Ways to Improve Customer Service in 2018

By: Rebecca Clark

We’re almost halfway into 2018, and businesses across the world are checking in to see if they’ve been meeting their goals for the new year.

Building, expanding, increasing profit…these are all great goals to work towards in 2018, but there’s something important you may have forgotten about: your customers.

Without the people who purchase your products or services, you would have no business. That’s why it’s critical to have a dedicated team of customer support staff to ensure your company is meeting your customers’ expectations. Whether it be answering questions, providing insight, or working through an issue, it’s imperative your customer service team knows who to respond to and how to interact with customers.

Here are five ways to take your customer service to the next level this year:

  • Meet your customers where they are. Elderly folks looking for a retirement home probably aren’t going to hop on Snapchat to get in contact with potential places—they’re going to comb through Google search results for a phone number. A millennial looking for artwork to hang in their new Brooklyn apartment isn’t going to scour LinkedIn; they’re going to check out Instagram. Know your business, your customers, and what platform(s) they use most frequently.
  • Get accessible. 2016 marked the first year mobile internet usage overtook computer internet usage. As smartphones continue to become more and more ubiquitous, it’s critical that you have mobile-friendly ways to get in touch with your customers. Consider a business texting app like TextRequest, or a chat software like Chatbox. You can also utilize bots from providers such as Flow XO to automatically reply to simple questions on your website or Facebook page. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Be human. Bots are a great tool to assist with your customer service strategy, but shouldn’t be the sole focus. For as much as we rely on technology, people crave meaningful, intentional, one-on-one conversations. Inject humanity into your bots where you can, but make sure your company is prioritizing human-to-human customer service. If possible, it’s not a bad idea to hire someone solely to interact with customers online and over the phone. Your customers are intelligent—they can tell when your communication with them follows a formula or template. Be personable, and most importantly, customize your conversation to that specific customer and their needs.
  • Carve out time. Consistency is key when it comes to communicating with your customers. Promptly replying to Facebook messages puts a badge on your company’s page indicating that you’re very responsive, encouraging current or prospective customers to shoot you a message. Dedicate a chunk of your day to answering emails, interacting with folks on social media, and continuing to develop customer-centric business strategies.
  • Establish authority. You should be an expert in whatever goods you sell or services your provide; that’s a given. What’s not necessarily a given is that you should prove it. Attend and/or present at workshops, seminars, or conferences. Write a blog or submit articles to other websites/blogs. Display your credentials and/or your employees’ expertise on your website. Whether it be giving input on what kinds of windows can withstand certain climate conditions or simply answering a question about what time your window shop opens, the goal of customer service is to provide your customers with knowledge they didn’t know before they came to you.

There you have it—five simple ways to step up your customer service expertise. By providing a team of accessible, knowledgeable folks dedicated to building and fostering relationships with current and potential customers, you can increase your company’s return on investment and earn the reputation of a trustworthy business.

The post Ways to Improve Customer Service in 2018 appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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