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How To Improve Customer Service In Any Business, Answered By 10 Business Owners

elliott-davidson-headshot Elliott Davidson, Parcel Master

With businesses operating multichannel customer support, requests will be coming in from lots of different channels. Instead of forcing customers to only communicate with you in one way, get them to speak to you in their preferred method and continue to speak with them this way.

For example, if someone rings up, don’t try and convert it into an email conversation instead, there is a reason they phoned and chose not to email in the first place.

A very basic concept but when the inquiries do come through make sure that you respond to them in a timely fashion. If this is a phone call that needs to be picked up it might require a follow-up call but that’s fine if you answer the call in the first place so people think they are being looked after.

Justin Herring Justin Herring, YEAH! Local

  1. Develop Empathy

Understanding your customer’s individual requirements is only the beginning. How you connect with customers, and what you say to them, are critical to the success of your customer service performance plan.

When businesses attempt to improve their customer service, they are frequently motivated by the bottom line. However, customer service representatives should recognize how a consumer feels after interacting with you to boost customer loyalty.

Empathy should be included in your customer service to assist you to focus on enhancing customer happiness, which will improve your bottom line.

  1. Encourage Customers to Provide Candid Feedback

Listening to your customers’ input not only helps them feel valued but also makes them feel good about your company. Positive reviews are generated by positive consumer feedback. Negative customer feedback, results in possibilities for improvement. You can gather all information through customer feedback hub, a centralized platform or system where businesses collect, manage, and analyze feedback from their customers. This hub can take various forms, such as a software application, a website, or a physical kiosk. It’s designed to gather input from customers on their experiences, preferences, and expectations regarding products, services, or overall company performance.

Even challenging customer conversations will be smoother and more productive if the consumer is more relaxed. Encourage your company to maintain this culture, and you’ll get honest feedback that will help you and your team learn and grow.

wes headshotWes Byerly, Socratik

There is one time-tested key to high-quality customer service that transcends any industry or business type… listen to your customer!

Your customers are the ultimate source of truth as to how your company is treating them. The challenge is actually measuring this satisfaction in a quantifiable way.

One of the best methods for measuring your customer success is through NPS surveys, which allow you to query your customers directly to get their thoughts and feelings about your service!

You can then aggregate this score across your customer population and compare that against industry benchmarks to get a clearer picture of how your customer service is performing.

Socratik does this for our agency clients by sending bi-annual surveys asking them to rate their experience with us on a scale from 1-10. Once per year we also request that they provide answers to a few open-ended questions about their relationship with our team & satisfaction with our service overall.

By doing this, we’re able to consistently have a clear understanding of how our customers feel, and where they see room for improvement. Using NPS surveys can make all the difference in your customer service experience, so we strongly recommend it!

andy  Andy Cook, Tettra

Customer service is one of the most impactful parts of any business. We’ve all heard that it costs far less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one and that’s generally true.

Additionally, happy customers can end up being a serious source of future business in the form of referrals. For these reasons, leaving quality customer experiences up to chance is a huge risk.

The best way to ensure consistently pleasant customer interactions is to have processes in place. This is where knowledge management platforms come into play.

From simple things like voice/tone guides that make your customer feel well-treated and more at ease, to having set-in-stone processes for common-place queries and complaints – having a central source of truth is a must.

mickeyMickey Luongo, Total Home Supply

One of our keys to customer service is the accessibility of our customer service staff. While many companies hide behind complicated forms or deep phone menu trees, we have opted to have multiple easy ways to contact us all over our website. We have our phone number and a live chat or email widget on every page of our website.

When someone calls during business hours, calls are answered by a real person who can solve problems and answer questions without holding time. No need to press one for customer service, everyone who answers the phone can help right away.

Emails and chats are also answered immediately. This quick service reassures customers and instills trust. Even if there is a problem, they know that there is someone here to help them quickly and easily.

EstherEsther Strauss, Stepbystepbusiness

To improve customer service, you need to have a thorough understanding of what your customers want and need. This means you need to know your customers intimately, which you can learn from data and from anecdotal experiences.

You need to let your employees who are involved in customer service know this information and teach them to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. Ask them to consider “If you were these customers, what kind of service would satisfy you?”

Your employees also need to be held to customer service standards, which you can measure with customer surveys or recorded calls. Goals for scores should be set, and meeting those goals can be rewarded, while not meeting goals must be addressed.

What you should not do is create scripts. I know that I personally am very put off by scripts. I want to be talked to as a person.

austin Austin Mullins, Conversion Media

The number one thing we’ve been focused on to improve our customer service is improving response times. While you may want to wait until you have a substantive reply to a customer inquiry, it’s often best to respond more quickly to confirm you’ve received their message and are looking into a matter. This can make people feel heard, and decrease the likelihood they become upset or disparage your brand in any way.

Another thing that can be quite powerful is empowering your front-line staff, whether they be customer service representatives, account managers, or some other role to solve more problems without asking for permission.

Often it’s good to have a blanket policy where any problem that can be solved below a certain dollar amount is default approved, and these solutions can later be reviewed in batches to provide feedback on which were most appropriate, and if any were not, to improve performance over time.

mikeMike van der Heijden, Portal Ventures

Great customer service isn’t accidental — it requires time and attention.

At the end of the day, your customers are looking for a smooth experience that provides immediate value, solves their problems, and leaves them feeling like there’s nothing holding them back from returning to your business again and again.

To improve your customer service, it’s essential to find out where you’re failing or falling short. Asking customers for reviews via email, surveys, phone calls, etc. is a great way to get this information.

Feedback from customers opens a big window of opportunity for understanding what your customers like, dislike, and recommend which can further be vital in improving customer care.

Once you are provided with insights into your customers’ feedback, you can know where you are lacking and begin working on new strategies and implementing them.

james James Crawford, DealDrop

A lot of email support tools provide advanced analytics so you can better understand how your team is managing your support inquiries. This data is a gold mine and when carefully analyzed on a regular basis, will provide invaluable insights to help you improve your services.

Also, don’t forget to actively ask your customers how your team is going. Questions such as “How knowledgeable or unknowledgeable would you say our service team member was?” or “How effective or ineffective would you say the service team member’s communication was?” will only help your team improve.

ben-clarke Ben Clarke, Head of Marketing, James & James Fulfilment

In the eCommerce industry, customer service is essential for building trust with your customers, which helps generate sales and improves customer loyalty and retention.

One of our key strategies to enhance our own customer service is generating engaging and informative content. This content is researched and designed to answer the questions that our customers are asking. When you output content that is genuinely useful to your target audience – they will remember your brand.

This applies to virtually every industry. If you’re an expert in your niche, share this expert knowledge with your customers and help them make informed decisions. Again, when you contribute this sort of value – people tend to remark on this.

Consistency is one of the most essential parts of your content strategy to get right. You can improve the value proposition of your brand and keep customers coming back for more, time and again if you’re able to produce high-quality material on a regular basis.

Lastly, our bonus contribution would be to encourage others to consider adding personalization to their customer service touchpoints. For example, referring to customers by their names whenever you send an email is a great way to start, and most email integration platforms have simple ways of achieving this.

You can also personalize your orders, such as including a handwritten note to surprise and delight customers when they unpack their orders. Personalization is all about the small touches that can have a big impact.

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