Learning how to improve customer service interactions helps businesses maintain client satisfaction and develop long-term retention. While you may have excellent products and services, your customer support staff is the driving force behind higher sales. As the faces of your business, these employees represent your company from the first interaction. As such, making sure that they are providing good service offers customer interaction benefits that include business growth and improved satisfaction throughout client relationships. Add the following tips to your new-hire and ongoing training regiments and help make sure that you help keep customers happy and fulfill their expectations throughout the sales process.
Add a Personal Touch
Every business knows the importance of customer interactions that are positive. Every bad review gets way more attention than a good one, and studies show that up to 80% of people often choose another business based on bad reviews. Add in the fact that clients are more likely to leave a bad review than a good one, and you begin to see the importance of making sure you always work to improve customer support interactions. One of the easiest ways to improve customer service is by making sure that the client feels like more than just another sale.
Using a customer’s name goes a long way towards making them comfortable and keeping your business memorable. At each point of contact, whether through direct interaction, a phone call or a simple email, you show your clients that they matter. Calling a customer by their first or last name, depending on the overall feel of your business, instantly humanizes the interactions and makes them friendlier. Adding this same touch to emails, rather than sending impersonal form communications, helps achieve the same customer interaction benefits –your client feels remembered and important. Additionally, Experian marketing research found that personalized emails led to 41% higher click-through rates over standard form communications.
Make Sure Your Representatives Have the Right Customer Service Skills
When considering how to improve customer service, making sure that your staff has the right skills should be an important consideration. One of the most important of these skills is adaptability. Each customer your staff encounters behaves differently, and has vast differences in moods, attitudes and demeanor. Staff members that can interact with any customer and adapt to their personalities and moods improves the outcome of each interaction. Additionally, having patience and empathy with each customer facilitates growth and retention long after the phone call ends. The ability to remain cheerful and ensure that customers experience clear communications also add to improved customer support. Making sure that all of your staff displays these skills consistently helps ensure that each customer is satisfied at the end of their purchase or phone call.
Turn Mistakes Into Positive Interactions
While your company may do everything possible to keep customers happy, mistakes can still happen. Whether these mistakes are due to miscommunication or even the client doing something wrong, these instances and how they are handled are where the importance of customer interaction becomes even more noticeable. Correcting internal mistakes is something that companies do because it just makes sense. However, going that extra step and handling customer mistakes in the same fashion can seriously boost the overall image of the business – even for those that are not currently customers. When companies take that extra initiative and help clients deal with something they have actually caused, customers are more likely to tell their friends and post on social media about the incident. When this happens, it can even boost the company’s popularity as it gets shared around the internet. Take advantage of these avenues and make sure your customer service staff know that they should always take the initiative and make situations better whenever they can.
Communicate Across Multiple Channels
Shopping for goods and services occurs across a variety of channels, and if you are wondering how to improve customer service, meeting your clients where they are is an important way to do it. Customers today have little free time, which means that your customer support staff must make the most of it during their interactions. Consider how clients and potential customers can interact with your staff. Make sure you have channels in place for email, phone, chat, in-person and social media support. When training staff in these areas, ensure that they understand that it is almost always best to engage the customer in the same manner that he or she reached out initially. If someone emails, respond via the same channel rather than calling the person on the phone. While there may be times this is not possible, doing so goes a long way in improving satisfaction.
Employing all or even some of these tips will help your business see important customer interaction benefits. While boosted sales are always important, making sure that customers are satisfied with their customer support can be the difference between you and another company. Focusing on the customer as a human and developing a rapport keeps your business memorable, and provides the added bonus of making clients want to continue using your products or services because they feel valued.