It’s easy to claim that customer service is something you prize as one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, but that’s easier said than defined. There are key, specific policies that a business must use to actively implement stellar customer service.
• Client Customization
• Communication Tools
These four tenets of customer service are what will boost your sales and position your business as a leader in the customer service sector.
1. Use the Right Communication Tools
One of the most important things that technology has done in the 21st century is taking steps to revolutionize the way that communication happens. From business to social media; information is conveyed from one person to another in a myriad of ways that extend far beyond the traditional phone call. You need to be prepared to communicate with your customers on the proper platform, but there are many to choose from. One advance has been with video conferencing. BlueJeans is a company offering their own brand of communication; BlueJeans video conferencing has made dramatic advancements and scalable solutions for businesses of all sizes to easily utilize the technology.
Mother Nature Network names customer service jobs as one profession that video conferencing has dramatically changed, citing the fact that video chatting makes conversations with customer service representatives more personal and accessible. While an e-mail may suffice to address a simple question posed by a customer, sometimes face to face interaction is what will really push your customer service standards to the next level.
2. Pay Attention to the Right People
While it’s not something you want to admit outright, not all customers are created equal. While every customer deserves a high level of customer service, there are some who might be special interest cases. Inc.com recommends catering to your clientele and assigning different levels of importance to different clients. For example, the site points out that airline companies reward premier members with tailored benefits and incentives that keep them coming back for more.
There’s nothing wrong with paying special attention and care to customers with whom you enjoy a significant relationship. Although this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice quality for your other everyday customers, cultivating closer relationships with high profile clients can be a major boon to your business. Whatever you do, though, don’t let your customers become aware of this. Everyone needs to feel like they’re a special client and you can achieve that feeling by being attentive to everyone’s needs. The difference between offering excellent customer service to everyone, versus special services to important clients, is only that one receives special offers or incentives.
3. Interact Directly
One of the first rules of thumb today when information is exchanged instantaneously and technology is more advanced than ever before is not to bog down your customer with an inefficient system of interaction. Fast Company recommends that one way to boost your customer service skills is to utilize an interactive approach, rather than what they refer to as “top-down” communication. You’ll want interactions with your customers to be efficient, congenial and one on one. No wants to call your business’ help line only to find that it’s impossible to talk directly to an actual human being. While automated menus can be helpful to direct customers with simple questions to the right information, today’s consumer doesn’t have patience to re-enter information or wade through seemingly endless menus. Be prepared to offer a direct, live and quick response when your customers need to contact your business. The more your customers feel attended to, the more likely it is that they’ll feel good about doing business with you. Connection and communicability is key.
4. Always Be Available
Whether you’re dealing with a few individual clients or a large customer base, the fact of the matter is that people get nervous when they can’t reach someone. Forbes lists one of the top customer service traits as being available. Your customer has to be able to get a hold of you, and if there’s a lack of accessibility, you lose their loyalty. Whether you’re meeting one on one with a client via video conference or a customer service representative is fielding a phone call, empowering your customer by facilitating direct access to your business is what builds trust and confidence.
It might be a phone call, an e-mail, or video conferencing, but regardless of which communication method you’re using, you need to be ready to answer queries immediately. The faster you are to serve your customers effectively, the less likely it is that some other business will swoop in to snatch them away.
The customer service industry is about more than just sticking to the basics. Your business needs to go above and beyond, and treat customer service skills as more of a science, than just a few obvious principles. Paying attention to the details and cutting edge advice about the industry is the way to take your business from being exemplary to being a leader in the industry.