Is your customer service as good as it could be?
The customer service skills of UK businesses have once again come into question, with a survey by Interactive Intelligence highlighting that a massive 79% of customers have to deal with between two and five people to get a single complaint resolved.
Your business will always suffer if you fail to keep customers on side, no matter how great your product or service is. Here we take a look at ways you can improve your customer service skills.
Go on social media
You need to be available. If a customer can’t get hold of you when they need to, you risk losing them forever.
Social media is the answer you’re looking for. Having a presence on sites like Facebook or Twitter means your customers can get in touch with you 24/7, be it asking a question or making a complaint about something.
While you may have no one at hand to answer a query made late at night, you can always get back to them first thing in the morning.
The more knowledge your employees possess about the product or service you’re selling, the more likely they are to be able to answer questions put to them by customers, making training essential.
Your workers need to be at the top of their game – and training days can help them get there and stay there.
In addition to knowledge about the product or service, you need to teach them the skills required to maintain customer satisfaction. That includes the ability to handle angry customers. Clear communication is also essential.
It’s true that honesty is always the best policy. You need to be able to accept blame or negative feedback. That means admitting your mistakes rather than trying to justify your actions. Customers don’t like the latter.
Never be afraid to say “I don’t know” either, as long as it’s followed by “I’ll find out”. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer as opposed to beating around the bush and trying to change the subject at every possible turn.
Dishonesty can give your business a bad reputation which can be difficult to shake off and will only deter customers.
Cater to the needs of your customers
You must meet the needs of your customers. If you fail to do so, the likelihood is that they will take their custom elsewhere.
Set up focus groups, interview customers or send out surveys to find out what they want. You won’t regret it.
Assigning certain members of staff to specific customers can also help build relationships, while offering VIP treatment to your best customers to let them know they are appreciated can work wonders.
Customers hate dealing with automated machines and FAQ lists, so it pays to get personal.
As mentioned earlier, make sure you respond to customers when they post on your social media pages. This shows your customers that you are real people working on their behalf, not just a bunch of robots.
Posting photos and bios on your website of staff members also helps create a personal touch. People like to put names to faces. It makes them feel more comfortable while you deal with their request, whatever it may be.