Poor customer service costs North American businesses more than $75 billion a year. Even more than product quality or price, companies are realizing how important it is to deliver a solid client experience.
Caring for customers quickly and seamlessly can mean the difference between repeat sales and clients avoiding your business outright. Don’t drive your buyers into the arms of the competition. Evaluating your practices regularly will help you spot the customer service blind spots you may be missing.
Do Your Communications Allow for the Personal Touch?
Chatbots, online messaging, and computerized phone systems are just a few of the customer communication channels at your disposal. But just because the support you provide can be fully automated, it doesn’t mean all of it should be.
Elaborate phone trees, for example, can be frustrating for callers. And many people still prefer speaking with a live agent over navigating any kind of digital system.
As you adopt customer service technology designed to speed up and simplify your communications, don’t lose sight of how important the human connection is in meeting the diverse needs of your clients.
Is Your Customer Service Team Truly Listening?
Every customer is looking for quick, efficient, respectful assistance. Beyond that however, your service team shouldn’t assume they know what a client wants without asking and listening carefully to the response.
Not being able to get the answers they need is one of the main reasons why customers say they switch companies. With that in mind, it may be time to consider:
- Doing away with canned and ineffective customer service scripts,
- Training your staff in active listening and conflict resolution, and
- Monitoring solutions being offered to ensure they don’t over-promise and under-deliver
If you want better client retention and an expanded customer base, make sure you’re giving personnel the skills and knowledge they need to successfully service your customers.
Are You Being Proactive About Client Assistance?
Handling client concerns properly is critical. But taking a proactive stance on upfront assistance can reduce the volume of client issues you deal with.
Making self-service materials available on your website, for example, can mean:
- Freeing your service team to focus on more pressing customer interactions – a move that will improve service quality and conserve support resources,
- Delighting prospects and customers by allowing them to get the answers they need at their leisure – without having to contact your service department
Self-help vehicles like FAQ pages, user manuals, and buying guides not only empower your clients, they provide valuable data that customers can refer back to later.
Are You Investing in Customer Service Personnel?
The personnel who work directly with your customers play an enormous role in promoting your company. If you want to encourage consistently high performance, however, you’ll need to avoid this trio of management mistakes:
- Understaffing erodes your ability to provide consistent service performance. Making do with a team that’s too small to cope with demand can lead to lengthy wait times – one of the top reasons why customers say they go elsewhere.
- Undertraining vastly reduces the quality of customer service you can deliver. Employee evaluations and training should be ongoing, with a special focus on addressing your support team’s weak spots.
- Undervaluing the people who represent the face of your business is short-sighted when it comes to your long-term success. Make it a point to hire the best sales team you can find, pay them as much as you can afford, and reward them as frequently as your budget allows.
Rather than viewing customer care as an expense, treat it like the investment it is. Picking the right team – and working with them to nail down service shortfalls – is a proven way to manage your blind spots and hang on to more customers.