A common misperception exists that providing top-notch customer service will cost you a fortune. This is simply not the case. In fact, providing better customer service will not only lower your rates, but it will also reduce the cost to serve each customer. Here are some ways to step your game up without breaking the bank, adding stress or working overtime.
1. Commitment to Excellence From the Top Down
Your customer service reflects the company’s brand and values. Set standards on how quickly customer service should respond to phone calls, e-mails and social media posts. If there are customer issues, there should be clear guidelines about conflict resolution, but, at the same time, you need to give your employees the freedom and resources to handle customer disputes themselves. So try not to be too rigid.
2. Handle Customer Inquiries Yourself Personally
No matter how busy you get, try to find time to answer a few customer calls or e-mails personally. Nothing tells a customer that a company cares about them like having the CEO of the company handling their issue or request. Also, if you decide to handle customer inquiries yourself, you will be in pretty good company. CEO’s such as Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs famously answered customer personally and directly.
3. Maximize Efficiency With a Quality CRM System
Even though the customer service process starts when you first make contact with the prospect, managing lots of customers as they move through various stages of the sales pipeline can get very complicated. This is when your CRM system will play a crucial role. Programs such as Hubspot and Infusion will help you keep track of prospect details, follow up with them and provide prospects with a more personalized experience. A top-notch CRM system should give you a 360 degree view of the customer or prospect, meaning that you should be able to see these customers/prospects from every angle.
4. Analyze Your Touchpoints
Anytime prospects or customers come into contact with your business, this is called a touchpoint. This could be noticing your advertisement on a billboard along the highway or opening an e-mail from you. Your customer service department is one of the most critical touchpoints. Once prospects become your customers, they will contact your business through the customer service representatives. Try to make this touchpoint as personal as possible. Customers want to feel that they have access to people, not robots. A big part of this is simply being available. If your customer service hours are from 9-5, that’s not going to cut it. If you feel that you cannot afford to have service representatives available beyond regular business hours, outsourcing your customer service to companies overseas may be a good solution for you. It’s easy, reliable and affordable.
5. Make Your Website is User-Friendly
Nowadays, people surf the web via smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website is designed for easy use on tablets and smartphones. While this may sound obvious, there are lots of companies out there with outdated websites that take forever to load and don’t navigate properly across all devices. According to Google, if your website does not load within 3 seconds, customers are more likely to leave. If customers feel that your website is not easy to use they are five times more likely to leave. So make sure to streamline your checkout pages, show some personality on your thank you pages and making autoresponders more helpful.