February 21, 2020 By SmartBiz Team

One of the most important facets contributing to a business's success is its customer service. Having great customer service helps you compete with other companies in the same market. It also encourages your customers to keep coming back for more of your product or service. On the other hand, repeated reports of bad customer service could be your business's downfall. Here are seven must-read tips to improve customer experiences.

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1. Provide Personalization to Your Customer

When a customer interacts with a company, they want their experience to be good from beginning to end. From browsing a business's website to placing an order to interacting with a professional in a physical store location, every step should be positive. Any type of interaction with the brand should be an excellent one so the customer remembers it. One way to help customers remember your business is with personalization. When a company takes the extra time to give someone individualized attention, that customer feels valued and special.

A simple way to show personalization is by using your customers' names. Customer service professionals should always use a customer's name when speaking with them on the phone. Appreciation emails are another personalization tactic many businesses use. These emails should specify exactly why you're showing your customer appreciation, and they should include the customer's name throughout the message. For instance, it can be for making a purchase or for getting continued service for a certain number of years.

You could also send your customers a voucher for a free product or service on their birthday or an anniversary. Providing recommendations to your customers based on information you already know about them is a great way of showing personalization, as well.

2. Improve Your Customer Support Line

One of the most common ways a customer contacts a business is on the phone. If a customer has a bad call center experience, they might never return to that company or use its services again. Through word of mouth, they could tell others about their bad experience, costing you further loss of business. Not only will your customers be left unsatisfied, but the employee who was in contact with the disgruntled customer could lose morale, as well.

Therefore, you have to find a balance between making sure the employees on your staff who are dealing with your customers are happy as well as ensuring that the customers are satisfied.

A business should segment its customers using analytical tools, interactive voice response (IVR), and call routing data. Then the company should focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance metrics. Businesses should also develop an omnichannel customer experience platform to assist customer service agents with their customer interactions and productivity.

3. Develop an Omnichannel Support System

An omnichannel platform allows your customers to contact the company through multiple channels. This means a customer could choose to reach out to your company via its website one day and on the phone the next. No matter how a customer chooses to contact your company, make sure you store the information from all their contact in a centralized customer support platform.

This enables your team to provide even better customer service, as they can quickly and easily access an in-depth history of a customer's interaction with the company.
In addition to customer support, the platform will allow a small business to improve their marketing. Whomever is responsible for marketing can get a holistic view of customers that can help them improve their customer-centric strategies.

4. Help Customers Do It Themselves With Self-Service

According to a recent survey, 45% of companies offering web or mobile self-service reported an increase in site traffic and a reduction in phone inquiries. Customers want to be able to come to your company's website and do a quick search to find the solution to their problems or answers to their questions. You can help them by providing helpful and topic-based resources, books, forums, FAQs, videos, manuals, and more. This eliminates the need for customers to call your customer service agents if they can assist themselves.

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5. Provide Live Chat Support on Your Company's Website

Customers like to get support from agents quickly. One way to help them do this is by providing a live chat support option on your website. Through live chat, customers can easily contact your company for answers to their questions. Another bonus to having live chat is that it allows customers to quickly get the help they need on-the-go through their mobile devices. This support option helps, your employees too, as they can help customers more effectively by viewing their past chat history, previous purchases, and other personal information.

6. Engage With Customers Through Social Media

Practically everyone is on social media these days, including businesses. This is why it is important for your business to have a robust social media presence. When customers visit your social media pages, they should find useful and interesting information about your company. When you have a social media presence, you also need to monitor it constantly — sometimes 24 hours a day. You need to be able to see what customers are asking or saying about your company so you can respond in a timely manner.

If a customer is making complaints about your company, you need to be able to address it immediately. You do not want other customers or even potential customers to see complaints or issues being ignored, as it could cost you business. You should respond to inquiries relating to your company quickly, as well, since they could be from potential customers. If you respond too slowly, those individuals could decide to do business with your competitors, instead.

7. Collect Customer Feedback and Act on It

An easy way to identify what is working in your customer service is to collect feedback directly from your customers. By asking your customers how they felt about any services or products they received, you are showing an interest in their opinion and that you care what they think.

Collecting feedback is great for small businesses because for your business to grow, you need to know what makes your current customers happy. You can take the features and services you know they like and market those toward your potential customers. Once you review the data you've collected, you can implement customer-feedback-based changes to your company and services.

The experiences your customers have when dealing with your company can make or break it. If customers are not happy with the service they've received, they most likely will not do business with you again. The customer service experience should be of major importance to your company. You should always be looking for new ways to improve your service.

Make customers feel special by personalizing your interactions with them. Provide them with multiple ways of getting support, such as through live chat, phone, self-service help, and social media. By offering multiple channels of support, you allow your customers to choose which method will benefit them best. You can also help your team provide outstanding service by using an omnichannel platform. Finally, make sure to collect customer feedback data so you can continuously evaluate your business and make changes your customers will enjoy and appreciate.

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