You’d be surprised how many businesses view customer service as unimportant. But the fact is, customer service is much more crucial to success than you’d think. Not only can it improve your impression on the public eye, but it also has the power to greatly increase your business’ profits. So how can you ensure your business is providing excellent customer service? More than just the standard advice of ‘be human’, or ‘listen’, here we’ve assembled a list of some very easy-to-follow tips that will make sure your customer support will cause your sales to soar.
1. Assume Favor Returns
Remember the phrase ‘do unto others as you’d have others do unto you’? Well in a way, this same concept is used in nearly every human interaction, including that of customer service. An experiment involving restaurant waiters recently examined this: whenever a waiter brought candy to the table along with the bill, tips went up. And when candy was brought a second time, the tips increased even more.
We can apply this same fact of human interaction to customer service. If we offer nice things to the customer, they’ll return the favor and stay loyal to the company. Try offering the customer an ebook or free credit to their account, something that would surprise them (without breaking the bank).
2. Go the Extra Mile
It is common to think that the most successful customer support only requires the friendliest and most delightful of employees. However, one survey of over 50,000 customers showed that the most important thing to a customer is when the support lowers the number of steps the customer has to take. With all the resources your customer support has on hand, this can be an incredibly easy tip to follow. To apply it, just ask: what steps can I remove to solve their problem faster? If the customer needs to first fill out a registration form, do it for them. If the customer needs to return a faulty product, send them a return shipping label. It’s details like this that your customers will remember, making them less hesitant to use your products in the future.
3. Send Handwritten Letters
In this day and age, handwritten letters are really only sent by loving grandmothers and little kids without a computer. So imagine the reaction if your customers receive a handwritten note from a member of your customer support? The support team at Stride tried this, and had amazingly positive results. Customers felt a personal connection to the company, which of course led to both increased loyalty and profits in the long run.
4. Throw Out the FAQ’s
At this point, a FAQ page is simply standard for a business to have online. But helpful as they are, they just don’t make sense for company productivity. Here’s why: say there’s one specific problem within a business. In the typical scenario, all the customers facing the problem will consult the FAQ page, fix their problem, and say nothing at all about the issue to the company. Now if you remove the FAQ page, the company directly gets to hear about the issue and realize how big of a problem it is with customers. According to that, the business can then decide to take action and ultimately fix the issue, preventing customers from ever again having the same problem. Makes sense, right?
5. Track Customer Stats
Every business has those customers who sign up for the long-run, and then those that sign up for 10 minutes and completely forget about the whole thing. One way to try and avoid this second pesky group is to keep track of customers’ number of logins, and length of time spent on the site. One study found that if you record and group these statistics over 30 days, you will find a list of people in each of those two groups. Then, for the customers who seem to have forgotten your business, send out a friendly email from customer support. It was especially useful when the email offered advice, or even a personal Skype help session, to the customer. Never forget: your customer support is human, make every effort to prove this to your customers!