Gone are the days when a friendly smile and good prices were all you needed to keep buyers satisfied. Today, meeting customer service expectations is just as important. Social media websites and countless other online platforms give consumers a powerful voice to express their discontent if they receive poor service from a company. To retain current customers and attract new ones, you should strive to meet these five customer service expectations.
1. Personalized Shopping Experience
Customers want to feel special and expect recognition for their loyalty, and providing ongoing personalized experiences is one way to offer that. Consider creating a rewards program that gives customers cash back whenever they purchase common household items, or create a smartphone app that offers discounts on previously purchased goods. If you run a service-based organization, provide a few months of free service with every contract renewal.
2. Great Quality
Customers expect top-quality products and services in exchange for their hard-earned money. The products you sell should work exactly as advertised, and each service you provide must meet the specific needs of the customer. As such, make sure your advertisements are completely accurate, as customers can quickly get upset if they feel they've been misled. To increase the quality of your products or services, provide your manufacturing team with the best equipment possible, and ensure your service staff is highly skilled and knowledgeable.
Transparency is an important aspect of customer service, so make sure you're always upfront with customers. If your website promises next-day delivery but your shipping department is short-staffed, tell customers there might be a delay. If you run a food-based business, be completely honest about the ingredients contained in the items you sell. Customers expect honesty and transparency, so never hide vital information or mislead shoppers for the sake of maximizing profits.
4. Multiple Communication Channels
Encourage customers to call your customer service department with questions or concerns if this is your preferred communication method, but provide the option to contact company representatives on social media, through live chat or via email as well. Customers expect businesses to have multiple communication channels for them to choose from, and they want the ability to contact someone right away if talking on the phone isn't an option.
5. Fast Response Times
Customers expect businesses to respond to their inquiries or resolve their problems within a reasonable time frame. You can probably resolve most issues right away, but if this isn't possible, try your best to do so within 24 hours. Otherwise, provide a personalized experience during the wait by continuously reaching out to the customer and letting him know you're actively working on a solution to the problem.
Advancements in technology continue to transform the way businesses provide customer service. To remain competitive, companies must continuously evolve their business practices to meet the ever-changing expectations of consumers. Incorporate these five customer service expectations into your business strategy to generate positive feedback about your organization, attract new customers and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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