July 24, 2014  
 
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Customer Service

 

How to Improve Customer Service

Wondering how to improve customer service? Sure, you can hire customer service consultants or send employees to customer service training programs. But before you do anything, read this article on improving customer service.

Is your customer service as good as it needs to be? If you are wondering how to improve customer service, we've got some great customer service tips for you.
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Here are five quick tips for improving customer service.

  • Hire Good People. When hiring customer service representatives make sure you recruit employees who will serve your customers well. Employees who are enthusiastic, friendly and outgoing will generally be nice to customers even in the most difficult situations. It's also important that new hires be intelligent, empathetic and have good problem solving skills. If they have those characteristics, they should have no problem understanding a situation and making the right decisions to keep the customer happy.
  • Invest in Customer Service Training Programs. Provide ongoing training that focuses on customer service. Customer service training should include role play scenarios of all types of customer interactions. For example, in the future, it's possible that a customer may swear at one of your employees and call them bad names. Role play the scenario with your employees and make sure they know how to handle these worst-case scenarios.
  • Empower Employees. Nothing hurts customer service more than an unempowered employee. Give your employees the authority to make tough decisions on the fly, even if you are not around. Never second-guess their decisions. However, it's important to define customer service guidelines so they at least have a baseline from which to make their decisions. When an employee makes a good customer service decision, make sure to congratulate them on a job well done.
  • Get Customer Feedback. Ask customers how you are doing. Customers are usually thrilled to have the opportunity to tell you what you are doing right and where there's room for improvement. Every so often, call up a customer at random and talk to them. You might also try using some of the web-based survey tools that are out there. It's easy to do market research and find out what your customers want. But don't forget to act on what you hear – you don't want to get a reputation for listening to customers but never acting on their feedback.
  • Surprise and Delight Customers. Studies show that customers who are given exceptional customer service are better customers than those who are given just good customer service. They buy more and they stay on longer as customers. Every so often, surprise and delight your customers by doing something truly extraordinary. For example, add a bonus product in their order with a note thanking them for their business. You will be surprised and delighted yourself when you see the effect this simple technique can have on your business.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about this topic? If so, you will enjoy these articles:

Customer Service in Non-Profit Organizations
Customer Service Performance Reviews
Recruiting Good Customer Service Employees
Customer Service Advice
Customer Loyalty Programs


Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

Sandesh 3/6/2008

First and foremost let us understand what customer service is. Well, customer service is nothing but treating customers fairly and it is pretty simple. Each and everyone of us are customers to different companies. So the most important thing to consider is what type of service do we personally appreciate from the companies for which we ourselves are customers! The customer is a king. It really doesn't matter whether he or she is a millionaire, a celebrity or just one among us. There shouldn't be any line drawn between a customer. Treat everyone alike. Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Think from the customer's point of view. Act from the customer's point of view. Although these are pretty simple things, it plays a vital role in delivering great customer service.

Adrienne 3/4/2009

Yes hire the right people, empower them, create processes that work for the user and customer but creating FANATICAL Customers is the answer! When your customers(both internal and external) are as fanatical about your company and the service you provide and the constant contact you keep with them they will be customers for life.

Debbie Freitag 7/27/2010

There are many types of customers and they vary by industry. Yes, you have to hire the right people, but its your company's philosophy that will keep your customers coming back. We, in customer service and sales are really just problem solvers. Someone has a problem, they need our produce or service, we can fulfill that need. The most important thing we can do is fulfill that need in such a way that the customer comes back to us each and everytime the needs must be fulfilled. In addition to Adriennes suggestion to create fanatical customers, we must also be fanatical about our customers business. We need to know their products, their services, their systems, in such a way that the grow to see us as their partners.


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