Today’s business environment is all about relationships. The relationships you have with your employees, the relationships you have with your suppliers, and most importantly, the relationships you have with your customers.
Gone are the days when customer loyalty was a given. We’re now operating in a global environment where consumers have access to more options than ever before, meaning businesses need to find new ways to attract and retain customers—and that largely comes down to customer experience.
If you’re in need of some simple strategies to improve the experience customers have when they interact with your business, consider trying these three things…
1. Use a telephone answering service
Waiting on hold for too long or not being able to contact a business is one of the most common causes of frustration for customers, but it needn’t be.
It can be costly to operate a full-scale customer contact centre that can provide 24/7 round-the-clock coverage with enough scalability to be able to adapt to meet rapidly changing or seasonal demand fluctuations, but a telephone answering service can provide an ideal cost-effective solution.
Acting as an extension of your business, a live telephone answering service will ensure customer calls never go unanswered while improving service standards by utilising trained staff who carefully follow a set of your own pre-defined customer service scripts. They can be switched on when you need some extra support, then switched off when demand dies down ensuring you always have complete control.
2. Adopt a multi-channel view
There are plenty of touchpoints throughout the customer journey that influence the experience a prospective customer has when interacting with your business, which largely determines what their ultimate purchase decision will be.
Consumers want a consistent experience no matter which channel they decide to use, and quite often, will interact via multiple channels before making a purchase. For example, a consumer might see something about your business or product on social media, before visiting your website to find out more or check where stock is available, before heading into their local store to try on or sample the product before completing a purchase.
It’s important to review what the experience is like for customers at every touchpoint via each service channel and consider the ease of your purchasing processes to identify and address any potential issues or pain points that could be hindering your ability to close a sale.
3. Treat feedback as a gift
As a general rule, customers will only bother taking the time to provide your business with feedback about their experience if they have an exceptionally good or an exceptionally bad experience—and that information can be gold for your business!
When you receive negative feedback, it’s important not to ignore it. Instead, make a point of doing some further investigation to understand what happened to warrant those comments, and to not only try to remedy the issue for that particular customer but also implement any necessary changes to ensure other customers don’t have that same negative experience.
Positive feedback is also a great indicator of what customers think you’re doing well. If you’ve received feedback about the excellent service provided by a specific staff member, make a point of it by providing them with personal recognition and seeing if there are ways you can use that experience as an example of how you can improve your customer service practices across the board.
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