It may be strategic marketing and advertising that draws customers to your business, but it’s the level of customer service that keeps them coming back and referring friends and family. Don’t let your business’s lackluster customer service affect your profits. In honour of National Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, we’re sharing our tips to raise awareness of the importance of customer service within your company.
Customer service is an under-valued yet essential function for your organization’s success. Not only does it help you grow customer relationships, a good customer service strategy also gathers important feedback from customers about your services and products, while building customer confidence in your brand. It’s a win-win-win situation!
However, not all organizations have the capital to invest in a call centre or customer service department. So how can you increase your company’s customer service focus without a full-scale reorganization? Check out Adecco’s 4 tips and watch your customer relationships grow!
Hire service-oriented employees across all departments
“It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.”
Whether it was past experience in a call centre or even a previous retail job, hiring staff with prior customer service experience can yield great benefits for your organization’s customer relationships. Not only will these employees bring an array of customer service skills to their new position, they will likely already have a customer-first focus that won’t go unnoticed by your clients or customers. These employees will act as an example for colleagues lacking customer service experience and skills, and they can help build a stronger customer service focus within your organization.
Schedule mandatory customer service training for all staff
“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”
Customer service is more than just handling customer complaints. It requires product knowledge, clear communication skills, positive language, empathy and so much more! Given how multi-dimensional good customer service is, helping your employees develop these skills can dramatically improve your organization’s customer focus. Make it a priority within your organization by scheduling mandatory training sessions with all colleagues annually. In these sessions, emphasize company policies on product or service warranties and role-play a variety of potential situations to help develop your employees’ customer service skills. By preparing colleagues for those tricky interactions, they will feel more comfortable and confident in handling any customer issues that come their way.
Provide a desktop cheat sheet
“70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”
Customer service skills take time and practice to develop and they don’t necessarily come naturally to your employees, especially those who work in departments that wouldn’t normally interact with customers or clients. Provide staff with a cheat sheet of the best words and phrases to use in challenging customer service situations. By providing your employees with this tool, you help them take control of the customer interaction, while working towards a positive outcome.
Incentives and rewards
“55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.”
Recognize colleagues who have maintained a strong customer service priority within their daily work. This will reinforce your organization’s commitment to a high level of customer service and influence colleagues to focus on their customer service skills. However you choose to acknowledge your high-achievers — think an extra vacation day, gift card, or employee of the month certificate — providing employees with an incentive can be the push they need to make customer service a priority within their daily work load.