When you think about the most important facets of your business, you might be focusing on the wrong issues. While your products and services are certainly vital, they can’t thrive on the market without the help of an essential factor.
Your marketing team may be capable of producing incredible campaigns that encourage customers and spark emotion, but they’ll fail without one critical ingredient: solid customer service.
The value of customer service
Customer service is the heartbeat of any healthy organization. It’s the most visible point of the operation, and ultimately what consumers remember when they choose whether to become a repeat customer or move on to another company in the future.
Do you give customer service the attention it deserves, or does your firm you tend to neglect its value?
The seven keys to good customer service
If you want to place the proper focus on customer service, here are the seven most important elements you must remember:
1. Know your company. The mistake many businesses make is to hire customer service representatives or employees who don’t know anything about their enterprise. Whatever these customer service representatives may know is listed on a flashcard at their desk, and the information they have to give customers is repetitive and recycled. You need your customer service employees to know your brand, business, and activities thoroughly. That’s the only way they can effectively answer questions, solve problems, and add value to your operation.
2. Go to the customers. You can’t wait for customers to come to you. Your goal should be to seek customers where they are and identify everything you can do to enhance their experience with your brand, products, or services. This may include developing social media profiles that empower you to reach customers where they are most comfortable. Whatever you choose to do will depend on the makeup of your customers, but the central idea to remember is that you can’t rely on customers to find you.
3. Focus on quality. A quality product without good customer service can be useless, but if these two factors collaborate, you can have a powerful operation. Good customer service is greatly enhanced by having quality products and services that minimize customer complaints and major issues that generate dissatisfaction.
4. Learn from customers. Your customer service department doubles as a mini research agency. By listening to the opinions of customers, recording their feedback, and using it to change the way you operate, you can extract much value. The most successful companies use even the criticism they receive from their customers to improve, not to become defensive.
5. Be flexible. According to Jim Byrnes, CEO of Daptiv, “Flexibility should be at the heart of everything your company does.” From project management to customer service, it’s a company’s ability to remain agile that enables it to react in an effective manner.
6. Admit mistakes. Though it can be incredibly difficult to admit your mistakes sometimes, it’s vitally important. In most cases, it builds trust in the consumers by showing you’re willing to own up to errors and find solutions for them. It can go a long way in strengthening customer relationships for the future.
7. Develop skills. Instead of hiring employees and letting them learn through trial and error on the job, teach them valuable customer service skills. Focus on such characteristics as adaptability, empathy, clear communication, and patience. While some traits come naturally, others can be taught and perfected.
Great customer service isn’t necessarily easy to achieve. To be honest, it’s difficult most of the time.
However, you must remember its value for your organization and focus on developing long-term, profitable relationships between the consumer and your company. Keep the above seven keys in mind and you’ll be well on your way to boasting that your firm has successful customer service.