Customers’ perceptions can make or break your business. Deliver quality experiences and products, and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media; mess it up, and they’ll tell the world even faster. Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience.”Compared with large companies, small businesses are nimble and often better able to see, anticipate, and respond to their customers’ needs,” DeHetre said. “The most successful small businesses exploit this advantage by bringing new and innovative products and services to market more quickly and developing and nurturing long-term customer relationships.”
“Diversify your offerings so you can best cater to the customers’ changing tastes,” Tanjeloff said. “Remember, you are here to serve the customer – it’s why you are open for business.”While engaging with your audience is crucial, personalizing the experience can boost and strengthen that relationship.
What is customer service?
Customer service is the act of providing support to both prospective and existing customers. Customer service professionals commonly answer customer questions through in-person, phone, email, chat, and social media interactions and may also be responsible for creating documentation for self-service support.Organizations can also create their own definitions of customer service depending on their vaues and the type of support they want to provide. For example, at Help Scout, we define customer service as the act of providing timely, empathetic help that keeps customers’ needs at the forefront of every interaction.
Why is customer service important?
When 86% of customers quit doing business with a company due to a bad experience, it means that businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to acquire, retain, or up-sell.Good customer service is a revenue generator. It gives customers a complete, cohesive experience that aligns with an organization’s purpose.According to a variety of studies, U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service, and seven out of 10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.Understanding that customer service is the cornerstone of your customer experience helps you leverage it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in new, exciting ways.
What are the principles of good customer service?
There are four key principles of good customer service: It’s personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive. These factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience.
Personalized: Good customer service always starts with a human touch. Personalized interactions greatly improve customer service and let customers know that your company cares about them and their problems. Instead of thinking of service as a cost, consider it an opportunity to earn your customer’s business all over again.
Competent: Consumers have identified competency as the element that plays the biggest role in a good customer experience. To be competent, a customer support professional must have a strong knowledge of the company and its products, as well as the power to fix the customer’s problems. The more knowledge they have, the more competent they become.
Convenient: Customers want to be able to get in touch with a customer service representative through whichever channel is the most convenient for them. Offer support through the channels of communication your customers rely on most, and make it easy for customers to figure out how to contact you.
Proactive: Customers want companies to be proactive in reaching out to them. If one of your products is backordered or your website is going to experience downtime, proactively reach out to your customers and explain the problem. They may not be happy about the situation, but they will be thankful that you kept them in the loop.
By building your customer service strategy around these four main principles, you’ll create a positive, hassle-free customer experience for everyone who deals with your company.