The key to any successful business is excellent customer service. If providing unparalleled customer service isn’t a top priority for your company, it’s time to readjust your priorities and move it to the top of the list.
It isn’t just about providing your customers with a high-quality product anymore. With social media making up a huge part of the equation, and with the lines of communication between customers and brands being more open than ever, quality customer service means attending to your customers in ways in which companies have never had to do before. It means coming up with innovative ways to differentiate from competitors, while still attending to your customers’ needs and ensuring that they are satisfied with your brand.
Here are four ways in which your business can both provide better customer service, and stay competitive in your industry.
- Get feedback from your customers
How do you know if your business or product offering needs improving? Get your customers to tell you. This might sound like a scary opportunity for a lot of negative feedback, but receiving feedback from your customers is an essential part of improving your business overall.
Asking your customers to take a short survey after an interaction can help improve how your employees handle customer inquiries or issues. Likewise, asking your customers to leave a review after they’ve bought a product from you will help you to maintain quality control and better sell your products or services to the right people.
Regardless of how you request and receive feedback, the goal is to identify how your business is seen by your customers—finding out whether you’re meeting or exceeding their expectations, and identifying any areas that need work and improvement.
- Improve your last mile delivery process
In today’s digital world, consumers expect their goods to be delivered as fast as possible and for as little cost to them as possible. Thanks to Amazon’s same-day delivery option, which is free for Prime members, shoppers have become used to the idea that their ordered goods will arrive in an incredibly short period of time.
More and more businesses are starting to seriously pay attention to their last mile delivery process, and are finding innovative ways to decrease the shipping time. Quick delivery times are what help businesses stand out from their competitors, and figuring out ways to shorten the delivery time will help to improve your customer service. Some companies have even ditched third-party logistics companies and are bringing a fleet of delivery vehicles in-house in order to accomplish their goals.
- Keep communication lines open and respond quickly
Giving your customers an opportunity to reach out and get help if they need it is the simplest way to improve your customer service. This is where social media comes in handy. Having an active social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter also doubles as an efficient way for you to connect with your customers. Whether you connect through comments on posts or through direct messages, it’s an opportunity for your customers to reach out to get answers to their questions, and it’s a golden opportunity to provide an “A-plus” service.
It’s incredibly important to respond quickly to any inquiry that you receive from a customer. Regardless of what platform your customer uses, whether it’s through email or social media, you need to reply as soon as possible. The expected response time is between 24-48 hours for an email response, and as little as a few hours through social media. If possible, invest in an employee or a team of employees who dedicate their time to handling these kinds of communications from customers, so that your business is always on the ball and ready to respond.
- Go the extra mile
It’s insanely competitive out there for businesses, particularly businesses that are in the retail industry. You can set yourself apart by offering the absolute best customer service. How do you achieve this? By going the extra mile every time.
Going above and beyond for your customers can change a stressful and negative situation into a positive one that your customers will remember. It can help highlight your brand’s ability to empathize and act quickly to solve their problem in a positive way. Consistently doing this will prove to your customers that you truly care about them, which, in turn, will make them want to continue to engage with you, and build a relationship with your brand.
Remember, customer service doesn’t need to be reactionary. You can still go above and beyond for your customers before they reach out with a problem. Over time, your brand’s reputation will build and will attract new customers, therefore increasing your overall sales and brand recognition.