How do you improve customer service?
You can read epic blog posts, test out new technology, or implement proven tactics.
But you’ll never be 100% sure if you’re tackling the core issue until you go to the source.
The most reliable way to improve customer service is to ask the experts – your customers.
Why Ask Your Customers?
The whole point of customer service is to provide a positive experience throughout the entire customer journey.
This journey starts with research, goes through purchase, to delivery, and beyond.
Giving your customer and pleasantly memorable journey limits the number of issues that can arise.
When you customer enjoys the journey, it increases the likelihood that they will become loyal brand advocates.
There’s no better authority on customer service than your customers themselves.
Here are some ways you can elicit direct feedback from them.
1. Ask Every Customer for Feedback
There are several ways to get direct feedback.
Use an email autoresponder to reach out to customers post-purchase and ask about their experience.
A great service I use for this is Customer Guru
They automate the whole questionnaire process and use the responses to calculate my NetPromoter Score.
Your NetPromoter Score is one of the 7 Forms of Social Proof you want to include on your website.
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 it’s 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.
2. Learn from Customer Complaints
No business enjoys dealing with unhappy customers, but if you listen carefully, they can provide you with valuable insight.
View any customer complaint as an opportunity for learning and growth.
Get to the root of the problem and then integrate what you’ve learned to 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 they’ve said, and then repeating it back to them in your own words.
Work on a solution together.
3. Monitor 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.
You can use Google Alerts, or get a more specialised information from services such as BrandMentions.
4. 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 enquiries, offline events, or anywhere else where a 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.