Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ways to Improve Your Company's Customer Service

Customer ServiceEverybody dreads a call to customer service, no matter what company it is. Whatever the problem is, most people would rather take their losses than go through a long, arduous process with a customer service representative. That is why businesses, especially small businesses, should consider improving their customer support in every way possible, because customers are more likely to return to your business if it has good customer service.

In a recent survey 60% of Americans ranked great customer service as very important. However, only one-third of them believe that they are getting it. A vast majority of Americans believe that companies either haven't changed the way they look at customer service or they are paying less attention to it. Only 37% of Americans believe that companies have increased their focus on giving high quality customer service in today's market.

The problem stems from a few different reasons. One reason is that business owners do not always know what will satisfy their customers the most. Owners may think price will satisfy customers, whereas customers may believe it is personalized service. Another reason is that business owners may not have put in place the systems and processes to ensure that they can easily provide ongoing customer service.

One way to improve upon this is to find technology that will help you monitor what customers are saying about you. There are many services you can sign up for that will alert you when someone online is mentioning your company, like Google Alerts or even TweetBeep. You also need to make sure you are reaching out to customers on a regular basis. This allows them to easily tell you how they feel.

If a customer complains, make sure the problem gets fixed and that they are happy. If the owner personally deals with the problem, then the customer usually leaves happy. You also have to communicate to your employees about how important it is to make sure that the customer is as happy as he or she can be before leaving. Consistent, good customer service does not come easily, and you have to train your employees to do so in order to get the best productivity.

One thing you have to do as a small business is make sure superior customer service is a part of your company's reputation. You need to ensure that you are talking about your customer service and selling your services or products on that fact. Encourage your customers who have left feeling satisfied to share their experiences with others.

Good customer service will also get your name out there by customers. Three-fourths of people surveyed said they are more inclined to talk about good customer service as opposed to complaining about bad customer service. People really do like to discuss positive things, so make sure one of those things is your customer service.

Contrary to that, people also say that they are more inclined to believe negative feedback they see online as opposed to positive. This is all the more reason to make sure your customers are satisfied with your customer service. Nobody likes bad feedback, so when you do get some, make sure you address that problem immediately. You may also want to hop on that discussion online and say what you have done to fix the problem.

It goes without saying that customer service is one of the most crucial aspects of an up-and-coming business. If you want your customers to keep coming back and you want new customers to start coming, then you need to make sure that whenever they talk to one of your staff or even yourself that your customer service is as top notch as possible, because it may be the deciding factor in whether your business succeeds or fails.
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