Excellent customer service is an essential aspect of your most valuable asset: your customers.
Customer service is so vital that it can be a powerful competitive advantage. 70% of Americans have spent more money on better service, according to Forbes.
Excellent customer service is not solely for the customer service representatives. Instead, everyone on the team should practice exceptional customer service because every job ultimately affects the customer.
Below is a list of concrete ways your team members can exceed your customer’s expectations.
Customer Service Excellence: Hire Smart
Certain personalities and strengths are better suited for customer service jobs. Hiring the right people will set the company and employees up for success.
When hiring, look for people who excel in the following traits.
- Problem-solving. Give the interviewee a scenario and ask how they would proceed.
- Communication. Ask the interviewee to explain a complex topic.
- Listening. Tell the interviewee a little bit about yourself and the company. Check to see how much they retained.
- Time management. Ask them about a time in their life when they were very busy and how they got through it.
- Empathetic. Ask the interviewee about a time they saw someone hurting and how they reacted.
- Attentive. Gauge how attentive they are at the interview.
- Patient. Ask them to wait a little bit before or during the interview.
- Curious. Ask them if they have any questions for you about the company. Gauge their natural curiosity.
Hiring the right people gets you off on the right foot. After hiring customer service-oriented people, training will further define their natural skills.
Customer Service Excellence: Training
Training creates more knowledgeable and skilled team members.
The more trained and knowledgeable your team members are, the happier your customers will be. Happier customers are more likely to create word-of-mouth advertising, which is the most effective form of advertising: 5 times more powerful than paid ads.
Training and development can take on various forms.
- Hire a trainer. Find a professional who excels in teaching customer service skills. Pay them to come to talk to your team members.
- Do it yourself. Research ways your company can improve customer service. Ask your customers what they’d like to see. Share your findings with your team members at a meeting.
- Online courses. Direct, or if it’s in the budget, subsidize your employees to take online courses to help them improve their customer service.
- Mentor-mentee programs. Pair a more experienced staff member with a less experienced one. Have them get together to share information and tactics that have helped them.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll see the benefits pay off in higher customer satisfaction and improved customer relationships.
Customer Service Excellence: Customer Relationships
Encourage employees to develop positive customer relationships.
Keep it natural. Try asking customers questions about themselves. Some just want to get in and out. But others enjoy talking and will appreciate the opportunity. If you remember the customers’ names and the stories they tell, they’ll be happier and more loyal.
Further, increase customer relationships by sending customers birthday gifts or cards. Companies that prioritize emotional connections with customers do better in the long run, outperforming their competitors in sales by 85%.
Customer Service Excellence: Let Customers Help Themselves
Counterintuitively, some of the best customer services you can provide are the gifts of not needing customer service. By providing efficient, straightforward methods for customers to solve their own issues, the customers leave happy.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.
- Q&A page with answers to the most commonly asked questions.
- Information. By providing relevant information in a convenient place, such as a brochure, you can proactively prevent frustrated customers by providing all the information they need beforehand.
Customer service is one way your business can stand above the rest. If you do it well, profits will increase.
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