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High-quality customer service is vital to standing out in business. Making sure it’s as high-quality as you want it to be, however, can be more complicated than many people believe. If you’re a first-time business owner, figuring out how to optimise your customer experience can seem overwhelming.
It doesn’t need to be, however. By having a great customer service team and implementing a few particular strategies, you’ll see your customer service standards skyrocket. Doing so offers more than a few benefits, including:
- Increasing your customer retention rates
- Minimising customer acquisition costs
- Reducing customer churn
- Improving profit levels
Achieving these benefits doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Once you know know to optimise your customer experience, you shouldn’t have a problem getting there.
Qualities Of A Great Customer Service Team
One of the easiest ways to optimise your customer experience is to have a great customer service team. Putting this together can be more complicated than many people imagine. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, however. Ensuring that your customer service team has particular qualities will help make sure this is the case.
The most notable of these qualities are:
- Transparent Communication – Your staff members should feel comfortable communicating with each other, regardless of their roles. You should establish an open door policy where team members are free to communicate as much as they need. By doing so, they can have any potential issues addressed when they arise. It also lets them communicate with customers more effectively, which is always a welcome benefit.
- Product/Service Knowledge – If a team member doesn’t have in-depth knowledge about the product or service you offer, they won’t be able to help customers with their problems or answer any questions. Should a customer come back and have an issue, your employees should be able to deal with this. Make sure they know enough to do this. Doing this also gives them more ways to upsell your product or service, as employees can more carefully identify opportunities relevant to specific customers. It’s worth giving your employees in-depth training because of this.
- Clarity – Your employees will need to be clear about their roles and your expectations. While some will be responsible for dealing with selling to customers, others might focus solely on customer service issues, such as returns. There can often be overlap with many of these roles, so you’ll need to be clear about who does what. It’ll avoid any confusion among employees and prevent it affecting customers. Tasks will be done much easier and more efficiently because of this.
- Patience – Dealing with customers can be a time-intensive and occasionally frustrating process. Quite a few people may get impatient during the process and not be able to deal with it. You should make sure you don’t hire these people in customer service roles. Those that deal with your customers should have patience in abundance, which will help them stay level-headed during any interactions. As a result, they can help customers much better than they otherwise would have.
Once you have a great customer service team, you shouldn’t have a problem offering high-quality customer service. That isn’t the only thing you’ll need to do, however. When you’re figuring out how to optimise your customer experience, you’ll need to implement multiple strategies.
Doing so will make sure you see each of the benefits that high-quality customer service offers.
How To Optimise Your Customer Experience: 5 Top Strategies
1. Invest In Software
Customer service isn’t the easiest thing to keep track of, especially as you grow and bring in more and more customers. You’ll need to monitor these interactions, especially when there are any problems. Focusing on what issues keep coming up and how they can be dealt with is vital.
At the same time, there are more than a few ways to make your customer service more straightforward and manageable. The key to this is investing in the right software. Customer management software is one of the more obvious examples of this, although it could be worth getting more than this.
Websites with live chat functionality often convert more customers and report higher customer service levels than others. You can find out more about live chat integration website to see how it can benefit you, with some of the more obvious advantages being that it adds a more human touch to your website while increasing the chances of conversions.
2. Handle Situations With Empathy
As you run your business, you’ll need to deal with more than a few difficult situations. Many of these will be related to your customers. They could have issues with the product or service you sold them. That could leave them going through various emotions. You’ll need to keep this in mind as you deal with them.
Being empathic about your customer’s current predicament is vital, with this involving understanding their problem and what they may be going through. In short, you’ll need to put yourself in their shoes. Once you do, you can help them with their problems much better than you otherwise would have.
At the same time, it lets you offer words of comfort that can help with the situation. These words could put your customer at ease as you help them with the problem. While it’s a small gesture, it’ll let your customer feel understood and respected.
3. Be Approachable
If you have a brick-and-mortar premises, then your employees should be as approachable as possible. While they wouldn’t need to do a song and dance every time a customer walks in, they’ll need to appear friendly and welcoming to customers. The more approachable they seem, the more comfortable customers will feel in-store.
While much of this focuses on asking any questions they may have – such as if you have a product in a particular size – it goes beyond that. They’ll need to feel comfortable browsing your store while looking for things to buy. That starts with how comfortable your customers are with your staff.
If your employees seem friendly and approachable, then your customers will feel more at ease. There are more than a few ways you can encourage this, such as making sure employees:
- Greet customers with a smile
- Focus on helping rather than selling
- Ask relevant questions
While you shouldn’t overwhelm your customers with this, you should ensure your employees put the extra effort in.
4. Reward Loyal Customers
Some customers will be more loyal to your business than others. These will be the people that spend more with your company and keep coming back. Going out of your way to reward these customers is recommended, as it makes them feel more wanted while encouraging them to come back more.
Loyalty programs may be the first thing that comes to mind with this, as these nudge customers to keep coming back to earn a free or discounted product. You can use these to attract new customers while encouraging them to keep coming back. They shouldn’t cost too much to implement, as many loyalty programs simply involve giving away a certain amount of free or discounted products.
The cost of this will be offset, if not completely paid for, by the increase in revenue generated from the program. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Customers feel more appreciated, while you make more of a profit.
Even start-ups can take advantage of this. You’ll need to adjust the programs to your specific business and what it sells, but that can be much easier to do than you’d expect.
5. Close The Conversation The Right Way
How you close a conversation with a customer matters almost as much as the interaction itself. You’ll need to make sure you do this the right way. Even if everything leading up to this point has been great, a bad finish can sour the entire experience. You want to leave your customers walking away feeling happy.
If you don’t, they could walk away for good. To do this effectively, you should:
- End the interaction on a positive note
- Let them know you’re always there to help
- Ensure they’re clear about the solution and any subsequent steps
By taking this approach, you can even make sure an experience that starts off negatively ends positively. While this mightn’t be possible for every customer interaction your business has, it is for the vast majority of them.
With every interaction, you leave a lasting impression on your customer’s mind. If that interaction ends negatively, their impression will be negative. Ensuring you close the conversation the right way makes sure they have a positive impression.
How To Optimise Your Customer Experience: Wrapping Up
Once you know how to optimise your customer experience, the process will be much easier and more straightforward. While it can seem like an overwhelming prospect, it doesn’t need to be. With each of the above strategies, you shouldn’t have an issue seeing each of the benefits that high-quality customer service offers.
As a result, you shouldn’t have a problem standing out from your competition and bringing in more customers.