Whether you cater to individuals, groups, or other businesses, customer service practices can make or break your business. 73% of customers have spent more with a company because it has a great customer service track record. No matter how great your customer service is, there are always ways to improve your service and wow your customers. Here are 4 customer service trends to implement now to make 2013 the year your customers become brand advocates.
Your customers might not come to you directly if they’re unhappy, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t talking about your company. Social media is the best way to keep in touch with what your customers are thinking about your product- whether they love it or hate it, chances are they’ll say something about it on Facebook or Twitter. Whether you implement social infrastructure from Gigya or use a social CRM, thinking socially can help your company leverage customer loyalty and tap into the benefits of building your social media presence.
Another method for increasing customer satisfaction is building an online community around your brand. Community building platforms like Joomla!, Drupal, and DotNetNuke can help you create a space where your customers work with you and with each other to solve problems and share ideas.
No matter what your role in a company is, it’s important to keep your customers in mind. Last month at AWS re:invent, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos talked about Amazon’s practice of having high level execs take periodic customer service training sessions. He shared an anecdote about the experience that showed just how valuable it is for your customer service reps to be in communication with the rest of your team:
as soon as we pulled up [the customer’s] order, the experienced customer service agent leaned over to me and whispered in my ear and said, “She’s gonna want to return that table.” She had purchased a piece of furniture- a table. And I was talking to the customer and she said “I need to return this table.” And it turned out that the top of the table was scratched- it was packaged poorly. So we finished up and we handled the return and got all that done, and I said to the agent, “How did you know that the customer was gonna return the table?” He said “Oh that table always gets returned.”…it means that there’s no communication flowing from these people who are talking to the customers every day back to the fulfillment centers.
Making sure that your entire team is on the same page when it comes to knowing how to address complaints and other issues can help you catch and solve problems quickly and efficiently. Looking for ways to spice up your help desk services? Continuum’s Daniel Sobol and Toby Bottorf recently discussed the benefits of applying improv training to your customer service team – with benefits from reinventing brand personality to helping customer service reps deal with tricky calls.
Although the tech world’s current motto is “always be shipping,” security is still a sector where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One of the biggest issues on the minds of consumers is security; they want to make sure their data is protected. Make sure that you don’t disappoint them- having to tell your clients that your database was hacked and their information was compromised is a sure-fire way to lose business. Whether you run a large enterprise or a small business, you’re guaranteed to have happier customers if they don’t have to worry about their data being stolen or sold. If you want to learn more about how you can secure your business, check out resources from companies like SCORE and Cisco, who offer articles, tutorials and webinars on securing your site.
There are tons of great ways to automate your customer service processes that can help you streamline your customer service processes. But even with all the latest tools on your side, the best way to win over your customers is to give their service a personal touch; Forbes published best practices from CEOs that included handwriting thank you notes. Don’t have time for that? Customer service software solutions can automate repetitive tasks and help your customer support team spend more time talking to customers and less time sorting through tickets. Investing in a great help desk software like FreshDesk or ZenDesk can help you find a happy medium between streamlined efficiency and personalized service.
Want more customer service tips and tricks? Check out our comprehensive resources on customer service software implementation, best practice advice and product reviews in the customer service resource center.