6 tips to improve your customer service

There was a time when customer service simply meant serving your in-store buyers with politeness, kindness and courtesy. A simple smile and friendly demeanour while a transaction was taking place was considered great customer service and everyone was happy… or were they? In the modern world, the way in which we interact with our customers and the way in which they buy goods and services from us have changed massively and are under constant evolution. So, where do you start with a customer service strategy in this crazy modern world? Here are some of our best tips to help you.


1. Be clear and get buy-in from everyone

You absolutely need every single member of your team to understand what you are trying to deliver in terms of customer experience. Be clear on the overall mission, and also on the specific ways that individuals can help to achieve that. Whether it’s the salesperson in the showroom, staff representing you at a show or exhibition, or the people on the phones – if everyone knows the standards expected and your specific plans for how to help achieve these, then you are halfway there.

2. Map the journey of your customers

One really good way to fully understand your customers’ experiences is to map out their journey with you. Examine each aspect, from first considering that they might be interested in the product category you operate in, to researching your brand online or in-store, to dealing with the company and making a transaction – and then also what happens if something goes wrong. Seeing things through the customer’s eyes is one very direct way to work out what you need to improve or change in the customer experience you offer.

3. Make your experience memorable

A customer’s experience of dealing with you should be memorable, this is something that can really work in your favour when something does go wrong. If a customer’s usual dealings with you leave them thinking “that was a nice touch”, then they are likely to be more understanding and reasonable in the case of a problem. How can you make your customer feel special? What extra value can you add? Something as simple as a small free gift with an order or showing genuine interest and authentic, unbiased advice on their purchase can make all the difference.

4. Make it measurable

At every opportunity you can, it is invaluable to get feedback from customers about their experience. This can help you measure how it is performing in a very real way. You could also analyse other data to help you ascertain whether you are doing a good job – look at repeat buyers, look at people who had an issue (was it solved, and did they buy again?), try to figure out why one-time purchasers never came back. The parameters you set will be specific to your own company, but there are always ways to measure if you are doing a good job or not.

5. Be clear and concise

How you communicate with your customers can have a big impact on their overall experience. You need to clearly explain how things work so that they’re expectations are in line with what you can deliver. This can include everything from clearly detailing how long orders take to fulfil, through to what your plan of action is to help them solve a problem. By not being vague, you will stop unrealistic expectations building, which means you are less likely to cause disappointment.

6. Be genuine

No matter what company you are, no matter who you are selling to, one thing remains the same: we are all human beings. We are also all consumers; we all buy things. By being empathetic, genuine and human in your interactions, you will help to build a sense that your customers are dealing with real people and not a faceless brand. Be personable, be emotionally empathetic, be a nice person, apply logic and reasoning, and your customer service interactions are likely to be a whole lot happier than if you just have people reading stock answers out over the phone from a crib sheet.

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