30 Customer Service Tips (with Examples) to Try in 2020
No matter how fashionable the product, how amazing your advertising is or the number of word-of-mouth referrals you get, if there’s one thing that can make or break your success: it’s customer service.
The relationship you have with your customers is tested during the time you establish contact with them. Whether this be over a phone call, online on social media platforms or even in person, their takeaway of your brand is highly impacted by how you communicate with them.
While building a good customer service practice can take time and experience, there are elements you can incorporate from the get-go to get you halfway there.
Read on to find out 30 tips to get you started on your journey to fulfilling customer satisfaction.
Tips to improve Customer Service
Here are the top tips to improve your customer service and get your churn rates down, customer satisfaction levels up, and business blooming!
#1. Treat every impression as the first
Whether you’re speaking to a customer for the first, second or hundredth time, you should always handle each interaction as if it were the first and you’re trying to draw them in. Remember, a customer’s perception of you can change at any given moment. Keep this in mind and always be on your toes to impress them; new customer or not.
Source: StoryBoard That
#2. A+ customer service is a continuous process
Have you heard of the concept of kaizen? The concept signifies the importance of incorporating a “continuous improvement” focussed mindset to your work. Likewise, understanding that customer service is a continuously evolving journey is important. Every customer is different and may require unique strategies. Focusing on understanding each customer on a fundamental level over time will strengthen your holistic customer service strategy.
#3. Are you easily accessible?
We’re talking about both on the Internet and in real life here. Is your website user friendly and easy to navigate around? Do you have an app? Are your phone-lines open and are your customer service reps well trained and representative of your brand? These are all important questions to consider.
#4. There is nothing wrong in admitting your faults
If a customer service rep is on the phone and is asked a question he does not know the answer to, the best thing to do is admit it rather than fumble for the answers. A simple, “I’m sorry but I can’t answer that for you. Can I connect you to my supervisor who can better guide you?” can go a long way. Customers want honest, transparent interactions.
#5. Showcase your work ethic
Remember, customer service interactions are a huge representation for the face of your brand. If you claim to be committed around the clock to helping your customers and addressing their queries, you have to stick to your words.
#6. Offer self-service options
We live in a world where everything is accessible at the click of a button. It won’t come as a surprise if customers expect self-service options – whether it be in-store or online, through an app even. Remember to check in on customers regularly and their satisfaction if you do offer these services.
#7. Include an alternative within the self-service option
For example, if you sell trendy clothes through an app and the app is down but the customer has a wish-list they want to get ordered ASAP, they should have alternatives to contact you and get the job done. Make sure you offer these to stay on top of your customer’s desires.
#8. Be mindful of the time
If you promise a 7-day delivery, make a 7-day delivery. Customers are not just paying you for the value of the product itself but the quality of delivery can impact their perception greatly.
#9. Educate yourself
Conducting regular training for your customer service reps through verified organizations can go a long way. Stay ahead of the trends in your industry by doing research and continuously re-educating yourself. Remember: the learning never stops.
#10. Define a simple, straightforward grievance system
If something goes wrong on the customer’s end, the last thing they want is an even more complicated process to endure in order to fix it. Make sure the customer complaints and care system is easy and straightforward.
#11. Feedback is a goldmine of opportunity
Whether negative or positive, all feedback is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your product/service and make it better. It’s like the saying, “looking a gift horse in the mouth”. Don’t ignore the feedback you receive directly from your customers. Derive actionable and profitable insights from what they want and work toward making them happier.
#12. Recognize good customer service reps
Having an incentive and award-based system to reward good customer service rep behavior can keep everyone motivated and generally improve morale. This can, in turn, boost the quality of their interactions with the customer.
What’s more, you can set customer service KPIs and standards of performance to ensure excellent service is provided. The key here is not to control, but to train your team of what’s right and what’s wrong.
#13. Focus on your language
The language you use to speak to your customer covers several nuances. Ranging from the tone of voice, the greetings, even the emojis on social media are relevant! Make sure you read the customer well and adapt a style suited to each individual to avoid conflict and make yourself more relevant.
#14. Emulate and go above the industry standards
Do a little research into what the customer service norms are in your industry. Compare them against what you currently offer and identify the gaps. Where can you improve? What are the strengths that you can capitalize on?
#15. Develop a ‘thick skin’
Customer service can be a tricky affair. Not every customer will be a ray of sunshine, especially those that are registering a complaint. It’s important to adopt a ‘customer’s always right’ approach and wear a smile, no matter the form of feedback you receive. On the other hand, if your customer is being unreasonable, remind them you’re human too and mistakes do happen while staying humble and maintaining a good-natured approach.
#16. Make yourself a friend, make yourself human
Customers need to understand that they aren’t dealing with robots on the other side (even if you do employ AI bots for live chat)! At the end, the person administering their concerns is human. By humanizing your relationship and bringing yourselves to common ground, the business relationship you develop will be that much healthier and impactful.
On a simialr note, Content Snare uses a customer intake form to better serve their clients whenever onboarding new ones, which is a great example of showing your customer that you care right from the start.
#17. Use active listening
Make your customers feel heard. Don’t show any disinterest and make sure you are invested in the conversation you have with them. Using empathetic language like “I understand why this is upsetting” or “you’re right, that is a problem” is important. Validate their concerns and show them you’re on top of it.
Source: Buffer Open
#18. Never forget to follow-up
When you follow up with a customer, it shows that you care. Give them a call, send them an email and ask them for feedback. Today, there’s heaps of call-back solutions to help boost customer communication so I recommend leveraging the same.
#19. Create a customer community
According to a social media study, there’s heaps of oppurtunitiies to build a community by going social. Through a Facebook Group, webinars, social media communities or live trade shows. Fostering a sense of community will make your customers feel a part of something bigger in your brand. Today, there’s several social media tools you can leverage for the same.
#20. Have an organized customer feedback system
Whether you collect feedback through surveys, phone calls or over chat, make sure you log and record them in an easily accessible and organized manner.
#21. Know your market
You have to have a pre-conceived and general understanding of the demographic and market you are catering to. This can provide extra leverage to establishing a relationship with them.
#22. Don’t be rigid
We’ve all seen the jokes of stiff customer service reps. If you don’t want to be treated like a robot on the end of a screen, make sure you don’t act like one. Be friendly, relatable, and down to earth while still representing the brand you stand for.
#23. Avoid using negative language
The phrases starting with “I can’t”, “there aren’t” or “we won’t” are out of your vocabulary. This can inculcate a negative perception of your brand to your customers as a no-go, negative business.
#24. Reinforce positive language
Replace negative phrases with more positive, actionable ones. Things like “we will look into it” or “here’s what I can do for you instead”.
#25. Solve problems as they arise
Don’t back-log customer concerns and let them build up. One of the best ways to show your customers you care is by making their problems a priority for you to fix.
#26. End your conversations, even the negative ones, positively
Ask them if there’s anything else they would like help with and show your enthusiasm to help. Doing this will show them you want to deliver well, are willing to keep working until things are right and that they are your priority.
#27. Stay alert and avoid errors
If you can stay ahead of the curve and identify potential problems your customers may have before they occur, they will appreciate you even more.
#28. Show your customers your appreciation
Reward faithful customers with a nice handwritten note, a gift coupon or something you think they’ll enjoy. These tiny gestures can go a long way.
#29. Make customer service an all-inclusive job
It’s not just the customer service reps jobs to feel customer pain points. The entire business should be aware of the end goal and constantly work toward improving the customer experience in their own roles.
#30. Everyday innovation is essential
It’s important that you don’t fall into the rut of everyday routine with customer service. You have to find every day exciting and view it as an opportunity to make a big break for your business. Just like the first tip, every day should be like your first. Find new ways to keep customer service engaging and dynamic.
Stay ahead with great customer service
Although customer service is a long journey, you can get started at any time if you put your mind to it.
Do you have any particular tips of your own? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!