Customer service is an integral part of almost every company. Unless you have a monopoly on your product or service, part of what makes customers return is their experience with front-facing teams. Technical issues, sales pitches, and product returns are all opportunities to make clients happy.
But does it really make a difference? It can if you invest in customer service in the right ways.
Investing in Customer Service
There are a growing number of ways in which you can put more emphasis on customer service and get back what you put in. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these options:
Hire More Help
The most obvious investment when attempting to galvanize customer service is simply in number of employees. Adding even one person to a troubleshooting queue drastically improves wait times and resolved cases.
Get to Know Your Customers
Your clients will have different needs depending on your industry. A younger clientele will likely prefer online services. A small, locally-owned business might need to upgrade its technology, both registers and registries. Whatever your business, there is a key demographic, and focusing your customer service investment there makes sense.
Develop Feedback Surveys
Optimizing features like feedback surveys or support forms makes it more likely that customers will feel their voices are being heard instead of silently leaving (and taking their business with them).
Respond to Customer Reviews
Reviews are great places to focus your attention. By actively responding to reviews (both positive and negative) online, you’ll be reminding clients that not only is your company full of real people who are trying their best to deliver great experiences, you are actively willing to make things right.
Train Your Employees
Of course, you should already offer a comprehensive training program for your customer service employees. But is it enough? If there are regular complaints that cashiers are slow on a new system, young workers use too much informal language, or calls are dropped due to error, it’s time to address it. Simply giving your people enough time to fully learn and understand processes can save a lot of headaches and wasted time in the long run.
Additionally, it’s not great customer service to be bounced around from department to department because the problem can’t be traced to any one department’s jurisdiction. So don’t be afraid to have company wide training or multi-department training.
This is a great way to ensure every employee understands what customers need, giving your customer service a boost by helping each department understand the basic duties of other departments so transfers are smooth and easy.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Attempting to give your customers the best possible experience is always a priority, but there’s a tipping point. “The customer is always right,” right? Well, sometimes. Going above and beyond should be easy and rewarding for your employees, but at the end of the day, promoting customer service can’t mean hurting the business itself by overpromising.
Find a middle ground by giving employees a thorough understanding of company policy, and if need be, apologizing to your client for a negative experience. A customer having a bad experience might just mean that they don’t understand they understand why something was handled the way it was—and it might mean that company policy should be adjusted. Remember, “the customer is always right” doesn’t mean your company is always wrong, but negative feedback is an opportunity to improve.
So, What Will the ROI Be?
The ROI on customer service for your business will depend on a lot of factors, and that makes it difficult to express in a clean percentage. Happy customers tend to share their experiences with an average of nine other people. Unhappy customers will voice their displeasure to an average of sixteen. It’s much easier to upsell to a recurring client than it is to recruit someone with no connection to the company. On top of that, customers who prefer premier customer service are willing to pay a little more for the experience. This collection of small differences can add up to something huge for your business.
The MSR Group is your resource for finding ways to improve customer experience. Learn more about APECS and measure customer satisfaction to find the places where you can earn the greatest return on investment today!