Back to the Basics: How to Reach the Apex of Customer Service
Whether you’re a business-owner, the vice president of your company, or working at basically any level of a business, you recognize the importance of customer service. Customers are the bread and butter of a business’s success. You also likely recognize how challenging it can be to reach new service heights, let alone maintain where you’re at. No matter where you are on the spectrum of quality customer service, there are simple ways in which you can continue to push forward in providing the apex of support.
Be Respectful and Responsive
We all know the age-old adage, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This ideology should be at the cornerstone of your company’s customer service efforts. Kindness goes a long way, especially when you’re responding to a complaint, selling a product, or answering a question.
In addition to being respectful of your customer base, you should also focus on being responsive to any and all questions/comments/concerns. Regardless of what kind of customer service request you’re responding to, it will reflect positively on your business if you’re doing so accurately and consistently. For example, businesses that neglect messages or reviews on their Facebook pages are doing nothing to help grow or defend their customer base. These user submissions are seen by anyone that visits a company’s Facebook page, and thus it’s imperative that they’re addressed.
One of the most important aspects of quality customer service is being able to educate and answer questions. Whether it’s through your company’s website or sales team, education is what customer service is all about. If you have the answers that a customer is looking for, then you’re already well on your way. If you’re just responding to a question with another question, you’ve got work to do.
Being educational also means that your business needs be cutting-edge. If you’re an industry expert, use that to your advantage. Share your company’s wealth of knowledge to keep your customers coming back for more.
You should never be in a situation where you’re lying to a customer. People generally appreciate honesty, especially when it’s coming from a company. If you’re unable to answer a customer’s question, be upfront about it. Tell them that you don’t have any immediate answer, but you’ll be looking into solutions and will get back to them in a reasonable time frame. This type of response offers clarity.
Beyond being honest with your customers, you should also be honest within your business as well. A company’s working culture has a major impact on service quality. If the culture is lacking in certain areas, it will show in the level of customer service provided. Practice honesty within the workplace and tackle culture problems as they arise.
Be Enthusiastic and Engaged
Nobody likes an employee who appears bored or aloof with the product or service that they’re representing. In order to bring new customers in and keep existing ones, you’ll need to be passionate, and able to show it. If you find that there are certain employees without a true interest in the company, it may be time to evaluate their position.
Enthusiasm is synonymous with positivity. If you’ve ever had a great experience with a business, it’s probably because they left you feeling positive and accomplished. It likely had a lot to do with their attitude. Having a great attitude also provides a great way to avoid miscommunication and misinformation.
Just being a human being is often what separates successful businesses from unsuccessful ones. But this doesn’t mean neglect to utilize your customer relationship management tools. Your CRM should always raise service quality, never hinder it. Utilize the software to stay organized and help you understand where the person is within the sales cycle.
Rely on the backbone of quality human interaction, but allow your CRM software to assist. Automate where you’re able, but never lose the small business side of your company that helped it grow into a successful enterprise.
In short: if you ever find your company’s support services falling short, it’s time to go back to the basics. Reevaluate processes, look for and address culture problems, and remember the simple qualities that make up impactful, memorable customer service. It’s easy climbing from there.