7 ways to improve customer service in the workplace

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Whether you’re a big corporate company or a small start-up, your customer service needs to be impressive, to make sure people recommend your business to others.

But if you’ve noticed that your clients aren’t pleased with the service you’re providing, it might be time to think about improving the way your team interacts.

Here are seven ways you can improve your customer service and make sure your clients are kept happy.

1. What does your customer need?

It may seem a simple question but paying close attention to what your customers are asking for is vital.

Think about what information they already have and what would be most useful to them. If a chatbot could provide them with quick answers, perhaps that would be best, but if it’s a more complicated query, they may need to speak to a human who can talk it through with them.

Sifting through your previous customer feedback can help you understand what information people are commonly looking for.

If you haven’t already, make it easy for your team to capture information from your customers so you can build on the data you have. It should also be simple for your team to access the answers your customers are looking for, so they can respond efficiently.

Members of your team who might be giving complex and more sensitive advice could benefit more from an Information, Advice, and Guidance course that could help them to signpost customers, clients, and colleagues to the answers they need.

2. Use empathy at every turn

When you’re dealing with an unhappy customer, acting defensively could anger them and make the situation even worse.

Encourage your team to step into your customer’s shoes. What are their worries and concerns right now? It’s important for them to know that you’re on their side, and want to work with them, not against them.

This is an ideal time for your team to flex their active listening skills so they can show the customer that they really hear them. Listen and engage fully with what the customer is saying, rather than concentrating on what the response will be. It’s also helpful to paraphrase what the customer is saying, so they can confirm whether the people in your team have got a really good understanding of their problem.

3. Provide clear communication

Baffling your customers with industry jargon or making it difficult for them to understand what’s going on will never work in your favour.

Keep responses to your customer clear and concise so they know that their problem has been recognised. Then, once you’ve come to a solution, make sure they understand what they’ll be receiving – for instance, a refund or replacement – and when they should expect it. Try to give specific timeframes so your customer’s expectations are clear.

4. Get your team on the same page

To give the best possible customer experience, your team needs to stay consistent across the board. No matter which area of the business they’re working in, everyone should be able to give the same answers to customers.

You don’t want to get into a situation where one customer has been given a refund because their product is broken, while another hasn’t, for the same reason. You’ll risk upsetting someone leading to more complaints, and unhappy customers.

Your team should all be using a similar tone of voice to keep the customer experience consistent too. That helps your customers know what to expect when they contact you. As part of your customer service training, let your team know how the brand speaks to your audience across different channels, so they know whether they should be down-to-earth and conversational, or formal and professional.

5. Train your team in customer service skills

If your team is finding it difficult to communicate effectively with customers, it might be time to book a training course.

The type of training your team will need depends on the type of business you’re running. For instance, you might be selling products globally and need a vast customer service team to keep up with enquiries, in which case a customer service training programme will be your best option. Or, if you work at a housing association and are offering advice to clients who need support, a Level 4 Information, Advice, and Guidance course could be the best route.

Those in advisory roles will especially benefit from the IAG qualification as it can help them advocate for and interact with the people they speak to.

6. Go above and beyond

Customers only tend to share their experiences with a company when they receive poor, or exceptional, customer service.

If you can show your customers just how much you value them, you can make sure you retain their custom, and help them feel appreciated.

Ask your team to brainstorm ideas for excellent customer service, and make sure everyone is aware of what they can do to go the extra mile.

You could even share examples of your customer’s feedback on social media to earn trust with those who follow you.

7. Keep your team motivated

It’s important to encourage your team and keep morale up, especially if they’re working with difficult customers or situations.

Recognising their efforts and rewarding them when a customer gives amazing feedback can help them to feel valued and respected for the work they do.

As well as giving incentives to do a great job, prioritising your team’s wellbeing is key. Look after their mental health and make sure they know who they can speak to if they have any concerns.

Improving your customer service starts with small changes that can have a massive impact. It starts with hiring the right people for the job and providing them with excellent training that will stay with them throughout their career.

To work with us on training for your team, take a look at the courses we offer here.

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