Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 Ways to Improve Customer Service

More than 90 percent of consumers today rely on the opinions of others when choosing a company to provide them with a product or service. The rise of social media has given consumers unprecedented access to company reviews – if a potential customer finds negative information, she will not be likely to do business with you. For this reason, it is essential to provide exceptional customer service to keep your customers happy and develop a positive business image.

Unfortunately, many companies do not place a strong emphasis on customer service. As a result, they suffer from negative information provided by customers who do not feel their needs have been met. These three strategies can help you improve your customer service and protect your company's reputation:

1) Cross-train representatives for maximum effectiveness. It's frustrating for customers to spend time waiting to speak with a representative, only to find that they need to talk with someone in a different department to place an order or resolve a concern. Customers become even more discouraged if the representative they need is not available, because then they have to wait for a representative with the right expertise to call them back. It only takes one such experience for a customer to develop a negative opinion of your company.

Cross-training can help you meet customers' needs efficiently without transfers or other delays. Representatives who are trained for multiple roles are valuable both to your company and your customers. Cross-training allows your service professionals to address a variety of calls, which generates a positive customer impression.

2) Implement customer relationship management software. There are numerous software packages available for storing, segmenting, and retrieving customer data. This allows your representatives to quickly access the information they need to educate callers, provide upsell opportunities, and resolve customer concerns. Through proper segmentation, you can give access to customer information only to the representatives who need it, which can help allay concerns over privacy.

3) Consider outsourcing call center functions to provide exceptional service. As your business grows, you will need to increase call capacity to quickly address each prospect or customer's call. This can be an expensive task because it typically requires investing in additional office space, hiring and training new representatives, and purchasing additional software licenses. 

By outsourcing call center functions to a provider such as Tier 3 Scottsdale, you can easily increase or decrease call capacity while minimizing additional expenses. Outsourced call centers can assign and train additional representatives to service your customers as your business needs change. This helps prevent customers and prospects from having to wait to speak to a representative during peak periods.

The effort you put into improving customer service can reward you with higher customer satisfaction, increased sales, and improved company reputation. These tips can help ensure that your customers will happily recommend your company to friends, family members, and colleagues.

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