Customer service can impact your business in several ways, and not always positively. Even a company with unrivaled pricing and a wildly efficient product may crash unceremoniously due to poorly implemented customer service. In fact, 27% of Americans cite lack of effectiveness as their number one frustration with customer service efforts.
So it is clearly imperative that you turn to some outside the box methods of improving your customer service that goes beyond templated responses.
Here are six creative ways to add something extra to your company’s customer service offering.
1. Tout your success stories
Every success is something that builds confidence within the team and also projects a very positive image to your audience. So feel free to humbly narrate and share some of your customer service success stories.
When customers are shopping around for quality services, one of the main things that they look for is effective and responsive customer service. If they are perusing your website or doing some research before making a purchase, seeing numerous stories about your stellar customer support will give them some early confidence in your brand.
This can also be helpful with some of your existing customers, encouraging them to reach out to your customer service department with their problems, if they have any.
But shouldn’t they already be doing that? In a perfect world, sure. But that’s not always the case. Often, customers don’t want to contact customer service departments because they may be frustrating or unhelpful. In fact, 91% of customers who are unhappy with a brand will abandon it without even voicing a complaint.
This is a particularly frustrating statistic, as a large percentage of customer churn can be avoided by properly addressing fixable issues. That’s why you have to let your customers know that you excel at your customer service, and give them reasons to give it a go.
One way to go about this is to ask some of your more satisfied customers to rate your customer service ability, and display the results. Make it a regular part of your support page, but also let people know about it via social media, email marketing, and on your homepage.
2. Be proactive
Proactive support is something that all businesses should be doing. If you know there’s a large scale issue at play, don’t wait for customers to reach out to you.
It’s a good idea to regularly touch base with new customers, to see how they’re doing and ask if they’re having any issues. If you’re finding that some of your customers are experiencing problems that they have not reported, it’s time to impress them by addressing some of the reasons why things might not be working out as they expected.
At the end of the exchange, encourage them to come to you in the future with any issues that they might have.
This tactic is effective on many fronts. For starters, it shows that you’re not shirking from fixing issues that surround your services. It also inspires trust in your brand and forges brand loyalty, the backbone of customer retention.
3. Follow up
After a customer calls in with a complaint or issue, it’s a good idea to follow up with them to make sure everything is resolved and back in order. It’s an extra step to make sure that your customer service efforts have fixed the issue and turned a frustrated customer into a satisfied one.
Ask the customer what has been going on with them since the issue was addressed, and inquire as to the quality of their service since then.
If they are not happy, it’s a simple matter of reopening the issue. It’s hard enough to get customers to reach out the first time they encounter a problem. Communicating the same problem a second time is even rarer.
Remember, one third of customers say that they would switch companies after one instance of bad customer service so following up is essential to fix bad situations.
Reaching out after a customer service call is also a great way to get feedback. It shows that you care about what the customer thinks.
4. Create video walkthroughs
Sometimes the best form of customer service is self-service.
You can allow customers to help themselves in their own time by providing video explanations and walkthroughs of some of your frequently asked questions.
Video is more effective as a medium, and customers process visual information much easier. Viewers actually retain 95% of a message when it is communicated via video. It also helps them save on time by not having to call in and deal with a human representative.
Walkthrough videos are a great addition to your company’s knowledge base section.
5. Involve senior executives
Nothing shows a customer that they are valued more than a supervisor or executive getting involved in some of the large scale issues you might have.
This was a tactic J-Crew used when a customer sent an email complaining about the company’s holiday collection. She received a call from the company’s chief of marketing and personal shopping, who listened to her complaints and then followed up with her again via email.
6. Incorporate customers’ suggestions
It’s always a great idea to ask customers what you can be doing better.
But once you do that, make sure that you take their ideas under advisement. When the ideas are good, use them.
When you do use their ideas, give them due credit. This shows customers that their thoughts are being heard and taken seriously.
You could even turn it into a contest, and gain a little more mileage and prolonged attention.
Customer service continues to be an important aspect of customer retention. By implementing these six tactics into your existing customer service plan, you could stand to see an increase in the number of loyal customers who will continue to use your service for years to come, and will certainly spread the word around.