Having a business means being ready to attend to customer calls and text messages every other day. Imagine ordering a fresh hotdog to satiate your cravings but you end up receiving one with spoiled sausage. Even picturing a situation like this feels so disturbing. This is probably how your customers feel when they do not get the quality services they asked for.
It is a common notion among customers that businesses do not care about them. They tend to believe that businesses thrive on customer’s money. I hope you care about your customers because you ought to. One way of showing your customers that care is through delivering excellent customer service.
These days many businesses, including the big brands, are prioritizing customers over anything else. All their business strategies are now customer-focused. If you don’t think about your customers it’s time you do now. Your customers have several alternatives they can choose from. If they chose you to make them stay with your brand by providing them with a delicate customer experience.
I understand that delivering excellent customer service is not easy because I am a customer too. But you have to be proactive and fully prepared to handle any customer query like a pro.
11 ways to deliver excellent customer service
Here are a few ways to help you deliver satisfactory customer service and keep your customers happy, always:
Put customers above everything
The first and the foremost rule of customer service is that customers come above all the profits and products. Because what is the use of your product if that cannot serve the customer well and how will you make any profits if customers aren’t there only. Focus on building relationships instead of being money minting machines that focus on only taking customers’ money.
If you have excellent customer service, your customer retention would be better and you’ll be settled in the market for the long run. Focusing on customers does not mean that you will forget about your products and services. One of the ways of making your customers the focal point of your business is by delivering the best of products and services to them.
For instance, Amazon is not only known for its wide variety of products but also its exceptional customer service. Amazon offers its customers options for free delivery and fast delivery. It offers the best discounts in the market just to keep its customers hooked to the platform. Their customer service goes beyond offering quality products and huge discounts. They look after their customers even after that. They ask for customer feedback or reviews and most of all offer them the option of exchange and return of the product. Amazon is the perfect example of satisfactory and excellent customer service for all businesses.
Know your customers better
When I say I know your customer I mean that I know their preferences, where they are from, and every trivial detail that will help you in knowing their interests. I remember when I went to buy a laptop the seller asked me about what I am doing in life. Once I told him that I am a student he kept in touch and always sent me suggestions of other technological advancements or other features and products that would possibly help my studies. Actions like these made me think that the business cares about customers. You need to know specific details about your customers so you can help them at all times.
You must know where your customers are from, so you know what they might need and what products are best for them. When you know what your customer wants it will be easier for you to give them personalized customer service. Here are few ways to know your customers better:
The best way to know about your customers is by directly asking them. Asking questions will convey that you care about them as you want to seek more information about their interests. This will also make you stand out in the market.
Conducting surveys will help you in getting honest reviews and you can also know about a lot of customers in one go. Surveys are the perfect way of knowing collective customer preferences and getting statistical data.
Undeniably, social media is the driving force of all industries these days and especially businesses. Use your social media analytics to find out your customers’ behavior. What they like the most, what products do they prefer over others, and then improve your customer service accordingly.
Look out for their comfort
As already mentioned that customers should be the focal point of your business, one part of making them your focus is caring about their comfort in all ways. Thus, if your customer needs to reach out to you at any time, they must have several options for the same.
Using a toll-free number for your business will help you in increasing the comfort of your customers. They will be able to reach out to you 24*7 without fail using your IVR menu service. They will be able to call you for free at any time from anywhere. A toll-free number is easy to remember so they would not even have to rush to find your number in case of any urgency. A toll-free number will give a distinctive yet unified identity to your business and will take you one step ahead towards excellent customer service.
One example of this is Lenskart, the leading e-commerce portal for eyewear in India. Lenskart uses a virtual toll-free number from MyOperator to facilitate its customers. Anyone who wants any service from Lenskart for eyewear or needs to book an appointment for an eye check-up cam call on Lenskart toll-free number without incurring any costs on call.
Meet customer expectations
Another way of delivering excellent customer service is through keeping your word. Make sure your word holds value as it is all that matters when it comes to making customers amazed and happy. Many businesses promise the world but then do not fulfill even a fraction of what they have promised to their customers.
Imagine going on a trip to Bali where you have been promised a beach house in your package but then you find that it was just a sham. Disheartening right? That’s exactly what happens when businesses make huge promises to their customers and then flip and offer something smaller instead. Such businesses eventually end up losing their customers. I am certain that you do not want to lose even a single customer of yours. So, make sure you do not make false promises and keep whatever promises you ever make to your customers.
Myntra is an e-commerce platform that sets the perfect example of excellent customer service by keeping its word. It gives you an estimated time of delivery and makes sure that your product is delivered before that or right on time. They make similar promises for their refund process as well and let me tell you I am flattered by their service every time. You know very well that you are delivering excellent customer service when you start becoming a common name in your customers’ conversations.
Give fast replies
Every time I send a text to someone I expect them to reply within 30 minutes or if they are busy then maybe 1 hour. Because it simply takes a second to drop a text. In case of calls, I expect a call back if they weren’t able to pick when I called. I am certain that if you do not get a response to your texts or calls, you will feel taken for granted. Then how do you think your customers will feel when they are not responded to on time? And that too when your business is obliged to take their queries.
Every customer wants fast replies even if there is no urgency. This is a normal customer tendency, which is a fair ask because after all, they are paying for the service on time. How your business handles customer queries will determine where the relationship of your business and customer will lead. Either they will be flattered by your customer service or they will push harder and eventually leave your brand if they are not satisfied. I am sure you don’t want the latter to happen under any circumstance. So make sure your customers get replies on time.
To make the process easier and more efficient you can set the minimum time of response for all the queries. For example, if it is something extremely urgent then it must be responded to within one hour. If the query can wait for a little while then you can set 3-4 hours as the response time. And if the query can be handled later and it does not affect the customer adversely then you can keep the response time as 24 hours. This will make it easier and systematic for your employees to cater to all the queries and provide uncompromised services to your customers.
Provide personalized service
Customers can be demanding. Especially these days customers expect highly tailored responses. They want you to know everything about them. When someone is a regular customer they want to be treated differently and expect to be a priority. They want businesses to know their previous purchases, their interests, and their previous queries. Also, customers hate repeating themselves. As difficult as it may seem it is also a fair ask on the customer’s part as they are choosing you over others in the market and thus they want to be given a preference.
However, it is impossible to keep a track of every single customer at all times but is also necessary to give a personalized experience. So you must make sure that every time a customer calls you, you have their data handy so you can personalize your call accordingly.
I once remember calling a business and they remembered who I was and what product I bought. Would not lie, I was so impressed and taken aback by highly personalized customer service that I ended up becoming their regular customer.
Well, this one goes without saying, you should be very grateful to all your customers as they are the ones keeping your business afloat. I am sure you are thankful for them. But do you say that enough times to your customers? Do you let them know that they are an integral part of your business? You must convey it from your actions by providing them quality products and services. But you should sometimes take the opportunity to thank them with your words as well. Saying a simple thank you every time a customer reaches out to you, or simply expressing that you would be there to help them in the future as well can make a lot of difference. Excellent customer service is all about making your customers comfortable and polite behavior is one of the best ways of delivering that.
Give them a chance to help themselves
“It really is a turn-off for having to call customer service for every trivial doubt. Honestly, I do not like bothering the support agent every now and then and I would appreciate it if brands could have some self-help options.” These are my exact thoughts every time before initiating a call to the support team of any business for an issue that I can resolve myself with the right guidance. Believe me, customers do not enjoy calling customer care now and then. I am sure they would do anything to resolve the issue themselves first. Then why not give them the opportunity?
Try tools like self-service chatbot and IVR systems for your customers. Where they can get responses to their problems without having to trouble your executive and save both your customers’ and executives’ time. These self-help options will ensure that the customer issues are resolved instantly and if not then you will know it is something big that needs your executive’s attention. You will also be able to keep a record of all the queries and bring necessary changes accordingly.
Surprise them (nicely)
I once ordered a cake for my friend’s birthday party and by the time it reached it had melted. I was furious and immediately reached out to customer care. They not only replaced the cake within the next 30 minutes but also offered a huge discount on it for the inconvenience caused. They instantly sought redemption and gave their best so that they would not lose me as their customer. This was fine as they made up for their mistake.
But to my surprise, they offered me a 50% discount on my next three orders as well. Impressive right? This treatment made me feel that the business cares about its customers. So all you have to do is occasionally surprise your customers to keep them happy.
You do not have to wait for a mistake to offer discounts or coupons to your customers. You can occasionally give them offers on special events such as their birthdays, or some important days such as mother’s day and father’s day. Keeping your customers happy is a step forward towards excellent customer service.
Reach out to your customers before they reach out to you
Want to have excellent customer service? Then reach out to your customers often to know if your product is working fine or if they are facing any issues. You are living in a bubble if you are thinking that a customer will reach out if they will face any problems. What if he or she doesn’t? And they simply decide to never shop from you again and switch to some other brand? You lose a customer and you are also oblivious of any probable problem that your customers might be facing. It is a double blow and it is not good for your business.
So do not hold back, keep track of your customers by reaching out to them often and making sure that everything is okay.
Feedback and follow up
Domino’s pizza always calls me after a few hours of my delivery to ask how the food was, what could be improved. And then they also work on my feedback. Furthermore, they make sure if the delivery was on time or not. No doubt they have so many loyal customers around the globe. They always make sure to follow up on their customers and seek feedback.
This is a practice that most businesses need to start right away. If you want to have excellent customer service for your business then seek your customer’s reviews and act on them. I am sure your customers will be happy to help at all times. So the trick is to make customers happy by giving them what they want and the only way to do that is by taking their feedback.
Next: Delight your customers
So, now you have multiple ways under your belt for delivering excellent service to your customers, be with them when they need you, and make them happy at every contact point. Next all you need to do is act on them and delight your customers. So, let’s go on to happy customers!