Five ways to improve the customer service experience in your business
By Peter Campbell, business owner of Snowshock
A recent study has found that only 4% of customers felt they have a better customer experience in the last year than years previously.
A decline in customer satisfaction may result in lost leads, unsold opportunities, and a lack of customer retention. So how do we start to boost the experience for our customers in and out-of-store?
Improving the customer experience can be achieved over time by improving processes. Self-service desks are the perfect solution for customers to have quick and easy in-store experiences.
These can range from food retailers offering iced coffee machines with instant access to drinks to clothing retailers providing self-checkouts. This not only allows customers lesser waiting times, as lines will be reduced due to the speed of self-checkouts, but they can also benefit from better food and drink options.
Other industries, such as hospitality, can also use self-service machines to improve customer satisfaction. Venues such as hotels or entertainment arenas can use unmanned information desks to provide answers to frequent questions and booking requests 24/7.
Coherent returns policy
One time the quality of your customer service is truly tested is during the returns stage. This is when the customer is at their most unhappy and will either need a replacement or a refund.
Ensuring you have a good returns policy can help your customers better understand their rights. The more coherent and accessible this is, the better. Making sure this is clear on your website is essential.
Giving the option of omnichannel communication can improve your customer experience with queries and returns too. The opportunity to contact your business from different touchpoints, including in person, over the phone, email, or social media, gives your customers freedom of choice in the method they get in touch – providing them with as many access points to you as possible can open up communication.
Good community engagement
Keeping community engagement sweet is another way you can boost the customer experience. Not only does being active across all socials make contacting you with complaints, feedback, or even a kind word easier, but it can also help enhance your company’s branding.
Making sure all comments and direct messages are responded to in a timely and professional manner is crucial for good customer communication. No matter the query, handling customers with care doesn’t start or end at the till.
Remember, social media platforms are primarily meant for people to communicate. As a result, it’s highly likely that your customers will also use these platforms to discuss your brand – either to recommend it or to warn others to avoid it.
Monitoring your socials can ensure the right messages are being sent so that new customers don’t get a negative impression of you before even setting foot in one of your venues.
Improving customer experience also includes offering your customers the most out of any of your competitors. A good deal here and there can keep them coming back.
It has been found that 84% of customers would actually maintain brand loyalty if there was some form of membership program. So being able to offer those all-important discounts helps improve your customers’ likelihood of staying around.
The stronger your customer retention is, the more you will experience positive feedback. You need happy customers willing to stay to prove the popularity of your business.
Varied product offerings
Being able to offer a variety of products and services can also increase your customer experience. Customer satisfaction cannot be reached if they are searching for a product or service that you don’t provide.
Making sure your stock list is varied for your customers can mean they find what they want when they want it. Keeping up with market trends means you don’t miss out on important sales opportunities and can ensure your customers are leaving happy every time.
The customer experience is all about open communication, a good company reputation, and excellent offerings. Your customers don’t want to be waiting in line for hours only to find out their item is out of stock, for example. And they definitely don’t want to get home to find a broken piece, having no way of contacting you.