In a business world that increasingly relying on the coveted five-star review, businesses cannot afford to forget about customer service. Without it, your business could quickly fall underneath a bad reputation. In fact, 14% of the 50% of businesses that fail within the first five years of operation go under because they failed to pay attention to their customers.
Another study found that the average business will lose anywhere between 10 to 25% of their customers every year; within five years, they’ve lost half of their previous customer base. And lastly, according to New Voice Media, poor customer service cost businesses more than $75 billion per year.
With all these statistics in mind, here’s how your business can create a winning customer service strategy:
Train Your Staff
Your customer service team is only as great as you show them how to be. Before you start hiring customer support, create a written guide of rules regarding how every support agent should compose themselves. This isn’t the same as developing an outline with answers to frequently asked questions. Rather, this is set of guiding principles led by your mission statement. It explains not only what your customer service team should do, but how they should do it.
You might also want to get everyone involved in understanding customer service principles. For example, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ensures that every Amazon employee – not just those in customer service – go through customer service training to better become acquainted with the needs and concerns of their customers.
Create A Great Company Culture
“Great company culture is at the heart of any strong business,” says Lee Jacobs, a former partner at AngelList. “Therefore, it’s important to create an environment that empowers people to do the best work they can” he continues.
Your company culture embodies everything your business stands for. It’s who your business is and how people feel about your brand. How do your employees feel about coming to work each day? Are they happy stepping into the office? This should always be at the forefront of your mind. Take a look at some of the best brands with great company culture to gather ideas on how you can translate that into your company, which ultimately helps your customer service.
Respond To Customer Reviews
It’s no secret that the majority of consumers are checking a business’s reviews before they make a purchase. You should make it your business to respond to as many reviews as possible. Thanking something for their kind words can help reinforce their commitment to your business, as well the potential for scoring a word-of-mouth recommendation from them. However, it’s even more important to respond to negative reviews as well.
It’s important to note that, no matter how great your product or service is, there will always be someone who isn’t quite satisfied, for whatever reason. Responding in a positive way and addressing their concerns can go a long way in helping retain a potential loss, as well as showing potential customers who read your negative review that you care about your business. To show the sincerity of your apology, it helps to offer a refund, store credit, or free item where applicable.
Don’t Ignore Social Media
It’s not enough to have great customer support over the phone. Today, consumers expect support in a variety of different ways. A survey conducted by Conversocial found that 32% of respondents consider the phone was the most frustrating way to get good customer service. Social media is high choice for many consumers today. Over the past two years alone, customer service interactions on Twitter have increased by 250%. What’s even better is that when you answer questions and are helpful via social media, the consumer is more likely to appreciate your business. Another report found that answering a social media complaint will increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%.
Lastly, social media is also a great way to avoid a potentially negative review. Many consumers will attempt to voice their opinion or engage with a brand on social media before they make an attempt to leave a review.
Take Advantage Of Chatbots
As previously mentioned, today’s consumers expect businesses to be reachable through several different channels. If they can avoid having to speak to an official representative and can handle something on their own, they’re happier. Chat bots create a fine bridge between a real conversation and an FAQ. And they’re playing a much bigger role in the customer service arena area. Chatbots use artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist customer service with more common issues. Not only can they handle a high volume of requests, but they rarely make errors and can even process some minor financial transactions.