10 Ways to Improve Customer Service
Here at Prudential Overall Supply, we understand just how much the quality of a business’s customer service can impact its relationship with its clients. In order to help other businesses improve their customer service, we’ve put together a list of 10 ways to improve serving customers.
- Define Your Organization’s Customer Service Philosophy – The first step businesses need to take to provide the best possible customer service is to define what “the best possible customer service” means. When every member of the staff who interacts with customers knows exactly what the company expects from them, it is much easier for employees to perform to the company’s expectations, and for the company to identify good and bad examples of customer service interactions to use as reference.
- Know What Your Customers Want – At its most basic, customer service is the art of giving customers what they want. To do that, businesses need to know what it is their customers are looking for. The easiest way to get this information is to ask. Have customer service personnel engage customers in short conversations about whether they feel satisfied with the service they’re being provided, or send out questionnaires asking customers to provide crucial feedback.
- Talk to Employees – Next to the customers themselves, employees are the number one source of information on what customers want and expect. Put the knowledge employees have about your customers to use.
- Look at Things Like a Customer – It can be hard for managers and business owners to appreciate what dealing with their company looks like from the outside, and what may seem like the best system internally can create new obstacles that drive customers away. Pay attention to how customers react to the different steps of interacting with the company, and use that perspective to find the solutions that work best for employees and customers.
- Don’t be Afraid to Hire New Customer Service Reps – Experience in customer service is something that most employers look for when filling staff positions, but focusing exclusively on hiring veterans can damage a company’s ability to provide customer service. New blood brings new (and sometimes better) perspectives, and fresh employees are less likely to experience burnout or apathy than staff members who have spent years becoming calloused to customer complaints.
- Set Goals and Reward Success – The best way to motivate employees to improve customer service is to establish clear goals for them to meet, and then reward them when they do. This gives staff a clear picture of what it is that they are supposed to be accomplishing, and gives them extra incentive to do so.
- Stick to Your Principles – Rewards and incentives can be a great motivator, but they also need to be combined with the knowledge that customer service is the number one priority for the business, and that everything else is secondary. Don’t let bad influences or common mistakes go uncorrected – the sooner they are dealt with, the less they will harm the business’s reputation.
- Use Customer Service to Drive Sales – Providing good customer service doesn’t just keep customers happy with their existing orders; it can also inspire them to purchase more. Use your company’s good reputation with customers as a selling point.
- Collect Data on Your Customers – Data collection can be an intrusive process that drives customers away, but it doesn’t have to be. Just collecting simple information – name, address, email and/or phone number – can keep the company in touch with the customers, as well as provide important info on who your customer base is, allowing you to target them more accurately.
- Keep Communicating – Customer service is an ongoing project, which means that improving it can’t be done with just a single meeting or policy change. Keep following the steps above and communicating with customers and employees alike, as often as possible, in order to find ways to improve.