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Top tips to improve customer service in a digital age

09 September 2014

The rise of social media allows consumers to name and shame companies they feel give bad service. Complaints can reach an entire market easily, so businesses must deliver excellence to stay in the game.

Customer service is not just about value for money - customers expect that already. It is to do with the level of satisfaction in the sales process and beyond. 

1. Hire Positive People… and train them well

Consider the applicant’s disposition as much as their qualifications, skills can be learnt but attitude is much more difficult to change! Employ staff who take a personal interest in getting the job done, and ensuring that the customer feels appreciated.

Taking Responsibility = Taking Care. Your employees are the ‘face’ of your business, so ensure they understand your products and services, and the aspirations and goals of the business. Understanding the way your business works, and how best to use the tools that you provide for them to do their job will motivate and enthuse your employees.

2. Treat them well

Do you treat your staff with the same regard as you want them to treat your customers? Unhappy employees are unlikely to display a positive and helpful attitude. Value them, and they will value you. Organisations with proper employee review procedures and who also engage and motivate; will naturally provide a positive atmosphere for customers and other external audiences to benefit from.

3. Ask customers for feedback and act on it

Are you delivering excellent customer service? Ask your customers! Invite honest feedback that you can act on, ask questions which elicit thoughtful and valuable answers, to give a true insight into the perception of your company and its services.

Reply to the customer who gave the feedback, and if appropriate, to your wider network so that your customers see the improvement, and your prospects see a company striving to deliver excellence. If negative feedback is delivered to you via social media, don’t be scared to respond via the same medium. Handled appropriately, this could turn into a great opportunity to show the depth and quality of your customer service to others watching.

4. Lead by example

Listen to your front line staff to gain a clear understanding of true customer satisfaction levels. Information that moves up the organisation can become filtered, and therefore not offer a true picture. If you want to know what is happening in your business, talk to both your employees and your customers.

Set an example of approachability and positivity throughout your organisation.

Install a genuine desire to deliver excellent customer service throughout your entire workforce, to positively impact your bottom line.


5. Invest in a good CRM system

An important objective for a CRM implementation should be its positive impact on customer service:

Organised, informed staff

Real time and accurate information

Seamless interaction between pre- and post- sales functions

These days so much of our relationship with customers is remote, many organisations never meet a customer! So, it is crucial to establish a good rapport - a CRM system helps keep track of the sales journey, every step of the way to the ultimate goal of a satisfied customer who may well remember the positive experience, become a long term customer and recommend your services to others.

Written by Katie Williams, consultant webCRM UK