4 Tips to Improve Customer Service

Lauren Follett's picture
Rockstar
Lauren Follett
Rockstar
Lauren Follett wrote:

Many companies don’t give enough of their time and money to customer service, which I think is a huge mistake. In my opinion, good customer service is one of the major deciding factors when it comes to a purchase decision, and customer loyalty.

Considering the popularity of social media and the amount of blogs, micro-blogs & forums that are out there, bad news about your company can spread like wildfire. That being said, the same is true about positive reviews.

If you want to be on the positive side of those reviews, here are 4 tips from Danny Brown to improve your customer service:

1. Listen
The key to great customer service is knowing what your customers are thinking and offering solutions where needed. Costco does this very well. Their stores supply feedback forms where you can suggest products that you’d like to see in the store, like organic meat for example. This shows that they care what their customers want. The best part is that they listen! If enough people request a specific product they start selling it.

2. Involve
Make sure you have ways for your customers to interact with you: - A contact form on your website - A suggestion link on your company newsletter - An option for live chat on your website Including things like this will allow you to figure out what your customers are thinking. This is so important otherwise how are you going to know what they want? Without this information you’re missing out on a goldmine of information, and potential revenue.

3. Satisfy
Great customer service means great customer satisfaction. This in turn leads to customer loyalty. Keeping existing clients is easier than getting new ones. Seems simple enough right? The sad thing is that many companies still don’t get this concept. Here are two customer experiences I’ve had that left me with two very different feelings:

Positive Experience: when I got married I decided to give my bridesmaids Tiffany’s bracelets as a thank you for being in my wedding. About a year later one of the girls’ bracelets broke. I called Tiffany’s and explained what happened. I didn’t have a receipt, and they couldn’t find a record of the purchase in their system. No questions asked; they replaced the bracelet free of charge. Now, when it comes to buying special gifts for family & friends I go to Tiffany’s vs. their competitors.

Negative Experience: I recently ordered some dining chairs from Restoration Hardware, and when the arrived 5 out of 8 chairs were broken. When I called to explain the situation they didn’t have any chairs left so my only option was a refund. They told me to put my chairs at the end of my driveway (luckily I kept the giant boxes), and UPS would pick them up the next day. 4 days went by, and nobody came. We had to bring the chairs to the end of my driveway & back to the house 3 times. Our driveway is almost a mile long, and it was pouring rain one of the days. I called & explained my frustration to the customer service rep, and she didn’t really do anything. She just told me to be patient, and bring the chairs back out on Monday morning. I was left with a negative experience, and I don’t want to order anything from the company again. The quality of a company’s customer service has a direct affect on their reputation. When you’re thinking about how to improve your customer service, think about how you want to be perceived.

4. Use the Valuable Information
One of the most important things about good customer service is that you’re collecting information about your customers. This is great, but make sure you use that information in other areas of the company:

- Does sales need information about the right description of a product?
- Does marketing need to adjust their terminology?
- Does legal need to put disclaimers on your products?

Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone, and you can’t control what people are going to say about you. The only thing you can control is your reaction to a situation, and that is what you’ll be judged on – make sure your response is the right one.

Do you have any positive or negative customer service experiences that you’d like to share?

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Resource Reference 
Customer Experience Management Assessment

Use this tool to analyze customer experience management (CEM) maturity in your organization.