What makes a business successful?
If you think that a fantastic product, clever marketing, and an aggressive sales strategy are enough, you might miss out on a critical element and many customers.
Around 80% of the customers make their buying decisions based on the company’s reputation in handling its existing client base.
It reinforces that a business can’t enjoy sustainable cash flow unless it works on building genuine customer relationships.
It sounds simple, but it isn’t easy unless you have a well-thought-out customer service strategy.
Customer service management optimizes your support processes and trains your team to provide consistently great customer experiences.
In this article, we’ll see how you can improve your customer services to drive customer loyalty and retention.
Top 7 tips to improve customer experience
Provide omnichannel support
When you provide frictionless communication to your customers across platforms without compromising the service quality, it boosts your brand’s credibility and builds a loyal customer base.
Whether it’s a call, email, chat, or even social media, your customers should feel confident that they will be heard and their concerns will be addressed promptly. Share the details of communication channels with them for a smoother experience.
24/7 support can act as a cherry on the cake for your customers because they expect instant resolution. In reality, committing this can be difficult, but at least acknowledging their concern immediately shouldn’t be.
Irrespective of the channel, ensure that you’re talking to the customer in a language they understand. Avoid overuse of jargon and constantly personalize your messages so that your customers know that they’re talking to humans instead of robots.
Measure your results
Efforts, until measured, can’t be driven towards success.
Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you close any gap between your team’s expectations and performance outcomes.
It’s crucial to understand what your customers want, why they want something, and how your team can help them achieve that. It helps you make data-driven decisions instead of using hit and trial for serving your customers.
For example, one of the client’s main expectations is to get a quick response to their queries. They need this to be assured that you’re working on the problem to resolve it. Here, the key metrics that you and your team can use is the first response time and reduce it as much as possible.
Similarly, some of the popular KPIs that you can implement are:
- Average resolution time
- Number of demos provided
- Churn rate
- Revenue from upselling
Choose the KPIs that are practical and measurable in numbers.
The motive of introducing KPIs shouldn’t be to micromanage your team but to understand what your customers want and how to align your team’s tasks accordingly.
Automate with technology
Gone are the days when a standard helpline number or email would have been enough for serving your customers. Today, customers want personalized and quick services, so you’ll have to step up your game.
You can leverage the power of technology to streamline your processes while maintaining the records of all customer communication in one single place.
Adding a customer relationship management (CRM) system is better than standard email services to organize all information, simplify your daily tasks, and use the analytical reports for insights into your processes.
Look for a CRM that at least lets you integrate your existing tools with it, provides trigger-based automation, has clear reports, and tracks your revenue or leads.
You can also use interactive voice responses (IVRs) or chatbots to answer frequently asked questions or redirect the customers to the right person in your team.
An intuitive system can boost your team’s efficiency and speed, allowing them to serve more customers in less time. Invest in the tools that offer at least basic functionalities without being heavy on the pocket.
Train your team
Unless your team knows what they are doing, they won’t be able to help your customers.
That’s why proper onboarding and training are crucial to make the most of your resources.
Start with the soft skills first. It almost seems synonymous with customer services, and no surprise it should be the building block for your training strategy.
There’s so much you can think about to excel in the skill of customer service but for maximum impact and smoother adaptability, choose the core skills to begin.
Then move ahead with ensuring that they have ample product knowledge to answer all customer queries and suggest better solutions. Any uncertainty here will show in the communication and make customers question your credibility.
To train your team effectively, you can
- Provide online courses to upskill your team
- Build communities for better flow of knowledge
- Create forums to answer your team’s questions
- Demonstrate how to use the tools in practice
- Monitor and provide constructive feedback for improvement
These values should shine through all forms of customer communication, whether you’re writing an email or making a call.
Build and reward loyalty
Give your customers a reason to build long-term relationships with you and then ensure to reward their trust.
With so many products already flooding the market, it’s crucial to engage with your customers regularly to show your genuine care for them.
It can significantly improve your retention and recurring revenue with the bonus of referrals. And honestly, there’s nothing better than customers who have turned into brand promoters.
How to build customer loyalty?
- Proactively assist your customers, especially if they are new to the product. Hand-holding in the initial stages instantly builds trust for your brand.
- Monitor their product usage to guide them and suggest relevant features.
- Offer special discounts or deals to upgrade existing plans. It benefits your customers as well as you with more revenue.
- Give away freebies like a custom report or a 7-day trial to a new feature to your customers.
- Keep them updated with the latest development in the product to see if they can use it.
- Provide incentives to existing customers for any referrals given by them.
Reaching out to your customers without the direct intention of selling something makes them appreciate your services even more. So, engage actively in delighting your customers.
Omit the bottlenecks
Often customer communication gets hampered due to roadblocks that can be eliminated with a little change in the processes.
Two significant additions that can improve the customer service experience are
- Developing SOP: Standard operating procedures are the documents that define the repetitive tasks, provide step-by-step direction on how to proceed with those, and who are the responsible team members for the job. Introducing SOP decreases the dependency on other team members for guidance and reduces the time to complete a task. It’s a great way to ensure clarity and accountability among your team.
- Knowledge Base: Giving an option of self-service to customers can empower them to get quick resolutions and take off a significant load from your team.
You can choose a tool to create, edit, and store all the documents explaining your product features and even embed how-to videos for customer reference.
The best part of such a knowledge base is that your customers and your team can also refer to it for refreshing their product knowledge.
Imagine how many hours of training and answering follow-up questions you will save with this.
Whether you’re writing an SOP or an article for the knowledge base, ensure that it’s regularly updated with the latest developments and you are using clear vocabulary to explain.
Leverage the customer feedback
You must have heard it countless times to get customer feedback.
But how to collect that and what to do with it?
Let’s quickly talk about why customer feedback is necessary. It gives you an honest picture of what’s working and what isn’t for your customers.
When a customer says that they wish to see a particular feature as part of your product, it gives you an insight into customer expectations and their business operations. It could also be an excellent suggestion to strengthen your product and pass it on to your team for their action.
Now, let’s talk about how to get meaningful feedback. Talking over the call and scribbling notes of the conversation isn’t an impressive way to collect feedback.
To organize this, use survey forms for customers to rate their satisfaction level and the product quality.
Once you have this data, you can reflect and take corrective measures if required.
To get more details, you can add a comments box along with the rating scale.
But customer feedback isn’t only what they send on confidential forms; it’s also what they’re writing in public, like social media or review sites.
Whenever you get mentioned in a comment on a platform, acknowledge it, and yes, even to the negative reviews. How you handle criticism can redeem you in front of the reviewer and might even impress potential customers.
Here is more to customer service
Consumers don’t want to invest their time and money into a product that comes with subpar customer service. And businesses understand it. That’s why you’ll see customer service being an active part of their growth strategy.
But setting up or improving your team to serve customers isn’t easy. It has to start with hiring good people in your crew and training them rigorously. Even if you already have a team, it’s essential to ensure that they have enough bandwidth to focus on the core task of supporting customers.
If even thinking about all this makes you doubt yourself, you can outsource customer service management to a professional and dedicated team to help you out. It has become a popular alternative for businesses who wish to get an instant workforce for their processes without the hassle of hiring and training.
If this interests you, explore cost-effective customer service outsourcing services from AM2PM Support that fits your requirements and set up a team of experts in a day.
I help businesses grow with content and copywriting. I’m a marketing writer with immense love for reading. When not in front of a backlit device, I can be found contemplating stoicism!