Customers are demanding more than ever before, and companies need to be able to get them what they want or risk losing their loyalty.
In today’s extremely competitive markets, trying to beat your competitors on price is pretty much an impossible dream. Word-of-mouth travels fast through social media, so when you get one customer complaint, it can quickly spiral out of control.
Customer service is rapidly becoming the best way for brands to separate themselves from the pack.
The following tips are some of the best customer service principles that will serve you and your business well in 2022 and beyond.
Get feedback from your customers
The first step in improving your customer service is always to get customer feedback.
It’s always tempting for business owners to assume they know how their customers think, but it’s impossible to get a clear picture of what customers really want without talking to them.
The best way to get customer feedback is by asking for it directly. You can provide your phone number or an email address on your site, have people leave reviews after they buy from you, or send out surveys via email or other platforms.
If you’re having a hard time soliciting responses, try incentivizing your customers with a small gift or perk.
Have a customer-centric selling process
A customer-centric selling process is a must-have in today’s customer service landscape.
What does this mean?
It means being willing to put your customers first at all times and developing your sales process from their perspective.
Knowing what your customers think is step one, but you also need to understand what they want from your product or service—fostering empathy for the customer in your workplace is key.
Put yourself in their shoes and see your business from their perspective so you can better understand how they feel about what you offer.
The more you get to know your customers, the better you can serve them and create a personalized experience that they’ll keep returning to for years to come.
Incentivize repeat business
Make sure to reward your customers for coming back to your business. This will get them invested in forming a long-term relationship with you and ensure that they stay loyal over the years.
Customer loyalty programs are one of the best ways to go about this, but if you have a smaller budget or don’t want to get into complicated accounting, try giving out discount vouchers for repeat customers.
If you get a lot of first-time buyers, consider giving them free shipping to get their business and see how they like your products or services.
Monitor your social media mentions
There’s a reason why social media has been called the new water cooler.
Word spreads quickly on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This is especially true of negative experiences that get shared far and wide as a warning against doing business with you.
Building a social media monitoring program that’s in place before negative feedback starts rolling in is one of the best ways to get ahead of this problem and reduce your risk for future issues.
This doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it does need to involve some kind of software because checking all mentions manually can become a full-time job in a short amount of time.
Make sure that you get back to your customers right away, even if it’s just with an automated message letting them know they’ve been heard.
Analytics programs are an indispensable tool for customer service because it helps you get a better understanding of your customers and what they’re looking for.
You can use analytics to find out where people are getting stuck in the buying process, which products or services might need to be updated, which social media users have been sharing about your business lately, and much more.
This helps you make sense of the data you have, allowing you to implement targeted changes that will get you closer to your goals.
Don’t get too caught up in trying to make customer service perfect from the get-go.
Instead, focus on measuring how it’s impacting your business and making any necessary changes. This will help you get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t so that you can put more effort into the things with proven value instead of spending money on fads that might not pay off.
If you follow these tips but don’t see immediate results, don’t worry. Customer service is a long-term process that requires time, patience, and perseverance. Building a reputation for excellent customer service is an arduous journey, but it’s also one that will get you much closer to your goals in the long run. As you get used to it, you’ll get a better understanding of what works for your business and which practices are the most effective.