In an era when competition is cutthroat regardless of sector, companies need more than just discounts and promotions. Companies need to focus on advertising in order to woo new customers and retain existing ones. Outstanding customer service is the mantra for staying ahead in the rat race, no matter which sector a company belongs to. There are certain tried and tested methods a company can adopt to ensure its customer service is exceptional and allow it to reach the zenith of success.

Listed below are the major ingredients of success when it comes to customer service:

  1. A touch of warmth and assistance
Various types of customers visit shops and outlets. Some of these customers know what they are looking for and don’t have to look for assistance from the salesperson while other customers who seek out assistance and suggestions that put in the right way, can actually make them feel satisfied. For example, a woman looking for a suitable dress for her grandchild in a clothing store may welcome suggestions from the salespeople. The same can be said about the woman who is not tech savvy but wants to buy a gadget for someone at a department store. The tone of suggestion also matters. If the salesperson inquiries about the person the customer is purchasing the product for, that leaves a positive impression. The customer will feel his or her needs are being given due importance.
  1. Presentation
For a lot of customers, the first impression is still the last impression. Apart from the shop adornment, the appearance of salespersons and customer service representatives matters. It is simply not enough to ensure that the salesperson is properly and neatly dressed, but rather that body language, smile and eye contact are used - everything matters! The presentation should not come off as over-the-top though, because this can turn away a section of buyers. Communication skills should be top-notch. The language should not be too artificial or too colloquial. A bit of human touch also helps a lot. For example, if the customer is accompanied by a small child, helping the customer to manage the child creates a good impression.
  1. Availability and accessibility
Customers can contact the customer service section of the company at any time with a myriad of needs. It is not uncommon to receive a call from an irate customer who cannot configure a gadget after buying it. It may also be necessary to spend 45 minutes on the phone helping a customer troubleshoot a laptop issue. To ensure the customers are happy and have a positive brand image of your company, provide them with 24/7 availability. Customers should be able to reach a customer care person at the earliest possible time. Forcing customers to go through numerous rounds of pre-recorded messages does not; rather, it can annoy them further. Finally, customers can still call or write for any other need than complaint lodging. For example, they may have an inquiry about upcoming products.

Easy accessibility to the customer care section is also a key matter in customer satisfaction. Not every customer will want to contact customer care in the same way. While calling is the default method for a majority of customers, there are those who still prefer email. Nowadays, social media profiles are what most youngsters prefer. Finally, there are those customers who prefer the live chat option. In short, it’s important to keep every accessibility option open for customer use.

  1. Exceeding expectations and surprise elements
Every company has a customer service team and your company should have some unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it stand out among the crowd of similar companies. It is natural for customers to have some level of expectation when they buy a product or service from any company. It matters when you offer them something that exceeds their expectations. Offering discount and promotional codes from time-to-time is no longer unique yet many companies continue to resort to that method. A little bit of personal knowledge does the trick. For example, it is not too difficult for companies to know the personal preferences of its long-term customers. Giving them a suitable gift on occasions like birthdays and anniversaries can also be helpful. Sometimes, the element of surprise can be used. Giving customers a personal coupon for no reason or occasion at all and in a completely random way can also be effective.

Additional measures for excellent customer service

Apart from the methods identified above, your company can adopt a few additional measures to ensure exceptional customer service.

Responsiveness: Responsiveness is not just about answering a customer’s query promptly. Sometimes, it may take a little longer than usual to look into issues faced by customers. This can happen during times like Xmas and New Year’s. In such situations, it is necessary to offer the customers more than the formal assurances and apology. Customers can be provided with extra compensation perks like discounts, rebates on purchases and warranty extensions. This can pacify customers for a while and allow the company to get some breathing room before the issues are resolved.

Feedback: Feedback can be used as a powerful tool to develop a positive brand image and develop strong customer relationships. Feedback can be collected from customers with respect to product quality, areas for improvement or their expectations for the company. Feedback can be collected from the customers in multiple different ways. Emails can be sent along with online forms that ask them to complete such forms on the company’s social media profiles. Ensure the feedback process is not too lengthy because most customers will lose patience completing a long form, on paper or on a website.

By Sawaram Suthar, Head of Marketing at Tagove Live Chat