While community lockdowns all over the world have forever changed the retail landscape, some things never change. One of the best ways to attract and retain customers is to provide exemplary customer service. A little bit of kindness can go a long way in shoring up customer goodwill. And you can outgun the competition just by providing better support.
Customer service is criminally underrated. Start by following these practical methods for creating great experiences:
1. Invest in good tools
Kind words are free and easy to give. But if you want to know your customers better, you need to invest in the right support tools like warranty management technology. Your support team can provide better service and support if they have the means to facilitate better and faster communication with your customers.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Talking back and forth with a support agent through email is cumbersome and annoying. It’s impersonal and takes a long time to resolve an issue. One of the goals of customer support is to leave a good impression. You can’t do that through Gmail.
2. Clear and simple communication
I can’t stress enough how vital clear and straightforward communication is to excellent customer service. It’s not enough to ensure that your customer understands what you’re saying; they also need to feel good when they talk to you.
There are many ways to make your style of communication clearer. Adjustments to tone and styling go a long way in making a person feel better. For instance, using technical jargon and a passive-aggressive tone can lead to more angry customers.
One thing to keep in mind is the support agent is having a conversation with a customer. You want the communication style to reflect that. Avoid using formal corporate-style communication in support tickets. Instead, be friendly and casual. You want your customer to feel like they’re talking to a person, not a computer.
3. Stay positive
Train your team to use positive language when dealing with customers. That small change, while subtle, can lead to a dramatically different outcome. Customers are easier to deal with when you use positive language.
Let’s say one of your customers ordered a product that isn’t available. Instead of saying, “I can’t get you that item anytime soon,” you can say, “That item will be available soon” instead.
Positivity also extends to other things. Instead of dwelling on problems, focus on solutions. When the customer feels you are working towards a desirable outcome, they are less likely to be upset.
4. Always provide a solution
Even if you don’t have a solution for a particular problem, you should know how to end a conversation with the customer feeling satisfied. This is different from closing a sale. Your customer should feel like they’ve gotten everything they need from the conversation.
Unresolved issues can lead to future conflicts. Show your customer that you care about them by asking what you can do for them, even if the dispute has been resolved.
Small businesses have to find ways to stay ahead of the bigger competition, and customer service is one great way to do that. By keeping your customers engaged and happy, they are more likely to return and tell others about their good experiences.