Quality customer service plays a huge role in a customer’s loyalty to your brand. If their experience is positive, they are more likely to return. For that reason, a business's customer service must be top tier.
How can you ensure that your customers have a memorable experience with your brand?
We asked 13 thought leaders to share how businesses can improve their customer service and brand experience.
Engage on Social Media
It can feel hard to interact with clients in the virtual environment; engaging with your clients on social media can help them feel like they haven't lost touch. Commenting back to them, resharing their content on your profile, or posting about featured clients can improve their customer experience with your company.
-Liz Riggleman, Arrow Lift
Respond in a Timely Manner
Know and improve your average response time. 90% of customers want an immediate response and 60% of customers define "immediate" as 10 minutes or less.
Fast response times make your customers feel appreciated and provide a sense of instant gratification. Plus, they set you apart from your competition! Only 7% of companies respond within five minutes of form submission. Take the opportunity to be better and outshine your competition with lightning-fast customer service.
-Jayson DeMers, EmailAnalytics
Reward Your Loyal Customers
Reward your loyal customers. Be creative with the loyalty programs you run and the incentives you offer. Discounts and coupons are great but go above and beyond to reward the customers that keep coming back.
-Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case
Babysit Them as They Experience Your Product
This is not as literal as it sounds. Be sure to guide them and check on them especially if they are first-time customers. Doing so can make them feel that you care for them and that you are not just after their money. It is better that your customers feel how much you care for them and how much you value their comments and suggestions in improving your product.
-Willie Greer, The Product Analyst
Have One Person Dedicated to Customer Service
Small businesses are sometimes short-staffed or juggling many tasks at once. However, customer service is a crucial aspect of your business that cannot afford to be put on the backburner. Customers will gauge their experience largely on customer service, so small businesses must make it a point to have a person dedicated specifically to customer service. That person should greet customers, handle any grievances, and answer all customer calls. Customers need to feel heard, respected, and cared for if you want them to return to your business.
-Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Know Your Product or Service
In our recent LinkedIn poll, we asked, “What’s your biggest Customer Service complaint?” The poll showed 43% said, “Not being more knowledgeable about your product.” Job knowledge is one of the, if not the top traits of customer service. Customers get extremely frustrated with staff and employees who aren’t knowledgeable.
Job knowledge is critical for in-person, on the phone, and virtual customer service. The answer “I don’t know” should not be allowed (because one can always find out). The best answer is “Good question, let me find out for you.” This tells the customer you have some common sense and will soon have the answer for them, even if you need to return the call.
-Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor
Anticipate customer needs before they arise. Create a resource center on your website that addresses common customer questions and pain points in a detailed manner. Label this repository of information as an “online customer help desk” to let customers know they can turn here for assistance.
-Chris Dunkin, Portable Air
Customer Service Mirrors
With so many businesses going and staying digital, it is crucial to find a way to be personable with your customers. It is so easy to come across as very monotone over the phone or to sound impersonal through written messages. To remind my team members of this, my customer service reps use mirrors when speaking over the phone. I'm not kidding, if you saw my team, each member would have a great, big round mirror taped to their monitor so they can look at themselves when they're talking on the phone and remember to smile. When you watch yourself speaking, you quickly catch if you are moping around or if you are smiling and engaging.
-Jay Fraga, Lendio
Don’t Just Tell, Show
Whenever we get a query from a customer about how to do something specific, we try to write a detailed paragraph on how the customer can achieve that in clearly written steps. Sometimes, we even go to the extent that we log into their website, fix the issue for them, and record a video for the whole thing (after gaining their permission first, of course).
We've seen that our customers are extremely pleased with this gesture and come back to us with more business because they understand that we care for them.
-Ram Shengale, Fantastech Solutions
Audit the Customer’s Journey
This is fairly straightforward in a virtual environment. The focus here is on removing friction. As you navigate the screens as a customer would take note of the things that would discourage them from continuing. Perhaps it takes too many clicks or forms that require too much information. What inconsistencies do you see? What do you find confusing or irritating? Address these issues first. These are your starting points for improving customer experience and driving business growth.
-Christopher K. Lee, PurposeRedeemed
Hire Great People
In order to have great customer service, you need to hire great people who truly care about your clients. Oftentimes, companies try to automate this process with chatbots or other tools, but customers want to feel like there is a real person behind the scenes who is dedicated to fixing their problems. When recruiting customer service professionals, be sure you are hiring engaged individuals who have exceptional communication skills and truly believe in your products and services. It will make all the difference!
-Nikitha Lokaredddy, Markitors
Integration of CRO Tools on Main Pages of Your Website
Conversion Rate Optimization tools will ultimately help you to identify the engagement from clicks to the overall journey on a single page. They will also help in identifying the gaps and the areas where your visitors are interacting more. The tools that we are using on our pages to monitor activities of visitors that help us to take necessary actions include WisePops and Hotjar.
-Syed Usman Hashmi, PureVPN
Schedule Accidental Check-Ins From The CEO
Schedule “accidental check-ins” with customers. An accidental check-in is unexpected for the customer but scheduled and planned for the executive. This is intended to keep the conversation casual, just like a friend phoning a friend because they were “thinking about them.” Because protecting a customer base is critical, a simple check-in phone call from the CEO goes a long way in strengthening the relationship. And, if things aren’t going smoothly, the call is an opportunity to correct any issues that may exist.
-Brett Farmiloe, Markitors