There’s a definite science to improving customer service, but you mustn’t overlook the art part of the equation, either. After all, reacting to customer queries in the right way can feed into that customer’s enduring memory of the experience and so encourage them to turn to you again.
It’s little surprise, then, that “customer experience” has increasingly attracted more focus than “customer service”, as Social Media Today attests – so, how can you get that experience just right?
Welcome and encourage the customer early
In the pre-online days of customer service, impressing a customer with your welcome meant greeting them as soon as they set foot in your bricks-and-mortar premises.
The same principle largely still applies online, however. You can probably recall occasions when you have landed on a particular website and been quickly greeted by a “How can I help you?” message posted by a live chat facility behind which a real person was waiting to see your typed response.
Make it easy for the customer to get what they want
What does the customer want? Why have they visited your site? A member of your staff could soon find out through the live chat facility – but, even if they haven’t, you should still move mountains to make sure that the customer should not face unnecessary difficulty in tracing what they seek.
For example, if a particular product is out of stock, indicate this clearly rather than hide that information in the checkout pages.
Take account of customer feedback
Did you know that, according to Small Business Trends, 88% of customers reportedly consider reviews when deciding to purchase an item or commit to a company?
Therefore, when someone posts an online comment – whether a fully-fledged review or simply a comment on your firm’s Facebook or Instagram portal – about your company, you should publicly respond to that comment, as doing so will, in observers’ eyes, make you look engaged and invested.
React to customer dissatisfaction in the right way
While you can’t always entirely cut errors out of your customer service strategy, you should still endeavour to make amends when you have mishandled matters. As not all customers might feel comfortable going public with their grievances, you should give disgruntled customers various options for contacting you.
Provide an email option and social media option – and keep in mind that, if your firm operates in the UK, free-to-call 0800 numbers are available from companies such as Planet Numbers.
Stay consistent across different channels
When making your staff available across various channels, you should make sure that the brand messages remain consistent. If you remain unsure how you could achieve this through your website, blog, email marketing and social media channels, then think back to your mission statement.
While you might word your mission slightly differently between channels, you should remember not to lose sight of your unique selling proposition to be reinforced through various strands of your marketing. All of your marketing activity ought to be influenced by your brand promise.