How to Improve Your Customer Service – A Novel Idea
by Julie Weishaar
December 25, 2021
How to Improve Your Customer Service – A Novel Idea

Did you know that companies in the United States lose $62 billion a year because of poor customer service?

Today, more than ever, consumer expectations and buying experiences play a vital role in which brands they are loyal to and purchase from.

Try Talking to Them

Seems simple enough does not it? Yet how many small business owners do not actually speak with their customers directly?

How many have either an automated response system in place to address problems/issues?

Or have a staff member get in touch with a disgruntled customer?

Be Empathetic

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What would have a greater impact on your perception of a company?

Aa automated email response or a direct message from the business owner or a human support team member?

Let your customers know that their problem or issue of of concern to you. Address their problem with empathy and offer suggested resolutions.

Stand Out from the Masses

The business world today is one of competition levels beyond anywhere they have ever been and so many industries are completely saturated.

Everyone is trying to sell us on the latest, the greatest, and the best “whatever”.

All the products and services jammed down your throat daily are THE only one you should purchase.

What happens to a population of people who are bombarded daily with SO many marketing messages resulting in serious information overload?

They stop listening! Most marketing messages are not even being heard because they are falling on deaf ears!

Don’t Get Lost in the Black Hole of the World Wide Web

What can you do to prevent your brand’s message from disappearing in the black hole of messaging?

Start by paying attention to the customers you already have.

Did you know that it costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer than either upsell or get repeat business from a current one?

You need to pay careful attention to your customer service status to ensure that your customers are happy.

Happy customers become repeat customers, and that they refer your company to others.

This is part of your reputation management. Keep them happy and they will come back again.

You need to be a little different, a lot more compelling, and need to have an edge over your competitors. How can you do that?

Still Not Convinced that Customer Service is Important?

Customer service

The customer service landscape has dramatically shifted in the last several years. Savvy business owners are deploying cloud-based contact centers that package communications to focus on scalable customer experiences.

With social media, higher consumer expectations, customer expectations, and AI-powered customer support systems, it is more vital than ever that brands go above and beyond to provide stellar customer service.

  • Over 50% of Americans will stop a purchase during the buyer journey because of bad customer service
  • 74% of consumers are likely to switch brands if the purchasing process is difficult
  • 66% of adults cite valuing their time as the most important way a company can provide them with an excellent online customer experience
  • B2B decision-makers say that slow supplier interactions is twice as important as price
  • 77% of customers will recommend a company to a friend if they experience a positive experience
  • Customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are often higher than other support channels because of the speed of interaction
  • Millennials prefer chat over email or phone for preferred support channel

Many customer service skills can be taught and refined with practice.

Below are other tips to help you provide superior customer support and gain loyal customers.

Practice Active Listening

Active listening skills go a long way in both business and personal relationships.

Approach each conversation with the intent of learning what the person you are speaking to wants or needs.

Don’t spend your time thinking about what you are going to say in return because then you aren’t really listening.

Ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what the other person is saying.

At the end of the conversation, summarize what you have learned to make sure you are both on the same page.

Be Positive and Professional

When dealing with customers’ problems, try to minimize the stress of the situation by using positive language.

Words have meaning, are powerful, and can help build trust with your customers. Be sure you are authentic and maintain your cool even if the customer is angry.

Communicate Clearly

Effective communication skills are essential for customer service. Be clear, concise, and detailed in your responses.
Customers want resolution, not necessarily all the details.

Use your active listening skills to ascertain what each consumer wants and needs.

Respect their time and do not ramble on if you do not know the answer to a question.

There is nothing wrong with explaining that you want to verify with another team member or an escalated support staff.

Customers would prefer not to have their time wasted listening to excuses.

It is better to clearly explain exactly who you are going to speak with to solve their problem quickly.

Also, let them know when you expect to get back with the resolution.

If you are speaking on a live chat messenger system, if possible, do not leave customers waiting too long.

Remember Who Your Audience Is

You don’t communicate the same way to other businesses as you would to consumers.

And, if your customers are industrial businesses, your marketing is even more complex.

Check out this infographic to learn more about industrial marketing.

what is industrial marketing

Image source

Think Outside of the Box

You must start by thinking outside of the box. Thinks of ways to make YOUR brand message and YOUR customer service stand out.

Here is an idea for you. As you know, video is HUGE and is the most effective marketing tool.

What about creating video FAQ’s for your customers to make it easier for them to find solutions to their problems?

Does this mean you do not have to talk to them? NO! But creating an easier customer experience will result in happier customers.

Updated 12/25/21 – Originally published 6/28/20.

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2 Comments

  1. Susan Oakes

    Hi Julie,
    I like the idea regarding video for customer service. One question for you is how long would it take to do and the cost for a company to use this approach vesus an email.
    Also I saw another study this week that said the number 1 issue for small businesses was still to attract customers. I do begin to wonder when they will realise that to nuture the relationship with current customers can bring in new customers.

    Reply
  2. Julie Weishaar

    Hi Susan. There are many ways to do a video email so the answer to your question is – it depends. 🙂 I have seen people who simply use a webcam to record a message and send it that way. I am not sure how that works as I don’t do it.

    I always look at any study from a skeptical perspective. Studies can be so biased if not done correctly with a control group and assurance that the results are statistically significant (I have this vague memory of my statistics courses from college). But with that said, I do agree with you that small businesses really need to realize how important their current customers are and to focus much of their energies on this powerful source of new business.

    Thanks for your comments 🙂

    Reply

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