully. The issues only arise when they have to answer questions and resolve issues. A discerning customer will quickly pick up that the staff member doesn’t know what they are talking about. Staff members might look like they know what they doing, but it’s always good to run training programmes that include tests to make sure that they fully understand the business.
Efficiency means different things for different businesses. It can mean delivering goods to the client on time, reducing the waiting period, resolving queries speedily, etc. Whatever efficiency means to a business – improving it, improves the customer experience.
Depending on the nature of the business, efficiency can be improved by making some changes i.e. increasing the number of staff or using more efficient systems in the business. If there are no feasible structural changes you can make in order to improve the efficiency, looking into the technology space could be the answer. Getting new systems and training the staff costs time and money. A small business has a much smaller pocket when compared to more established businesses. Conducting a loss and gains review by comparing the money you will spend on new systems and training, with the long-term rewards you will reap with a more efficient system could prove that the investment is be worthwhile. If the money spent on improving the technology can be recovered, it’s a risk worth taking.
It’s important for staff members who come in contact with customers to possess soft skills. Trained staff members know how to communicate with the clients in a way that will not irritate them, this is especially important when resolving misunderstandings, solving problems or giving the client unfortunate news.
Not everyone is naturally empathic or able to express empathy well. Training will help staff members improve their use of language in showing empathy and other soft skills. Soft skills or good interpersonal skills also touch on other aspects of human interaction such as having a good work ethic and being a good team player. A good work ethic gives staff members the will and desire to help the customers. They understand that it’s not just about doing the job for the sake of doing it, it’s about going the extra mile to ensure that the client is happy and satisfied.
Recording phone conversations between staff members and customers is a good way to promote accountability. Having listening sessions with the staff members allows them to listen to themselves and see areas where they can improve. Practise makes perfect, when it’s part of the organisations culture to be courteous, and staff members are encouraged to communicate respectfully with each other. It will be much easier to continue with this trend when communicating with customers.