A guide to improving customer service

Great customer service ensures a positive customer experience and is at the heart of business success. So, if you’re struggling with engaging customers, you may want to consider thinking about how to improve customer service within your business.

A survey has found that 88% of consumers say they are more attracted to companies that exhibit ethical values and authenticity. Fortunately, Sigma Connected can directly help you with this with outsourced customer service solutions delivered right to your door.

Our bespoke solutions can help you optimise your customer services, ensuring not only improved customer experience, but also increased customer retention by fostering customer loyalty.

In this guide, you’ll find our expert advice and suggestions to help improve your team’s customer service skills. Providing exceptional customer service will leave you with happy customers and an increased rate of desired actions, such as a purchase decision, newsletter subscription, form application or signing up for a service.

Get connected with our team now to find out more about our services and how we can help you improve your business’ customer service.

Why customer service is so important

Regardless of industry, customer service is absolutely crucial for organisational success. A bad customer experience can lead to the end of a customer’s journey with your business, so it’s important to consider what you could do to improve your customer services.

Excellent customer service goes that extra mile for customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In a highly saturated market, you’re going to have to find ways to make your business stand out from the competition, and one way to do that is to have top-class customer service with a customer support team that is enthusiastic and willing to help customers.

Customer retention and building loyal relationships with customers has been made easier by simply improving your customer service capabilities, helping your business grow and thrive as a result of positive customer feedback and customer interactions with your customer service representatives.

How to improve customer service in business

So, the big question is – how can you improve customer service in business?

Other than investing in outsourced talent and technology – where your brand is represented to its fullest potential by a team of highly skilled customer service reps who understand your business and your customers’ needs – Sigma Connected has compiled a list of how you can improve customer service in your business.

Empathy, patience, and consistency

Customer service teams receive numerous customer queries and problems that customers are hoping to get solved quickly. Your team must be adequately resourced so that their queries are dealt with efficiently.

Empathy, patience, and consistency, are general skills that call agents need to have to provide effective customer service. Your customers should be treated with respect and compassion, no matter what their query is.

Being able to provide genuine guidance that is authentic and empathetic, making customer support about helping customers and not the business, is what can help make your customers feel understood or heard, whether that’s on the phone or via digital channels.

To foster healthy relationships with your customers, they must feel that any problems or queries that they have are validated, which in turn will increase the probability of that customer returning to your business time and time again.

Practice active listening

One of the key customer service skills to have is active listening since customer service reps must be able to process and retain information at rapid speeds, especially during phone queries.

The ability to listen and understand the main points of what the customer is trying to say is what changes your customer service from average to outstanding – which is why active listening is an important skill that your customer service teams should have.

Having to repeat what you’re saying multiple times can be frustrating for customers since they expect customer service calls to be quick and efficient. This can lead to them producing a poor customer review and negative feedback. To mitigate this, encouraging your team to practice active listening is a step in the right direction for improving your customer service.

Use positive language in your interactions

In terms of customer service, utilising positive language is more effective in helping customers. For example, positive language includes phrases such as:

  • “We can…” instead of “We can’t/cannot…”
  • “We’re able to…”
  • “As an alternative…” or “Instead, we recommend…”

Such phrases avoid negative words, thus it’s important to accentuate what the business can do for the customer, instead of telling them what they can’t do.

In general, positive language and phrases highlight actions and consequences that are beneficial to the customer, suggesting alternatives and providing them with a solution  – even if it’s something that the representative is unable to do themselves.

Know your products and services inside out

Your customer service reps must have comprehensive knowledge of your business’ products and services in order to provide a high standard of customer service. Many customers may contact customer service with enquiries about technical issues, or specific product or service features, that will require your customer service team to know exactly what they’re referring to.

Ensuring that your team is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the business’ products and services can prevent delays in solving customer problems or queries. If the customer service rep is unsure of a certain query and uncertain of their response, they must also have the knowledge of what team or department they need to contact to get the correct information, in order to answer the customer query effectively.

Communicate clear customer service standards

Establishing clear standards of customer service is critical.

By communicating to your customer service reps what you expect from them and the standards that they must fulfil as part of the customer service team, they then have an outline of how they should present themselves and behave during calls or messages.

This can be established during staff training or a customer service policy that they must abide by to ensure that they’re aware that there is a standard for your customer service. When your customer service team reflects such standards when dealing with customers, customers are also able to witness it for themselves, which may affect their future purchasing decisions and perceptions of your business.

Exceed expectations wherever possible

Now that you have established standards for your customer service team to follow, it’s just as vital that they’re able to exceed such expectations whenever they can. Whilst it’s certainly great practice to live up to your business’ customer expectations, exceeding them is what can help your business gain a competitive advantage over similar businesses in the market.

Exceeding expectations is all about going above and beyond in supporting your customers, and sometimes this simply means building a genuine human connection between the customer service rep and the customer.

If you operate a fully digital customer service system, it may be time to start thinking about integrating this with human customer service operatives as well. Although a chatbot can provide useful information and answer basic queries, a meaningful connection cannot be created through this channel alone.

Consequently, building a rapport with customers and creating a personal customer experience can help to improve conversion rates, encouraging them to purchase your products or services because they have developed trust and loyalty with your business through their positive interactions with the customer service team.

Make it easy for customers to complain

Another way to improve your customer service in your business is to incorporate a number of ways for customers to reach your customer service team. This means adopting an omnichannel approach to customer services where customers can reach you by the channel of their choice, when they want. These channels are integrated so one can pick up where the other left off, for a seamless customer service experience.

Making it easy for customers to reach you whenever they have a problem or issue improves your customer service tremendously. Customers can also be disappointed or dissatisfied when they’re unable to contact customer services via an efficient route, thus, providing them with multiple methods to get in touch is a great way to show your customers that you care about their feedback and issues.

Make sure your reps are engaged

To be able to provide effective and excellent customer service, your customer service reps must be engaged and willing to help customers. As a result, when you’re recruiting for your customer service team, it’s important to look for candidates who are enthusiastic about helping others and possess an eagerness to learn.

To truly engage your reps, it’s suggested that you implement competent training programmes that can help them prepare for actual customer service calls. Someone with more experience and seniority above them can become a mentor for them, training and guiding them during their training and introductory period, plus offering guidance even after they have completed training.

Investing in training and development, as well as cultivating a supportive work culture, can help your customer service reps stay engaged and keen to continuously learn and help customers with their issues. 

How Sigma Connected improves your customer service

Sigma Connected provides white-label customer contact and service centre solutions  for a range of industry sectors. Our company culture revolves around inclusivity, which is why we thrive on learning and growth as a collective, not apart.

We work in partnership with our clients and have a proven track record of providing solutions that create positive outcomes and experiences for everyone – not just customers.

All of the above tips on how to improve customer service are completed for you with our customer service solutions at Sigma Connected.

Sigma Connected’s team of expert customer service reps are here to handle your business’ customer relationships with a human touch and adept knowledge that is prepared for all kinds of customer queries.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in for your business, get connected with Sigma Connected today to begin your journey of improving customer service within your business.

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