by Angela Delaney

5 ways to deliver the best customer service

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important success metrics in any business. Happy customers are loyal customers, and happy customers are more likely to tell other people about the great service they’ve received and recommend your brand.

If you’re reading this blog post, you might be thinking about what you can do to provide the very best service for your customers. Over the course of this article, we’ll share some of our top tips on how you can deliver great customer service.

1. Proactively obtain customer feedback

Waiting for someone to tell you they’ve had good or bad customer experience isn’t good enough. You need to ensure you are proactively obtaining feedback about your customer service experience, otherwise you could never find out what is causing problems for your customers. In fact, 96% of unhappy customer will not complain to you, but they will complain to at least 15 people in their networks, according to research by trackur.

Commission customer service surveys using tools like SurveyMonkey. They offer a range of survey templates that allow you to collect feedback from your customers, so you can better understand their needs and requirements.

2. Take on board customer feedback

Collecting customer feedback is one thing, but actually taking on board what your customers are saying, and acting upon it are two entirely different matters. It can be difficult to accept feedback from customers, especially when it is critical, but it is crucial you approach customer feedback as an opportunity for you to further understand the way your organisation works.

If you don’t actually use customer feedback in a constructive manner, and simply ignore it, the problems your customers are facing won’t get any better.

3. Respond on their terms, promptly

Social media is the present and future of customer service, with a staggering 67% of consumers using social networks for customer service enquiries, according to research by JD power. And when using social media to contact companies for this reason, research by social media guru Jay Baer found that 42% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes.

One of the worst things you can do is ignore social media complaints, as research from conversocial shows 45% of customers would be angry and 27.1% would stop doing business with your company completely.

While social media has become a key area for complaints, other approaches shouldn’t be overlooked. This includes email, telephone and direct mail. Whichever way your customers decide to get in touch with you make sure they can access your details readily, ensure you communicate clearly and respond promptly.

4. Mind your manners

It is often the simple things in life that give you the most pleasure, and manners are no exception. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer perceives they are being treated, according to research by McKinsey and company.

The solution is quite simple, treat your customer with courtesy and respect, and give them a memorable experience with your organisation - for all of the right reasons.

5. Care for your customers

See, Think, Do and Care is one of the latest frameworks used by marketers to ensure digital tactics are targeted at the right individuals. In this particular instance, ‘care’ is the area you should pay attention to. While the other three areas relate to customer acquisition, ‘care’ concerns customer retention. Once a prospect has become a customer, and they have made their purchase, more than often efforts to ‘wow’ them cease.

Building a healthy database of customers you have retained is key to ensuring your business delivers great customer service. In fact, research from econsultancy shows that 70% of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can re-engage with your existing customer base:

  • Add value to customer purchases - Just sold the latest CRM software? Or some technology that is specific and tricky to use? Pre-prepared content like a quick-start or tips guide goes a long way to convince your customers you’re a reliable and trustworthy brand
  • Existing customer perks - Send your customers and clients exclusive discounts to be used on future purchases. Alternatively, hold a webinar or an event to help them get the best value out of their purchase

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint

It is challenging to completely change your organisation’s customer service practices overnight. So while these tips are useful for improving customer service, you shouldn’t expect changes to happen straight away. Start as soon as you can, be patient and eventually you will start to see the benefits of all of your changes.

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