Seven out of ten customers today expect companies to treat them as individuals, not merely accounts. Business clients are even more demanding, with eight out of ten expecting personalized solutions. If the company doesn’t deliver, these clients feel no compunction about moving to a competitor.
Improving your relationship with your clients is now one of the most critical tasks on any company agenda. To get you started, we enlisted the assistance of Veronika Filipkova, the Chief Customer Officer at SupportYourApp. We asked Veronika how SupportYourApp had grown into one of the leading BPO service providers in Europe in just ten years.
In the article below, we’ll go over the tips that she shared with us.
Tip #1. Hone Your Team’s Service Skills
Start with building the best possible support team. Companies should identify the skills most important to their industry and target market and look for these in potential representatives. Hiring consultants that have an aptitude for working with clients is essential.
Some of the skills your team will require include:
- Excellent communication skills
- A good work ethic
- A willingness to learn
- The ability to stomach unfair criticism
Does your current team measure up? Find out by interviewing clients after interactions. CRM programs make it simple to gather feedback from your clients and ensure that your team is hitting all the right notes.
If you’re finding it challenging to find the correct people for the job, consider outsourcing to a third-party service provider. These companies focus on hiring service consultants with the proper aptitude and training them to deliver outstanding service.
Tip #2. Review Each Touchpoint
When and how does your client interact with your brand? What information is out there on the net? Firms must ensure that they plan each interaction carefully. Review everything from your content marketing strategy to the final checkout point.
Tip #3. Provide a Comprehensive Knowledge Base and Self-Help Options
Allow your clients to research the answers to their questions by providing a comprehensive knowledge base. Not all customers will want to find the information themselves, but this resource will prove invaluable to those that do.
Answer any questions that you feel that clients may have and make the resource easy to search.
Tip #4. Building the Relationship With Clients
The following pointers will help you to improve your relationship with your clients.
- Identify common interests: Being able to speak to the client about a shared interest deepens the relationship. It humanizes the consultant and enables the customer to connect with them on a more personal level.
- Practice active listening: Representatives should listen to the customers carefully and rephrase what the client says. This technique ensures that both sides are on the same page.
- Take accountability: People and companies make mistakes. Clients can understand this as long as you’re willing to take ownership of the issue. Admit that a mistake was made, and you can then focus on the solution.
- Follow-through is essential: Check with the client that the situation is resolved. Confirm that they’re not experiencing the same issue again and allow them to provide feedback.
Tip #5. Rev-Up Your Customer Service Strategy
By now, you have a dynamite service team. It’s now time to take things up a notch and incorporate a proactive approach to customer service.
To do so, you should consider potential sticking points that clients might have and find ways to address them immediately. Contacting the client before they encounter a problem is the best way to improve satisfaction.
Here are some examples of proactive strategies to put in place:
- Provide live support: Chatbots and automated email responses are helpful but should never replace personal interaction. People want to deal with a real, live person, not a bot, especially when they have complex queries.
- Humanize your team: Place bios and photos of your team on your website. List each consultant’s qualifications, but also include some personal information. This allows clients to get to know your team and see with whom they’re dealing.
- Make it easy to contact your firm: How do your clients like to reach out to you? Can they contact you through messaging services, Skype, or social media? When is it most convenient for them to get hold of you? You might consider extending your hours or working late if a client is in a different time zone from you.
- Adopting a client-centric approach: Small things such as assigning a specific rep as one contact point for the client make it easy for them to build a relationship. You might also consider running events that allow you to engage with your clients and introduce them to others. Building a community around your brand may make it invaluable to your customers.
Tip #6. Gather Feedback
Being in the customer service industry is not easy. No matter how well you plan, there are bound to be issues that you cannot have foreseen. Never assume that you’re getting everything right.
After all, your idea of excellent service and your client’s may be very different. Take every opportunity available to you to provide clients with the chance to give feedback.
You can ask them to rate their experience at the end of a call, via email, or through SMS. Also, ensure that the contact form on your website is easy to find and access. This could prevent unhappy clients from voicing their discontent on social media or other public platforms.
Gather information from review sites, your Google My Business page, and several other sources. Consider sending out client surveys once or twice a year and speak to your sales and admin teams about the difficulties that they encounter.
Finally, review your processes and protocols and see if there are any ways to streamline these.
Businesses should never rest on their laurels when it comes to customer service. They have to consistently review and tweak their offerings in line with changing client requirements.
Had BlockBuster done so, they’d still be a driving force in the American entertainment industry rather than a now-defunct franchise.