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.
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.
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