Business growth depends on a lot of things – the quality of the product or service you offer, the pricing, how you set yourself apart from the competition and the market you’re selling to.

One critical area that you need to get right in this age of modern commerce is the sort of customer service your company is offering.

Gone are the days when helplines and support services were an inconvenient add-on for businesses. If you were around in the 80s and 90s, you’ll probably remember just how bad customer service could be.

Most of the most successful companies of today realise that people manning the communication channels and helping to solve problems are an integral part of successful branding and growth.

Businesses nowadays should be laser-focused on customer success – helping their most important asset to achieve their goals and get the outcomes they are looking for.

Here we look at how customer service plays a role in this and why the best companies use 5 important tactics to promote business growth through excellent customer service.

1. Buy-in from the workforce

This involves buy-in to your customer service values. It’s easy to say that you deliver the best customer service in your industry – many businesses do just this and then, unfortunately, fall short. It’s important to understand:

  1. What your customers are looking for when it comes to good service.
  2. What you can realistically deliver.
  3. How you set expectations with your customers

Getting Buy-in from your workforce and management on how to provide your support services is essential. That means not only educating your staff but also providing them with the tools and support to do the job effectively.

2. Be honest

When any customer contacts your business with a query, problem or complaint, it can be easy to settle into a defensive mindset. Particularly when it’s your own business or department.

But, what customers in most cases are looking for is an honest response and a realistic attempt to solve their problem.

Honesty used to be a pretty dirty word in customer service. That’s largely why the customer service departments of a couple of decades ago fell woefully short of what was needed.

Customers are a lot more willing to complain today and, if they don’t get the right answers or feel they are being spun a yarn, they are likely to head straight to social media.

If you can’t answer a query, be honest enough to say so and make every effort to find a solution for your customer. It’s about being personal which is something that a lot of people put a high value on. You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to be willing to try for your customer.

3. Find solutions

Understand the common issues your customers are likely to have and find solutions that can work in real-time.

For many products and services, there are going to be fairly standard issues that arise for customers and you can identify these fairly early on. Making sure you have all these bases covered is paramount and can save you and your customers a lot of time and energy.

The more solutions you have, the more likely you are to have a happy customer base.

4. Have expertise to hand

There’s nothing more frustrating than talking to a customer service representative who doesn’t understand your problem or know what to do. A lot will depend on the type of product or service you have. But ensuring that there is the right expertise ready to answer queries is essential.

5. Answer queries promptly

People are impatient, especially in this hyper connected world. If your customers are not getting the answer they are looking for quickly, chances are they will head to social media and complain to their friends and followers.

First of all, ensure that you make answering queries a priority wherever they originate from. That means not keeping people waiting on calls and keeping an eye on areas like social media and forums and responding when someone says something about your business.

Secondly ensure you set expectations correctly. There is no point saying you answer all your emails within 24 hours if your customers just get an automated response but then don’t hear anything back for days.

Uncertainly, a lack of confidence that you’ll get an answer or the feeling that you’re simply being ignored is often at the route of a customers experience of poor service. Be honest with your customers, keep them informed of the steps that you are taking to resolve their query and if you know it is going to take time to get an answer, then let them know.

The big focus on a successful customer service operation is commitment. That means you need workforce management in place to organise your support properly and the correct troubleshooting tools in place. Get it right and you can expect strong business growth because you’re ticking one of the major boxes that customers today look for when dealing with any company.

Finally, it’s worth quoting Sally Gronow who is currently head of customer services at Welsh Water: “Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.” Always bear this in mind when implementing or improving your systems.

Okappy Portal+ is here to help bridge communications, not only between people within the company but, between your company and it’s subcontractors and customers. To learn more, request a call

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