This guest post is written by James Clifton, Social Media Manager at GetApp.com. This blog is all about Delivering the World’s Best Customer Experience. In my posts, I provide advice to improve face to face customer interactions. James and GetApp are focused on offering the best customer service technology solutions. As you read his post, you will see that whether it is in person or via social media, his five ways to improve customer service work for both. You can find out more about James and GetApp.com at the end of his post.
What sets a successful business apart from the others is not their business model nor is it the product or service they provide. What makes one business stand head and shoulders above the rest is excellent customer service. Repeat customers and fans of your business means you’ll see an increase in sales which translates as an increase in profit. By simply giving customers what they expect you’ll find that they remain happy and loyal even if the occasional mistake is made.
So, How Can You Improve Customer Service?
1. Start Listening to the Customer
It sounds pretty simple but you’ll be amazed how many people forget this fundamental aspect of customer service. For a customer it really makes a difference if you take the time to listen to their complaint. For anyone working in customer service it is important to listen to the whole complaint and ask what they can do to right the wrong. In most cases the customer will let you know what will improve the situation.
It’s important not to forget the power of social media in these cases. How many times have we seen the incorrect handling of a customer complaint become a trending topic across social media?
2. Apologize to the Customer
Often overlooked but one of the most important aspects of excellent customer service provision. All employees of any business no matter how big or small need to have the power to apologize on behalf of the organization and seek to remedy the situation. Simply by offering something extra, free of charge demonstrates goodwill, it shows you are trying to make it right no matter if it were a misunderstanding or not your fault.
In those cases where it is the client who steps out of line, and we all know that happens more often than it should, it doesn’t hurt to offer them something. Doing this you end the issue and prevent it from escalating.
3. Never Blame the Customer
The customer is always right, even if you don’t think they are, you must convey to them that they are. You need to listen to customer complaints and the business take responsibility for it. If everyone on your customer service team is able to solve issues before they escalate you’ll see a good return on your customer service investment.
4. Work Together Effectively
Today there is a lot of customer service software available which enables customer service teams to collaborate on customer complaints effectively. For example if a client calls with a complaint, it should be entered into the system immediately, outlining the complaint, the problem and the solution. This not only saves the customer from explaining the whole story again if they realizes it hasn’t been resolved to their satisfaction. It also enables different members of the team to be involved in complaint resolution.
5. Empathize with the Customer
Your customer service representatives need to be trained to empathize with your customers. By empathizing with the client it shows you know what they are experiencing and won’t feel misunderstood or mistreated. When empathy is shown towards a customer complaint their anger and frustration usually dissipates.
About James Clifton
GetApp (http://www.getapp.com/) is the #1 independent Cloud Apps Marketplace that helps businesses to discover, compare, review and purchase the best B2B apps. GetApp supports millions of users by providing a comprehensive directory, interactive search tools, side-by-side comparison tables, user reviews and app evaluation content and resources, to help them find the best apps that fit their needs. Follow them on Twitter at @GetApp