One of the most important factors of a business is its customers. Businesses should aim to make sure that their customers leave their establishment feeling happy and satisfied with their purchases and/or the services that they have received. Businesses also want customers to feel as though they are properly assisted and educated whenever they reach out for help. In order for them to feel that happiness and satisfaction, it is up to the business to provide quality customer service.
Similar to our last blog post, where we covered ways that businesses can create a positive customer experience, today’s blog, we are going to discuss customer service. You may think that customer service and the customer experience are the same. While both are crucial, there is a major difference.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service consists of the type of support that your business gives to its customers. Customer support can include:
- Phone support – the most common form of customer support, calling a business for questions such as store hours and return policies is the quickest way to get your questions answered.
- Live chat support – you may routinely notice chat windows popping up in the corners of business website, which ask if you need assistance with anything. That is customer live chat support in action. Chat support gives customers online the access to a business’s customer service.
- Email support – another common and popular form of contacting a business, email support is typically used to ask questions about products, businesses and orders.
- Self-servicing portals – portals are created for customers in order to give them another opportunity to gain assistance and knowledge that they are looking for. Typically self-serve portals are most useful during time periods when a business isn’t open.
- Interactive voice response – this form of A.I. (artificial intelligence) can direct callers right to the information and departments that they are searching for and can best help them.
These different support systems helps to contribute to the overall experience they have. And speaking of experience.
Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Let’s briefly cover the difference between customer service and experience. As previously mentioned, customer service provides support (typically done with human to human interaction) in the form of answering questions, providing knowledge and assistance to its customers about a business and its products.
The customer experience sums up the entire journey that a customer takes with a business, which includes customer service.
Ways To Improve Your Business’s Customer Service
There are many ways to improve your business’s customer service. Here are some of the most effective:
- CRM Software – CRM software is an essential tool that helps with customer service. The main objective of a CRM solution is to improve the relationship between a business and its customer. This solution stores customer information such as contact information, previous customer/company communications and previous purchases. Having this information on hand makes it easy for a customer service rep to assist a customer in need.
- Have Proper Knowledge of Products and Services – The best way your company’s customer service representatives can help its customers is by knowing their stuff. Having a strong understanding of products and services makes helping customers quick and efficient. This will make the customer happy and get their questions answered and requests met.
- Provide Fast Support – Customers are at their happiest when their needs are met and questions are answered quickly. As we covered in an earlier section of the blog, there are many avenues to direct your customers to in order to meet their needs: phone, email, self-service portals. More options for customer services means faster solutions.
- Utilize Social Media – Social media is incredibly popular. It is how people communicate with one another, share and learn information and get their news. It is also a great opportunity for your business to both expand its brand and provide another form of customer service. Your business can respond to customer comments and inquires publicly or via direct messaging. It is even the perfect place to add a personalized touch by referring to your customer by name.
As you can see, there are many ways to improve the customer service that your business provides. It is important to pay attention to the needs of your customers, move quickly (but with care) and search for ways to expand your communication reach. Remember, keeping your customers happy is a business’s top priority and the best way to do that is through the support you provide.