6 Proven Tips for Improving Customer Service for Your Business

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“Customer service is not a department; it’s everyone’s job.” — Blanchard, Keneth H.

Did you know that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience? 

It’s not enough to handle issues alone; excellent customer service also means giving customers memorable experiences that make them want to return. 

Customer service can be provided in many different ways, such as in person, over the phone, through email, live chat, text, and social media.

This guide will show seven tried-and-true ways to improve your business’s customer service. 

Using these tips, you can make your customers happier, keep them coming back, and eventually make more money. 

Keep in mind that customer retention is often more cost-effective than customer acquisition.

In summary, here are the 6 proven tips for improving customer service for your business. Implementing these tips will make your customers happier, more loyal, and more likely to buy from you again. 

  1. Teach and empower your team
  2. Listen to customer feedback
  3. Make the customer experience unique
  4. Think about the response time
  5. Set up a good work environment
  6. Go above and beyond for your customers

4 Effects of bad customer service experiences

A bad customer experience can greatly affect both the customer and the business. Here’s how:

  1. Unhappiness: Bad service makes you feel like you’re not being valued. If you’re unhappy with the brand, it can change how you see it and make you less likely to interact with it again.
  2. Trust Loss: Bad customer service hurts trust in a business. You lose faith in a brand when it breaks promises, communicates poorly, or mishandles problems.
  3. Negative Word of Mouth: Unhappy Customers often write reviews or discuss a business. Bad reviews can hurt the business’s reputation and make people avoid buying from it.
  4. Less Loyalty: Loyalty is built on trust and good experiences. When you get bad service repeatedly, you stop being loyal to the brand. You might want other options that prioritise your needs and improve things. 

The next section shares the six tips for improving customer experience.

1. Teach and empower your team

One of the most important things you can do to improve your business’s customer service is to teach and empower your team. This is what you can do:

  • Train Your Team Well: Comprehensive training programmes will equip your team with the qualities to provide excellent customer service. Use training to learn how to communicate, solve problems, and handle customer complaints.
  • Promote lifelong learning: Encourage your team to learn and grow. Offer more training, workshops, and skill-building to improve customer service and keep them updated on industry best practices.
  • Let employees choose: Trust your team to make decisions and handle customer interactions. Give them the tools to solve problems independently and meet customer needs. This streamlines operations and boosts employee morale and confidence.
  • Set an example: Leaders demonstrate the importance of customer service through their actions. Interact with others, answer questions professionally, and put the customer first to model proper behaviour.
  • Frequently Help and Give Feedback: Give your team members frequent feedback to improve their customer service skills. Celebrate successes and give constructive feedback to improve areas. Create a supportive environment to make team members feel valued and motivated.
  • Promote Collaboration: Encourage team members to collaborate to share information, ideas, and best practices. Encourage collaboration to achieve excellent customer service.

2. Listen to customer feedback

To improve your business’s customer service, you must listen to what your customers have to say. This is how you can successfully get feedback from your important customers and use it:

  • Offer Several Ways for Customers to Give Feedback: Give customers a chance to give feedback through surveys, website feedback forms, social media sites, and direct communication channels like email and phone. Customers can say what they think when you give them a choice.
  • Listen to what customers have to say: Listen to what your customers say, and try to understand what they mean. Carefully listening shows that you want to help and value what they say.
  • Look at the trends in feedback: Check out feedback trends and patterns to find problems that customers often have. Explore recurring issues or ways to improve the business. Using data to guide your decisions lets you set improvement priorities and address customer concerns.
  • Answer quickly and professionally: Quickly respond to good and bad customer feedback. Thank them for their thoughts. When you get negative feedback, you should apologise and fix the problem. Being quick and professional shows you care about your customers and builds trust.
  • Adapt to What People Say: What people say about your products, services, and processes can help you improve them. Answer customer questions and make the experience better based on what they say. Show your customers that you value their feedback by letting them know about changes you made based on what they said.
  • Follow up to ensure the customer’s happiness: After making changes or finding a solution, follow up with them to ensure their happiness. Find out if the changes helped and what else you can do to improve their experience. Caring about their happiness makes them trust you and stay loyal.

3. Make the customer experience unique

Providing customers with a more personalised experience makes them more satisfied and loyal to the brand. What you need to do to do it right:

  • Get to know your customers: Learn about the wants, needs, and behaviours of your customers, both as individuals and as a group.
  • Get helpful information: Use what customers have bought, how they browse, and their feedback to determine what they like and are interested in.
  • Split up your audience: You can better serve each group by dividing customers into groups based on shared behaviours or traits.
  • Change the way you talk: Use the right words and tone, address customers by name, and send them personalised offers or suggestions based on their preferences.
  • Offer Personalised Solutions: To improve your customers’ experience, tailor products or services to their needs or give them personalised suggestions.
  • Predict Needs: Offer solutions or help before the customer asks for them. This will show that you understand and value their preferences. 

4. Think about the response time

It is essential to provide prompt responses in order to enhance your business customer service. What you need to do to do it right:

  • Make expectations clear: Clearly state all your response times so customers know when to expect a response from your team.
  • Watch the communication channels: Ensure customer questions and problems are answered by checking email, calling, using social media, and visiting the website.
  • As soon as possible: Try to answer customer messages and questions within a few hours. Customers will feel better if you acknowledge their questions and let them know you are working on them, even if you can’t solve them immediately.
  • Using tools for automation: Customers can ask questions and get help right away from chatbots or autoresponders, especially after hours.
  • Set priorities for urgent issues: Take care of urgent customer issues like technical problems and complaints right away to keep things from getting worse and your customers from getting angry.
  • Follow-up: Once you’ve answered a customer’s question or fixed their problem, ensure they are happy and address any concerns.

5. Set up a good work environment

It is necessary to have a healthy business culture in order to construct a powerful team and provide outstanding service to customers. A guide to creating a pleasant atmosphere at work:

  • Be Clear: Tell everyone on your team what your company stands for and its mission. Your actions and choices should be based on these values, which will help the team work together and have a purpose.
  • Open Communication: Encourage people to talk to each other freely. Allow team members to share their thoughts and concerns and listen to what they say.
  • Help Cooperation: Encourage a culture of working together and giving everyone on the team the tools they need to reach their goals. Encourage cooperation between departments and recognise teamwork.
  • Celebrate your team’s success: Recognise and reward your team members’ good work. Give them incentives, bonuses, or other recognition for their hard work.
  • Set the tone for your company’s culture by showing your team how to act and what you believe in. Being a leader with honesty, empathy, and openness shows that you care about making the workplace a good place for everyone.

6. Go above and beyond for your customers

To enhance customer service, go above and beyond what the customer anticipates. How to carry it out:

  • Provide excellent service at all contact points, exceeding the customer’s expectations. Do nice things for your customers that will surprise and please them.
  • Guess Needs: Use past behaviour to guess what customers want and need. If you offer personalised suggestions or answers before they ask, customers will know you care about them and understand their needs.
  • Customise your service, making each customer feel like a particular part of your business. Remember what they like, call them by name, and ensure your solutions meet their needs.
  • Creatively solve problems: To solve problems, you need to think outside the box. Be flexible and go the extra mile to make customers happy.
  • Show that you care: Genuinely care about your customers’ happiness and well-being. Listen to their worries, try to understand, and offer help.
  • Follow up with the customer to ensure they are happy after you solve their problem or meet their request. Keep your word, and show that you can be trusted and are responsible.

Related: 9 Steps To Start A Profitable Business In Nigeria

In conclusion:

Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Take advantage of customer feedback as a chance to learn and improve, and always try to go above and beyond what customers expect.

As you continue to prioritize and strengthen your customer service efforts, exploring avenues that amplify your commitment to excellence is essential. By registering your business in our online directory for businesses in Nigeria, you enhance your visibility and credibility. Don’t miss this opportunity to stand out and attract more customers. Register your business today!