Even the most successful companies would be nothing without their customers. In recent years, customer expectations have changed due to technological advances, and many companies are having a hard time keeping up with their customer service. Here are a few of the most important benefits of great customer service, as well as some effective ways to meet or exceed customer expectations.
Benefits of Good Customer Service
1. Increased Customer Loyalty
Happy customers are loyal customers. If you consistently meet customers' needs and exceed their expectations, they are more likely to return to you in the future. Retaining current customers is much more efficient than recruiting new ones. Plus, loyal customers are easier to sell to because they are already familiar with your company and don't need extra convincing.
2. Positive Reputation
The happier your customers are, the more likely they are to recommend your products or services to their family members, friends and general network. Social media makes it easy to spread word of a company's customer service practices — whether good or bad. By keeping your customers satisfied, you increase your company's visibility without paying a dime more for advertising.
3. Valuable Customer Feedback
No one is better qualified to critique your customer service practices than the people they impact. Give your customers multiple channels through which to submit their feedback, whether through the phone, email, online surveys or social media. Giving them an opportunity to be heard not only helps you improve the customer experience, but it also makes your customers feel their voices matter.
Tips for Improving Customer Service
1. Reach Out
Let your customers know they are always on your mind. Sending emails to check in or personalized incentives and coupons to reliable customers are great ways to keep in contact with customers.
2. Make it Simple
Make your website user-friendly and clear. Provide concise answers to frequently asked questions, and make them easy to find. Provide one general customer service phone number, and display it prominently on all marketing and order material. In this age of informational noise, customers appreciate a simple experience with few snags or glitches.
3. Provide More Options
Many customers like having lots of options at their disposal when it comes to communicating with companies. Besides just a customer service phone number and general website, provide other easy options for reaching out, such as via text message, live chat or online communities. The more options you provide, the more likely customers are to reach out and provide feedback.
4. Empower Customer Service Representatives
Your customer service representatives are often the first point of contact for customers. As such, they should wield at least a little power when it comes to making customer service decisions, as well as handle difficult situations with grace and professionalism. This reduces employee stress when dealing with unhappy customers and makes the whole customer service experience faster and easier on all parties.
Meeting customer expectations is key to maintaining an excellent customer service reputation. When customers don't feel valued, they go elsewhere. The happier your customers are, the more loyal they are and the more your business can grow.
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