In today’s competitive business landscape, and in an age of instant online reviews and social media shares; providing good customer service is more important than ever.
Regardless of the product or industry, the way you look after your customer before, during, and after a purchase is often the deciding factor that gives you the edge on your competitors.
In this article we’ll look at what makes good customer service, the essential customer service skills for customer-facing employees, and why it’s always worth prioritising good customer service above all else.
How customer service can make or break your business
While the definition of what makes good customer service is a fluid one, the key point is that you meet – or even exceed – your customer’s expectations.
And when you do, the payoff is profound. According to Zendesk’s 2021 Trends Report, a huge 75% of customers will spend more to buy from a company that offers a good customer experience, or CX, which shows just what a difference customer service really makes.
Customer service skills are an essential requirement for employees in any customer-facing role, and an easy way to remember what these skills look like in practice is the three Ps: professionalism, patience, and a people-first attitude.
But how do we ensure these employee qualities translate to good customer service in everyday interactions? Here are five simple ways to deliver good customer service and retain your customers in the process.
5 steps to providing good customer service
1. Know your customer
To meet or exceed your customer’s expectations, you first need to know your customer – and what they’re expecting from you – inside and out. While data is our friend when it comes to understanding customer trends, it’s also important to remember that customers are human. Spending time to work out your customer’s pain-points enables you to empathise with them and offer a solution, whether that’s a product or a service.
2. Solve their problem
Once you’ve identified your customer’s pain-points, you have an opportunity to meet them where they’re at and solve their problem with your product or service. This is where being able to provide bespoke solutions can often help you not just meet, but exceed customer expectations. At GUK we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt all our solutions by recognising that they’re not one-size-fits-all.
3. Respond quickly
When it comes to offering your solution, response time is everything. We live in a digital age, where customers can order at the click of a button or the swipe of a screen. Being able to respond quickly ensures you don’t lose a customer to a competitor. In practical terms, this means ensuring things like website enquiry forms are working and dealt with quickly, and that customers can get a quick response from you via all your contact channels – including on social media.
4. Rectify any issues
When you’re faced with a challenge, it’s important to resolve any problems with empathy and patience and offer great customer care. Things can and do go wrong, and if you’ve failed to deliver the level of customer service you strive for, you may well be faced with an unhappy customer. Your customer service skills at this point of resolution have the power to repair the relationship and turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal one.
5. Ask for feedback
Good customer service is constantly evolving, and the best way to ensure you can continue to deliver excellent service is to request and action customer feedback. Look for negatives as well as positives – what did you do well, and what could be better? A customer who feels valued and heard is a happy customer, which is why good listening skills are so crucial in customer service roles.