Meet the NOW Customer in the moment with Simplr

26 Solutions for Radically Improving Your Customer Service

This is our little A-Z on how to improve your customer service in 2021. In the world of the NOW Customer, we suggest you don’t leave anything out. Hopefully these alphabetical customer service tips will help you make better customer relationships!

First point to address: the threat of customer neglect has never been more real. Customers do not want to deal with companies that offer poor customer service. And they no longer have to.

Recent customer service statistics show that great customer service has now overtaken both product and price as the key brand differentiator.

For customers to stay loyal to a brand and businesses to win new customers, companies need to invest in customer experience (CX). 

If you have a few minutes of time and want to know what are the 26 most important things in customer service, we are proud to present The A-Z of Improving Customer Service:

How can customer service be improved? Here are 26 Ideas for improving CX from A-Z:

Anticipation

The customer loves it when you are one step ahead. But don’t get the idea you need to be pushy. Use all the customer data, CRM software, and customer service skills you can to gently coax shoppers into expanding their horizons. Anticipate when it’s going to be busy and ensure you have enough staff to handle the demand. Always be forward-looking and plan for every customer service eventuality. (It can be particularly difficult for traditional contact center models to anticipate volume and staffing. Simplr and NOX CX take the headache and guesswork out of forecasting).

Brand

Always be true to your brand. Act in a consistent way so that every customer interaction delivers on your promise. Use your brand to differentiate your service and create special experiences that no one else can offer. Remember, your brand is always there to guide your decisions, fall back on it whenever you have a choice to make.

Customer experiences (What is Excellent Customer Service?)

“Most companies must realize that they are no longer competing against the brand that sells similar products. Instead, they’re competing with every other experience a customer has.” Dan Gingiss. The stakes could not be higher for the customer experience. If you are not creating one at every touchpoint, why are you even here? That’s what excellent customer service is!

Discounts

Customers love nothing more than saving money. Discounts are always a great incentive to get people to part with their money and buy from you. According to Shopify’s own research, merchants that offer an active discount code are eight times more likely to make a sale. Discounts are also a powerful tool in your arsenal to make a customer feel appreciated, heard, and valued. 

Empathy

The best customer service is all about seeing eye-to-eye with the customer. Customers want to feel understood and will return again and again if they feel like they’ve been heard. Customer service agents who are familiar with a caller’s issue are the best first step to solving it and providing the satisfaction customers desire. Make sure to always put yourself in the customer’s shoes when dealing with a problem.

Feedback

Great customer service comes from listening to feedback. The best way to measure the standard of your service is to ask your customers. Use social media surveys to track top customer service metrics, individual performance, and ask agent-specific questions. Find out which areas you excel at and in which you need to improve. Then do just that. Get better with every customer interaction.

Gratitude

Never let your customer service representatives miss an opportunity to thank a customer. Remember, they have multiple options to choose from and can ditch you in a second. A shopper who has gone through the effort of a purchase, reached out with a question, or made a comment deserves to be thanked. They could be doing a million other things, but instead they are interacting with you.

Help

Improve service by finding ways to offer help at any stage of the interaction. These days you can have a chatbot on every page of your website. You can have live chat agents waiting 24/7 to answer any customer question. You can have a comprehensive knowledge base to help with virtually any issue. There’s no end to the help you can offer. 

Incentives (for your customer service team)

Find new and innovative ways to reward your agents for great service. Try not to focus only on response times and quick resolutions. A customer who feels your company has invested valuable time in them will tell others. Use all the metrics in your arsenal to find out who and how you are giving the best service. Then reward accordingly.

Journey

The customer is on one. Are considering every part of this journey when you create customer experiences? Is your check-out process as easy to navigate as your product displays? Is your brand carried through to the after-sale service? Consider the entire customer journey and try to create a consistent, holistic experience that is customer-centric from beginning to end. 

Knowledge

Everyone should know your products and services. Each customer service agent should spend onboarding time with a seasoned product specialist to  fully understand the ins and out of the product. This way, they’ll be able to help customers when they’re troubleshooting issues, and know product tips and tricks they can share to make the product easier to use.

Loyalty

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95% (Bain & Co). Loyal customers are the difference between winning and losing businesses. Customer loyalty should be front and center of your strategy. Your customer service, be it good or bad, can be on the internet in seconds. Give your agents freedom in resolving complaints from long-standing clients.

Mistakes (by customers)

Turn customer mistakes into unforgettable experiences. It happens, but just because it’s a customer’s fault, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to come up with a solution. It shows people how much your brand cares about consumers, and it really takes the customer who made the mistake by surprise in a pleasant way.

Needs

Strike a healthy balance between your corporate needs and those of your customers. It’s an integral factor for long-term success. Frequently reassess your customers’ requirements and remember that any tangible sacrifices you make to build customer confidence will, in the long term, be returned to you with interest.

Omni-channel

Consumers nowadays use multiple channels and devices to shop around. Modern retailers need to offer support in social media, email, phone, messaging, and live chat on their website. Not only do these channels have to be supported, they need to be staffed, monitored, and available at all times, from anywhere in the world. Fast, attentive support on any channel is the new standard. 

Personalization

You might have your customer’s first name, last name, email address, phone number, and maybe even their business email. The best way to offer a more personal CX is using the customer’s name when talking with them. In person, on a phone call, through email, or when coming up with customer surveys. A friendlier approach that doesn’t feel forced humanizes the consumer-business interaction.

Questions

Your customers have them and you need to answer them promptly. In our recent survey, we found that 27% of the brands took longer than 24 hours to respond to a pre-sale email. We know that almost a third of consumers expect a response in under an hour. Customer questions also give you an insight into gaps in your products or services. 

Response times

We’ve recently written about improving response times and the benchmarks you need to meet. The bottom line is that response times matter a great deal to customers and their expectations are getting greater every day. Pay close attention to your response times and your customer satisfaction scores will improve.

Soft skills

Let’s face it, in this business, it’s inevitable that there will be times when you’re obligated to deliver news your customers do not want to hear. But as long as your customer service team can deliver advice with sincere empathy and candidness, you’ll remind your customer that you really are there to help – and prevent a dangerous situation from escalating out of control. Value the communication skills of you customer support team.

Training

Customer service staff are the front-line of any business, so it’s critical to support them with the best possible training. Whether it’s a formal course, an easily-accessible wiki or online reference tool, ongoing mentoring and coaching from more experienced staff members or a combination of approaches, do what it takes to make sure your staff feel confident and clear about how to do their jobs well. You’ll boost employee satisfaction, lift your customer service skills, and improve your customer service.

User-friendly

The last thing you want is to rile your customer before you’ve even had a chance to respond to his or her query. With this in mind, any and all of your customer-controlled interfaces – from the IVR all the way through to the contact form on your website – should remain streamlined and concise.

Voice of the customer

This is your customers’ feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. You have more VoC data than ever – user behavior data, recorded phone conversations, direct customer feedback, discussions in social media and more. Collect, analyze, and act on the voice of the customer.

Why?

Always be asking yourself “Why?” Projects and missions can take on a life of their own. Always come back to the simple question of “Why are we doing this?”. It will keep you grounded and ensure that you don’t go off in a direction you hadn’t initially planned. By the way, the answer should always be “For the customer”. 

X-Factor

Your employees are people. Individual characters, brimming with likeable traits and mannerisms. It’s the reason you employed them in the first place. So don’t suppress their personalities beneath a veil of endless scripts and banal formality; allow each agent’s personality to shine through on every call.

Yes

Always find a way to say yes to your customers. It doesn’t matter if they are asking for the impossible or have an issue that is entirely their fault. They have come to you for a solution and you’d better have one!. Often the only thing you can do is listen, but find a way to have a positive outcome in all customer interactions.

Zero-sum game

Customer service is not a zero-sum game. There are no winners and losers. Make sure every interaction has only winners. Whether it’s the customer getting what they want, or the company doing the right thing and delivering great service. Every interaction is a chance to win. Find the path to victory with every customer. 

Convert more NOW Customers

Learn More