It’s no secret that customer service is an essential aspect of every business. That said, many companies overlook their customer experience, and they don’t often consider it an ROI generating metric. There are many reasons to believe that customer service has a direct impact on the bottom line, especially as we move into a more “buyer-centric” economy.
In fact, customers who are engaged with a brand represent a 23% premium in share of profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.
Let’s talk about some of the ways you can excel at the customer service game and use it to separate your brand from the competition.
#1. Exceed beyond service
So, first, you need to be hyper proactive about handling mistakes and errors and tackle them as quickly and effectively as possible. As soon as a mistake occurs, have a customer support expert on the case to resolve the issue and show your customer that you take this seriously.
Additionally, you want to personalize the experience for your customers. Send follow-up emails addressing them by their first name and ensure that their experience with your business was a pleasant one. Some businesses even go as far as sending personalized letters to their customers.
#2. Provide options to your customers
It’s essential that you provide different ways for your customers to reach out for support when they need it. If you’re only offering a live chat software or phone number to call, you’re likely alienating a large portion of your audience.
Some people might not be able to call and address the issue during your business hours, and as a result, they’re forced to turn to the live chat, and maybe they don’t have a lot of confidence in who they’re dealing with.
On the other side, we have a large young demographic that might not want to pick up the phone and deal with long wait times and misunderstandings. Many millennials find live chat more effective and less time consuming than traditional phone support.
The bottom line is you need to provide options for your customers based on their schedules and preferences.
There should also be a help center on your website that answers the most frequently asked questions before you permit the customer to address your live chat or customer support number. This strategy will not only save you valuable time and money, but it will show your customers that you’re on top of their issue, and you want to provide an answer to their problem.
#3. Make customers a part of your brand
Using social media and your website to increase brand reputation is a smart strategy. When you have a happy customer, you should be asking that person to provide you with the feedback you want to hear. Let them tell you all the things you did right and have them fill out a survey that explains more about it.
You can use this opportunity to turn a positive review into a bunch of new customers if you use it wisely.
Take that feedback to social media and use it to create a post about how your brand cares about its customers. Depending on what type of business you’re in, you could even offer them an incentive to do a video with you that you can use on your website.
The best way to increase your social proof and brand reputation is by using customers as a part of your brand. Just make sure you’re providing value and incentive to them, so they give you their best.
A popular online entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about how brands provide value to their consumers. He says that value always needs to come first and the rest will come later.
#4. Take feedback seriously
The worst thing a business can do is shrug off bad customer service skills. When a customer provides feedback to you, this is the most valuable information you can receive. They’re essentially doing your job for you.
When they tell you that the person they dealt with was “unhelpful and rude,” they’ve identified a problem in your customer support system without you having to do it yourself.
If you receive feedback saying your hold times are too long, the customer has found an issue in your process, and now you know what to do.
This feedback is essential to growing the customer service experience, which directly relates to the overall reputation of your business.
Take all the feedback you can get, and even offer incentives for critical feedback. Once you implement the change, invite the customer back to show them that you care about what they have to say.
The benefits of Online Customer Service
Now that we understand some ways to go the extra mile with our customer service, let’s talk about the direct benefits we hope to experience as the fruits of our labor.
(i) Repeat customers/clients
The obvious benefit of great customer service is a repeat customer. When you provide excellent service, you’re increasing the chances of someone coming back. In fact, 73% of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service reps. Customer service is a “low hanging fruit” when it comes to creating repeat business.
(ii) Engaged customers
Customers who engage with your brand are hard to come by. The reality is that 91% of unhappy customers will never give you a chance to make it right. When you think of it that way, it’s sad that most brands don’t take customer feedback seriously. When you’re providing exceptional customer service and offering many ways for them to engage with you, you’re creating a customer that wants to engage and wants to help you help them.
(iii) Higher customer value
If customers trust you and they believe you’ll deliver on your promise, they’ll be more willing to buy more from you. If your customers read a bunch of bad reviews or they don’t feel confident in your store, they might purchase, but they’re likely “testing the water” because they’re afraid to spend too much money.
Building trust and providing excellent customer service is a great way to increase the order value per customer and push them through your sales funnel faster.
(iv) Improved social proof
When you provide exceptional customer service, it’s easier to build a portfolio of social proof. You can showcase great customer experiences on your website because you have plenty to go around.
Remember that everyone is always researching your business online before even picking up the phone or hitting that live chat. They know more about you than you think, so having as much positive feedback online as possible is setting you up for success.
Finally, the last benefit of great online customer service is that your business will stand the test of time because you have a strong reputation. Your reputation is everything, and it’s so easy for one angry customer to ruin you in a matter of minutes. We need to go the extra mile to ensure this never happens. Being proactive is the key to deal with such instances and maintain a positive reputation.
It all starts with a solid foundation of caring about your customer, understanding them, listening to their needs, and using their feedback to make changes in your business. The key to winning the hearts of your customer is to exceed their expectations in the customer service you provide them. Implement these strategies in your operations to offer outstanding customer service in 2020.
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