Here’s a couple statements you likely agree with: (1) you can’t grow a business without customers and (2) you can’t keep your current customers or gain referrals with bad service. And yet, a high percentage of consumers report issues every year with poor customer service.
In addition to producing an excellent product and building a committed team, customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business.
Before we get into the 8 ways to improve your customer service, we need to ask: Why is customer service so important? Here’s a few reasons.
Why is Customer Service Important?
Customer service retains customers
As you treat customers well, you’ll find that they want to continue doing business with you. “After a positive customer experience, 69% would recommend the company to others.” (source)
Customer service leads to referrals
It’s no secret that your customers are connected to other potential customers, whether you work in a B2C or B2B industry. As you treat customers and clients well, they will spread the word and generate referrals.
Customer service helps reduce employee turnover
People want to work for a company who treats people well, and as you focus on customer service, you’ll see that your team will find more joy in their work. Making customer service a part of your company culture is a great way to attract and retain excellent team members.
Customer service is a good business practice
I know that sounds simple, but it’s true – it’s just good business practice to treat others how you want to be treated. As many can attest, having a customer service policy written on paper is a lot easier than deploying it when a situation requires it.
Now that we’ve seen a few reasons customer service is important, let’s look at how to start building a customer service strategy with some tips that you can easily implement into the daily rhythms of your business.
8 Ways to Show Your Clients you Care by Focusing on Customer Service
1. Hire the right people
Providing great customer service starts with the team you hire. Your employees will have the most interaction with your clients and it’s important to hire based on your core values and goals. A team full of customer-focused, culturally-aligned employees will create the proper foundation for fully supporting your clients.
2. Provide an excellent service or product
One of the most effective ways to show you care is to provide a quality service or product for your clients. On occasion, there will be issues with the service or product your company produces, so be prepared to have a policy around how you’ll handle potential issues.
3. Understand your client’s business
As you prepare to support your customer, it’s invaluable to understand your client and the end-user of your offering. The better you know them, the better you can target your services to them. Here’s a staggering statistic: “63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations, while 76% of B2B buyers expect the same thing.” (source)
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Miscommunication is a big contributor to poor customer service. The more you can communicate, the better. And that means communicating when things are going well and when issues arise. Be sure to communicate expectations, deliverables, scope creep, unexpected challenges affecting timeline, and anything else that may affect the service you are providing.
5. Be proactive, not reactive
Often times, customer service is thought of as something you provide when an issue arises, but customer service is also important when everything is going well. I love the term “well-checks” that we often hear within the medical industry. It’s a great reminder that there is value in checking in even when things are going well. This shows you care, can help you get ahead of any future issues, and can lead to discussions around other opportunities such as referrals or new services.
6. Take a top to bottom approach
Customer service is part of every business activity – from greeting a lead on their first call or visit, utilizing a follow-up process, and the ongoing support you provide. Every interaction you have with a lead or client should be thought of as an opportunity to serve them well.
7. Celebrate their accomplishments
Providing great customer service to your clients allows you to get to know them. Through your communication, you’ll learn of upcoming milestones, events, or awards – take time to celebrate these with your clients and even help tell their story on your platforms.
8. Measure your customer service rating
Finally, spend time evaluating how well you’re doing through customer surveys and keep close tabs on your custom satisfaction rating, also known as your C-SAT rating. By sending post-project surveys to clients, you’ll learn valuable feedback that can be shared with your team and allow you to reach out when issues arise.
A steady focus on the health of your customer relationships carries countless benefits to your customers, your company, and your employees. If you aren’t currently measuring and proactively managing customer satisfaction, you’re missing opportunities to grow both your business and your client’s business.