2014 saw some of the best and worst examples of customer service as brands struggled to distinguish themselves in a crowded market. Here are my top tips for those seeking to stand out and excel in the customer service realm this year:
1. Reflect on last year
Learn from your mistakes, your successes and customer feedback. Try to continually release marginal improvements and introduce something new and significant every few months.
2. Set achievable goals
Use last year as a baseline for improvement, find out what your competitors are doing and speak to your customers to set realistic goals for development.
3. Invest in your staff
Your customer service team is a frontline reflection of your business, so make sure it is prepared for the worst case and trickiest of situations.
4. Get optimised
Besides “buffer face”, there is nothing as annoying as trying to access non–mobile optimised content on your phone or tablet.
5. Show your customers compassion
Take the time to understand your customers and the problems they face – this will allow you to engage with them more positively.
6. Get external recognition
Celebrate your customer service success with audits, national awards and accreditations that boost your company’s profile.
Read more on customer service:
- Britain’s rocky relationship with Ryanair shows what kind of consumers we’ve become
- Customer service: The four great myths
- Peculiar customer service moments that were powered by Twitter
7. Be proactive
Make sure you get to customers before and as problems occur – be upfront and manage their experiences and expectations.
8. Don’t just respond to problems
Try to resolve problems before they spread to your other customers.
9. Don’t forget your ‘Ps’ and ‘Qs’
For any sort of customer engagement, at any level, treat customers how you would wish to be treated yourself.
10. Be the expert
Know what you are good at and build on that strength – don’t try and be an expert at everything (you will only fail).
11. Be the ‘proud parent’
Make sure your staff are publicly rewarded for great customer experiences and improvements.
12. Interact with customers in real-time with social media
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are powerful tools to publicly demonstrate your attitude to customer service (for better or worse).
Tom Needs is COO at Adapt.
Image via Shutterstock.
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