Nowadays, any business that considers itself competitive needs to cater to customer experience in some form. In turn, your customers are likely to return and buy more from you in the future, thus ultimately impacting your bottom line.
But how do you go about tweaking this aspect of your business? Below, you’ll find 9 key ingredients to implement today:
1. Streamline the support
At some point, your customers are likely to encounter setbacks, especially if your company provides software solutions. To promptly answer their queries and eliminate bottlenecks, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated customer service software in place like so you don’t get lost in a flood of requests. With the help of digital solutions providers like HiverHQ, you will be able to utilize a streamlined ticketing system that lets you assign priorities to each different request. This will allow you to utilize your resources better and expedite support to customers that need it the most.
2. Think how to over-deliver
It’s always better to over-deliver rather than under-deliver. Due to the unique nature of your business, you’re the most qualified individual to devise a plan as to how. But even as something as giving them a free coupon or a discount when your customers place an order goes a long way. This way, not only will they be delighted to receive the gift, but will also be more likely to become your return customers. The key here is to either create a win-win situations such as the one described or throw in a gift that has a high perceived value that doesn’t cost you much to give away. If you’d like to learn more about that topic, Swinburne Research Bank hosts useful research so give it a read.
3. Facilitate trust
A lack of trust may drive a customer away before closing a sale, and as Harvard put it, you need to diagnose the barrier before you can do what’s necessary to remove it. Is your business getting fantastic reviews on customer review websites? Tell them about it. Have you earned any certificates from the relevant regulatory body? Display them where everyone can spot them easily. Finally, if you’re selling physical or digital products, display a money-back guarantee.
4. Place yourself in your customers’ shoes
The best way to deal with problems is to prevent encountering them in the first place. If you can find a way to brush up on your offerings to make your products or services less complicated, you’ll drastically reduce the number of complaints and won’t need to hire as many customer support agents. A good rule of thumb is to make things as convenient, intuitive, and hassle-free as possible. Once again, you’re the only one who knows how to apply this principle to the unique characteristics of your business.
5. Adopt a customer-centric approach
Is your company working with people directly to develop customized solutions for them? Then you should focus on adopting a customer-centric mindset. In other words, instead of providing cookie-cutter solutions, you should take the time to know your clients and their business’ needs better. While this does take a bit more time, the end result will be much better and your clients will likely be more satisfied with it, thus spreading the good word for other people to find you.
Get to know your clients personally. Your bottom line will show it.
6. Be nice
In business, the quality of your work can either make or break you. But your demeanor also plays a role in how your customers perceive you. Imagine having a first-class meal that’s served by a rude waiter. Somehow, no matter how much you may have enjoyed it, the inappropriate attitude you were subjected to in the process is bound to leave a sour taste in your mouth. Do you think a customer who was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this treatment will leave a 5-star review? Unlikely. The good news is, all of this can be avoided and a simple smile goes a long way, even if it’s not completely sincere. And your staff can be made aware of its importance through training.
7. Avoid using jargon
Yes, you’ve probably spent years educating yourself to now know the things you know. We get it. But your customers are not coming to you to be lectured in complex terms (even if your intentions are good). They’re reaching out to you because they believe you can help them solve a problem they’re struggling with. That’s what you should be focusing on – always emphasize what’s in it for them. If you feel that you must explain something (or if they ask for an explanation), absolutely do provide a coherent explanation, but keep in mind that you’re not having a discussion with an industry expert and adjust your terminology accordingly. In most cases, you’re going to be dealing with someone who knows little else about the subject matter other than the fact they’re looking to solve a problem, so try to explain it in layman terms.
8. Put customer support before your work
Dropping everything you were doing only to answer someone’s questions can feel irritating (and it often is), but unless you’re working with a dedicated customer support department, that’s what you need to do. The reason is, your work will wait whereas your customers won’t – they’ll flock straight into the arms of your competition. And if you absolutely can’t afford to give them one minute of your time at the exact moment they call in, be transparent about it, thank them for reaching out, and promise to call back at a time that is convenient (don’t forget to follow up on your promise).
9. Find ways to implement technology
And by technology, we mean “chatbots”. Although chatbots are by no means a plug-in replacement for having a customer support department on standby, they help you utilize your resources better. You see, chances are a chatbot will provide a good answer to someone’s query or at least point them in the right direction without the help of a customer service representative. And if this is not possible, they will direct then to the customer support department or provide other resources they can study. And the best part is, there’s only a one-time fee to install and configure one, which can end up costing you much less than having double the number of staff, all without compromising on the overall customer experience.
Providing nothing but stellar customer experience is a major competitive advantage any business should take advantage of. While there is no one-size-fits all solution, your unique insights should give you a rough idea where you can improve various aspects of your business to serve your clients better.