“The customer is always right” is an ancient business motto, but it’s been getting increasingly important in the last few years. How come? Well, studies reveal that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.
A business cannot afford to be passive and inert anymore because other players in the same niche are more than willing to step in and impress the target audience with outstanding services. To put it simply, you have to do all it takes to win over consumers or let someone else do it instead.
But how exactly do you build a standout customer service strategy? There is no only one simple trick here, so keep reading our post to learn six tips that will “wow” your customers. Let’s begin!
Customer Service: Definition, Stats, and Benefits
Before we begin discussing the basic principles of customer service, we need to analyze the phenomenon from all points of view and explain what makes it such an important business concept.
By definition, customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.
To put it simply, customer service is everything you do to make a client satisfied and willing to come back and do business with your company. The concept relies on the famous 4Ps:
- Promptness: A customer has to be served as quickly as possible.
- Politeness: You need to treat prospects and purchasers with all due attention and appreciation.
- Personalization: Get to know your customers and try to make the relationship personal.
- Professionalism: Use professional skills and prowess to impress the audience.
Although it seems fairly simple, customer service is actually a complex process that requires a careful approach and delicate actions. But if you do it properly, you can expect a wide range of benefits for your business.
First of all, a good customer service strategy will help you to boost sales in the long-term perspective. The company will be more profitable and able to invest in additional marketing and customer service mechanisms.
Secondly, your clients will be satisfied and ready to keep doing business with you. Besides that, it will improve your public image and make you a more desirable employee.
At the same time, your employees will become more productive. How come? Well, they don’t have to work in an atmosphere of constant pressure because the company is doing well and earning a lot of money. In such circumstances, they can relax and give their best to make the organization even more profitable.
If you still don’t believe that customer service is such a powerful business tool, the following stats might as well change your mind:
- 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.
- Over 70% of customers remain loyal to a brand because of friendly customer service representatives.
- 55% of customers are willing to spend more money with a company that guarantees them a satisfying experience.
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
The Top 6 Principles of Quality Customer Service
Now that you know the most important features of customer service, it is time to discuss six ways to make the process function flawlessly. Let’s take a look:
- Always Deliver As Promised
The number one rule of customer service is to always deliver as promised. It is the sacred business principle that you must follow regardless of the circumstances. After all, people want to get what they paid for as it’s the only natural way to do business.
For example, students who read online analyses will notice that the two companies earn very modest reviews due to the fact that they overpromise but fail to deliver.
Your job is to do exactly the opposite – deliver as promised and sometimes even surprise customers by giving them more than expected. You don’t have to do it every time, but an occasional surprise will make your business look more professional and highly memorable.
- Ask for Customer Feedback
This tip is one of the best customer service mechanisms, but a surprisingly small portion of companies take advantage of it on a regular basis. Namely, you should feel free to ask consumers to give you service-related feedback.
You want to learn as much as possible about buyers’ experiences because it helps you to identify and eliminate weaknesses. At the same time, this practice shouldn’t bother customers because they realize your intentions and expect even better service next time.
It’s always a good idea to do this face-to-face because it allows you to follow both verbal and non-verbal reactions. That way, a customer can explain everything precisely and there probably won’t be any misunderstandings. But there are other options to consider here as well.
First of all, you can send a questionnaire via email. Almost four billion people use email as a means of personal and professional communication, so feel free to take advantage of it and ask for feedback from your clients.
Secondly, you can conduct a short online survey. A tool like Survey Monkey enables you to create and launch online opinion polls very quickly, so you might as well use it to analyze customers’ impressions about your business.
Survey Monkey offers you a wide range of templates that you can use to create simple but visually appealing opinion polls. Besides that, each template is customizable. It means you can tailor surveys using so as to fit the style of your business.
- Reward Loyal Clients
Recurring customers are the foundation of any business. Business analysts often claim that 80% of revenue comes from only 20% of loyal consumers, but there is also a study revealing that it costs between six and seven times more to attract a new buyer than to retain an existing customer.
How can you encourage customer loyalty? There are many mechanisms you can test here, but the usual suspects include the following:
- Make exclusive offers for recurring consumers
- Offer incentives such as free trials or “buy first” opportunities
- Mention loyal customers on social media
- Create membership plans for loyal clients
- Give discounts to regular purchasers
Bear in mind that rewards and public appraisals are not only a good tactic if you want to boost customer loyalty. Namely, it is also a mechanism many businesses use to turn customers into full-time brand advocates.
This is particularly important for brands that maintain a strong social media presence because the likes of Facebook and Instagram are perfect places to keep your audience engaged. You should invite them to say a word or two about your business and also ask them to create brand-related content.
User-generated content (UGC) will help you to win over additional customers. It’s a well-known fact in the marketing universe as almost 50% of customers say that UGC is a great way to discover new products online.
- Deploy Chatbot Technology for Uninterrupted Availability
Can you identify what brings together some of the best agencies such as assignment help? If you pay close attention, you will realize that each of these agencies relies on chatbot technologies to ensure continuous availability.
A chatbot is an AI-powered platform designed to communicate with human users online. The benefit of the new technology is the around the clock availability – prospects can get in touch with your business 24/7.
Besides that, the technology is getting better and more efficient. According to the report, more than 80% of customer chat sessions can be resolved by a chatbot, while the program redirects about 20% of the customers to human agents in case the problem is too hard to resolve automatically.
If you are interested in adding this feature to your customer service strategy, you should know that there are two basic ways to deploy chatbot technology:
- Build a chatbot agent from scratch: If you happen to be an expert programmer, then you can try and build a chatbot agent from scratch. If not, the second option is the right choice for your business.
- Use a chatbot program: You can find tons of interesting chatbot platforms The list of possible solutions is almost endless, but some of the best options include Zendesk, Bot Framework, IBM Watson, Mobile Monkey, etc. All of these platforms are highly efficient, but you need to explore each one separately to find the most suitable solution for your customer service team.
- Show Appreciation and Thank Your Customers
One thing many sales agents tend to forget is to show appreciation in the post-purchase period. It doesn’t cost you a dime, but it can do miracles for the future of your relationship with the consumer. All it takes is to say something like:
- Thank you for being a loyal customer!
- Thanks for doing business with us!
This is more than enough to impress the client and prove that you really appreciate their time, money, and loyalty. And don’t forget that the business is not all about the growth and revenue – it is also about being polite and expressing gratitude for having a partner on the opposite side of the sales axis.
If you are looking for alternative ways to thank customers, then you could test a different approach and send your precious clients a personalized letter. The idea is to address a customer by his/her name and craft a handwritten message to show that you really dedicated some time to your beloved client.
This tactic can have a major effect on many businesses because customization is the core of modern customer service. A study reveals that 80% of consumers say they appreciate receiving thank you notes from brands, while 72% of respondents think that paper thank you notes are more meaningful than electronic ones.
- Follow Trends and Anticipate New Needs
Fulfilling the existing customer service norms is a must, but we strongly encourage you to take the extra step and try to anticipate the new needs of your consumers. For example, top resume writing services follow the latest trends by customizing professional biographies and quantifying the achievements of their clients.
You can do it using the website and social media analytics. Keep an eye on user reviews, comments, questions, and inquiries because it will give you precious information about their needs and expectations. That way, you can behave proactively and craft offers that perfectly fit consumers’ wishes before they even ask for it.
However, you can exploit many other channels to try and predict the future needs of your target audience. One of the popular tools is Google Trends, a platform that enables you to monitor any subject in any given region and timeframe. All you have to do is enter a given keyword and you will see how the search phrase ranks among users and does it have the growth potential.
If you think one or more concepts promise to be popular in the months to come, you can follow them via Google Alerts. That way, you will be receiving notifications about these topics. It can serve you as a reminder to react on time and serve your customers with the right products or offers before your competitors.
Too many businesses are still focusing their efforts on prices and products primarily, but the truth is that customer service is now by far the shortest path towards winning over your prospects. If you want to keep the company stable and profitable in the long run, you need to consistently use state of the art customer service mechanisms.
In this post, we showed you six customer service tricks that would make your customers say “wow” and turn them into loyal consumers. Keep these tactics in mind and don’t hesitate to exploit them – it could help your business to flourish long-term!