How Do You Define Excellent Customer Service?
Investopedia defines customer service in this succinct sentence, “All interactions between a customer and a product provider at the time of sale, and thereafter.” Being excellent at something is, “possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good.” How do you define excellent customer service?
Excellent customer service defined is providing superior and quality service to customers during all interactions.
It is in your business’s best interest to focus on keeping your customers happy and satisfied. Some companies will give their undivided attention to their potential customers and the moment a sale is made, their focus drifts to the next lead. Providing helpful and friendly assistance continuously will add value to your product and help build customer loyalty.
Defining excellent customer service is all well and good, but understanding how to provide excellent customer service is the bigger question. So big in fact, we’ve created a list of 7 questions to ask when trying to improve your customer service.
- 1.) Are You an Expert When It Comes to Your Product?
In order to provide exemplary customer service, you have to be an expert. People want to feel like they’re doing business with competent individuals that are well-educated in their industry. The more knowledgeable you are, the more comfortable they feel in trusting you enough to hand over their money.
For example, we’re in the business of providing answering and messaging services. Let’s say you called us to understand how your business phone calls are forwarded to our digital call centers in real-time. What would happen if we told you, “Well, we’re not 100% sure but we think that when you…”
Would you feel comfortable in doing business with us? Neither will your potential customers if you’re not an expert in your field.
- 2.) How Easy Do You Make It for Customers to Contact You?
One of the biggest criticisms customer service departments receive is the inability to reach a live agent. Your customers will not enjoy having to expend long amounts of their time trying to speak with a representative from your company.
It’s reported that, “67% of customers hang up on a phone connection out of frustration they could not talk to a real person and 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.”
Make speaking with your company as easy as possible. List your department heads’ email addresses on your website. Outsource your afterhours and weekend calls to an answering service. Designate a main customer service manager within your team.
- 3.) Do You Listen to Your Customers and Respond to Feedback?
How do you define excellent customer service? One of the biggest factors of superior service is listening to your customers. Opening the lines of communication is a win-win for everyone involved. Your customers will be grateful to have an empathetic ear when they need to voice their opinions. Your business will have a customized focus group to improve business operations.
Listen to your customers praises as well as their complaints. Both will give you fresh insight into your target market’s wants and needs. Resolve the issues in a reasonable manner and compromise when needed.
Your current customers will refer their friends, family and colleagues if they feel like they’ll be taken care of.
- 4.) Can You Define Your Customer’s Basic Expectations?
Exceed your customer’s expectations and you will increase their loyalty instantly. In order to exceed those expectations, you must first be able to clearly define the outcome your customer is expecting. Research your target market and develop a deep understanding of how they expect the transaction to go.
For a small example, let’s say you’re a dog food distributor. What if you were to include a free treat delivered with your customer’s normal order. Something as small as a free doggie treat will exceed your customer’s expectation in a very positive way. Your company brand and image will be one of admiration and kindness.
If your business is working with a tight budget but still wants to deliver that extra “wow factor,” hiring an after-hour answering service could work. If your customers call your office at 8 pm on a Friday night and expect a voicemail but get a live telephone agent, they’d be surprised in a very positive way. Our monthly rates start at just $20.
- 5.) Are Your Customer Service Reps Positive and Enthusiastic?
In order to provide positive interactions with your customers, you need a team that’s prepared to go above and beyond. People do business with people they like. It’s that simple.
We have provided award winning customer service for 30 years and counting. These are the top 10 customer service traits we believe you should focus on when hiring your team.
- • A Full and Informed Understanding of the Company
- • The Ability to Listen Without Taking Things Personally
- • Experienced in Active Listening to Reach the Core of a Complaint
- • Kind, Professional and Attentive Throughout the Call
- • Capable of Delivering an Empathetic and Sincere Apology
- • Trained in Reaching Amicable and Beneficial Solutions
- • Positive and Optimistic Energy to Change Customer’s Attitude
- • A Gracious Demeanor When Accepting Customer’s Criticism
- • Mood Control and Ability to Continue Day with a Cheerful Disposition
- • Excellent Message Taking to Document Conversation for Supervisor
- 6.) What Are Your Customer Satisfaction Policies?
The purpose of this question is to find out if you have policies, procedures or protocols for handling customer satisfaction. What is your refund policy? Do you offer discount programs to social influencers? Do you have bulk order pricing? Who does a customer call when they want to complain? Do you have an affiliate or referral program?
It takes time, but write down a solid procedure’s manual for your customer service team. Outline what they can and cannot do. Showcase how you’d prefer certain scenarios to play. Provide your company’s mission statement and core values. These are all assets that your team can utilize when interacting with customers.
- 7.) Do You Have One-Time Customers or Repeat Customers?
A sure way to find out if you’re giving excellent customer service is paying attention to your sales numbers. When tracking, isolate profits obtained from new customers versus existing customers.
If you’re seeing a lot of one-time only buyers, try to analyze the data to discover a pattern. Why are people only buying once from your company? Figure out the problem so you can create its solution.
When the majority of your business is from repeat customers, it means that your customer service is running smoothly. Your customers are happy. When you provide assistance before and after their transactions, you’re building a reliable reputation.
How Do You Define Excellent Customer Service?
After answering these 7 detailed questions, can you say that your business provides excellent customer service? If not, work on the areas that you feel are your weak points. The great thing about excellent customer service is that it can start immediately.
Good luck and best wishes to you all!