Some organizations believe the key to success is pouring more and more money into operations, using new technology and implementing expensive improvements that drive down the company's bottom line. When you do the math, it's clear that the best investment you can make is in customer service. Follow these tips to improve the customer service experience and increase revenue.
1. Engage the Whole Team
Introduce a new approach to customer service that incorporates training initiatives, coaching opportunities and service standards, but don't stop with the front-line employees. Include the entire staff in the efforts, from the marketing, legal and accounting departments to call center representatives and salesmen. With a top-down approach, senior managers can support employees and reinforce the service standards, ensuring that goals are consistent throughout the organization.
2. Listen to the Customer
No company can please all of its customers all of the time, so make sure your customer service representatives are prepared to deal with dissatisfied or even disgruntled clients. Teach employees to listen to a client completely before offering a solution, as different customers expect different outcomes. While some clients just want the opportunity to vent their frustrations, others may desire a repair, a full refund or a replacement product. When customer service representatives stay positive and rectify problems to the customers' standards, they can transform disgruntled customers into loyal clients.
3. Use Various Technologies
Make it easy and convenient for customers to contact your company through varied methods of communication. Create a frequently asked questions page on your company's website so customers can search quickly without even contacting an employee. For more detailed inquiries, provide an email address and telephone number for your call center. Utilize live chat and social media for faster interaction with your clients, and consider customer service help through text messaging or a mobile app to increase the convenience for your customers.
4. Empower Your Leaders
Create a company culture that puts customer service first by empowering your management team. Hire and promote leaders who share the company's goals and value customers, and ensure customer service improvement is always a top agenda item at staff meetings.
5. Use Feedback to Your Advantage
Take the time to listen to your customers after every purchase or interaction with employees. Learn what's working well, and more importantly, discover which areas or processes could use improvement. Consider using an automated phone system to conduct a brief post-call survey and determine how satisfied the client is with your organization's methods.
The secret to making money isn't always spending more. Do the math. When your organization improves the customer service experience, client loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals and company reputation improve as well, generating more revenue for your organization and ensuring a profitable future.
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