We won’t go on for a long time about how important high-quality customer service is for the prosperity of your business. Let’s just cite an interesting statistic from open Internet sources: about 85% of companies believe that their service is impeccable. However, only 8% of consumers can confirm this.
Therefore, in order to provide a truly high-quality service, it is first and foremost important for us to know what criteria our customers use to evaluate it.
User experience: what builds trust and loyalty
Of course, customer expectations can vary depending on the industry, niche, culture and specific situations. For example, when we buy a chair on Amazon, we expect fast delivery: every day of delay, whether through the fault of the seller or the transport company, increases the degree of dissatisfaction. However, if we place an order for individual production (say, the same loft-style metal chair made to individual sizes), we are easily ready to compromise on speed and wait as long as necessary to get a high-quality result.
However, speed is undoubtedly one of the most important parameters of quality service. Moreover, it can be divided into several aspects:
- speed of response from the consultant in case of any questions;
- the speed of order processing (checking availability, preparation, dispatch);
- delivery speed.
The second criterion many customers mention is the convenience of shopping. This includes:
- availability of complete and accurate information in the product/service description;
- the ability to compare products with others;
- simple ordering process (without filling out questionnaires and dozens of steps);
- high-quality photos and video (preferably in 3D);
- payment methods convenient for the buyer, their variety;
- return/exchange is available.
Yes, these are indirect factors that do not directly depend on the behaviour of the consultant or store manager, but without them, it will be difficult for a business to provide a “five-star experience”.
Now, let’s discuss how to make sure that the customer is satisfied from the point of view of the responsible employee.
So, the first rule of a good salesperson is customisation (understanding needs without imposing) and personalisation. People appreciate when service is tailored to their individual preferences. This can include useful recommendations or tailoring services to a specific request.
Of course, the salesperson should be polite, correct, and genuinely interested. In some cases, humour is appropriate.
For example, Monobank’s support staff can continue the lyrics of a song that you send them as an information request. But this does not affect the reputation as a disadvantage for a serious financial institution.
The “aerobatics” of service is creating a wow effect. Simply put, when a business does something for the user that goes beyond the standards. For example: a valuable gift to an order, a discount coupon, fan meetings, personalised birthday greetings, creation of unique products to order, etc.
5 practical tips on how to improve customer service
1. Listen to your customers and respond to their feedback
It’s not just about addressing negative feedback. You can give your customers a sense of ownership, for example, by organising a competition for the best product name (with valuable prizes). Or you can adopt the strategy of Starbucks, which regularly adds new drinks to its menu based on trends and user requests.
2. Become better than your competitors
There is nothing easier and more effective than finding negative opinions about your competitors and using them to make a checklist to avoid similar mistakes in your business.
3. Create maximum personalisation
The task of this point is to make the customer feel special and unique, important to your business. For example, baristas in coffee shops remember customer preferences and surprise them with questions: “As usual, a double latte on coconut?”.
This can easily be applied to online marketing. From basic birthday greetings and discounts to original newsletters.
For example, a small clothing brand from Instagram sends an annual letter to its “former” customers with the following content: “We’ve noticed that you haven’t treated yourself to a new dress from brand XXX for a year now. Let’s fix this misunderstanding, shall we?
4. Think about added value
For example, a manufacturer of shugaring paste can launch a free training course called “How to become a hair removal master”. As a result, the user, when purchasing the product, also gets the opportunity to learn a new profession.
5. Maintain customer loyalty and interest
Globally, it is not even important for business to serve the customer well at the moment, but how to get a regular customer through quality service. Loyalty programmes, promotions and discounts are great for solving this problem.You can also “play” on common interests and values with your audience. Example: A brand that promises to donate a portion of its profits to charitable organisations or engages in environmentally friendly production.