How to improve your customer service
There are many approaches to increasing customer satisfaction, but the H-E-A-R-T method appears to cover most critical aspects in a simple manner.
Customer Service Week is a time to reflect on the interrelated well-being of all of the people who make up your company: those who utilize your product or service, as well as those who serve your customers and help your company work smoothly.
The value of a customer’s interaction with a company cannot be overstated. It has the potential to make or break their entire journey.
For consumers, customer experience has become more important than price and customers are willing to spend more money with a company that guarantees them a satisfying experience. According to McKinsey, 70% of the customer’s journey is dictated by how the customer feels they are being treated.
A lot of businesses compete through the level of customer experience they are able to deliver and most of the time, businesses that deliver better customer service obtain revenue above their market.
It’s important to see your customers as invited guests to a party and as the host it’s upon you to make the customer experience a little bit better, this helps your reputation in the industry. A good number of customers tell others if they have a satisfying experience but the same customers will not tell a business about their negative experience. They simply leave.
Analysing your customer service to deliver better experiences is a huge part of creating a positive experience for your clients. Customers need to feel their expectations being met and most of the time they do not mind sharing their personal information in exchange for better services. This extends across all platforms including social media which plays a major role in regards to feedback in today’s world.
Do not try to be smart and tell the customers what they want. Serve them instead. Many customers blame poor customer service for having to explain their issues multiple times.
There are other approaches to increasing customer satisfaction, but the H-E-A-R-T method appears to cover all of the most critical aspects in a simple manner.
Hear, Empathize, Apologize, Respond, and Thank your clients.
Availability is just as important as the actual process of listening. Have at least four or five ways for customers to discuss products and services; emails, phone calls, texts, live chats. Being as available as possible shows your customers you care before you even actually start discussing their experience or purchase.
Empathizing is often a little easier to do in person, making email responses and live chats a struggle, but there are strategies for empathetic writing that can help you get over that hurdle. Do your best to put yourself in the person’s shoes, and use dialogue such as “I understand” and “That would upset me too”. This is a stepping stone to the important part, which is ‘Apology’.
There will certainly be customers who are more difficult than others, but those ones, in particular, like to hear that you think they are right. Similar to employee retention strategies focused on making the individuals feel empowered, apologizing to an angry customer makes them feel like they are in the proverbial driver’s seat.
In ideal situations, whether in-person, on the phone, or via text, you’ll know how to amend the issue. If an immediate remedy to their issue is not available or beyond a given employee’s pay grade, even a simple promise to immediately talk to someone who knows the answer to their question, or a promise of a follow up email, adds a level of comfort even if the customer is a bit upset about not getting an immediate answer.
Regardless of whether the response is one that solves their issue or not, a thank you is necessary. Let the client know that their issue will be taken into account, and you appreciate them reaching out, as it will ultimately help your company serve customers better in the future. Add that you hope they continue to be one of those customers.
The H-E-A-R-T method is built on kindness and an attempt to understand where others are coming from. It’s not only great for customer service, but also in everyday life.