How do you improve customer service? You can read epic blog posts, test out new technology, or implement proven tactics, but youíll never be 100% sure if youíre tackling the core issue until you go to the source.
The most reliable way to improve customer service is to ask the experts ñ your customers.
Why Ask Your Customers?
The whole point of customer service is to provide a positive experience throughout the entire customer journey ñ from research, to purchase, to delivery, and beyond. This limits the number of issues that can arise and increases the likelihood that customers will become loyal brand advocates.
Thereís no better authority on customer service than your customers themselves. Here are some ways you can elicit direct feedback from them.
Ask Your Customers
There are several ways to get direct feedback. Use an email autoresponder to reach out to customers post-purchase and ask about their experience. Make it part of your sales process.
You can also create surveys. Ask key questions that will reveal the information you need to know. Keep it short so itís easy to fill out. Offer it through email or social media.
If you have the resources, consider holding focus groups. These are sessions where customers get together and talk about their experience with a brand. It takes more work but can yield deeper insights.
Learning from Customer Complaints
No business enjoys dealing with difficult customers, but if you listen carefully, they can provide you with valuable insight. In fact, if you view customer complaints as opportunities for feedback and growth, youíll integrate what youíve learned and upgrade your customer service.
Remember, a vocal customer may be telling you things that others are thinking, but are too afraid to say.
Create a system for handling customer complaints. Use active listening, paying close attention to what theyíve said, and then repeating it back to them in your own words. Work on a solution together.
Monitoring Customer Conversations
You can get indirect information by monitoring discussions online. Use keywords or hashtags to find conversations, or set up alerts so you can tune in when people are talking about you. Check out social media, online forums, and review sites and gather feedback that your customers are hesitant to share with you directly.
Create More Touchpoints
Touchpoints are all the places where you can connect with customers. This includes your website or social media during the research and sales stages, email inquiries, offline at events, or anywhere else where customers can interact with you or your brand.
How many touchpoints do you have? Communication, interaction, and engagement can generate helpful feedback, so add as many touchpoints as possible to your sales process.
How to Use This Feedback
Gather feedback, assess it, and incorporate it into your customer service strategy. Your customers will be happier and your business will reap the benefits and grow.
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