Customer Experience News & Trends

5 tactics to improve customer service

Great customer service doesn’t have to come at great expense. In fact, it can be as simple (and inexpensive) as a six-pack of beer. 

Most customers want fast, convenient service wrapped in a personalized experience.

So most companies invest time and resources in the infrastructure to deliver efficient service to keep up with customer demands and the competition. But many organizations forget the personal touches and service basics while trying to do the innovative thing.

These tips – from Curiosity CX Founder Dave Fish and his experience as a new rental property owner – will help improve customer service without adding technology or expense.

1. Listen more to customers, less to yourself

Your best source of feedback will almost always be informal, candid conversations with customers. Online and email surveys often force customers to over- or under-analyze experiences. Real conversations let them speak off-the-cuff. With less time to think about what they’ll say or write, they usually let out frustrations and/or ideas.

Fish suggests this to-the-point question to kick off an insightful conversation that will give you ideas to improve service: “What’s missing that would make your experience better?”

2. Make the little things matter

You probably have competition that offers products or services like yours at similar prices. So how can you differentiate? Make the little things matter.

Fish tries to provide little surprises for his customers, who are short-term renters. For instance, if he knows it’s a group of guys renting for a weekend of trail riding, he leaves a six-pack of local craft beer for their arrival. Similarly, if it’s a ladies trip, he might leave a box of candy from a local chocolatier.  They’re small, inexpensive bonuses, but they create a special experience.

3. Help customers know more

The more customers know about you, your products or services and how to make the experience better with them, the happier they’ll be.

That’s why Fish helps his customers with more information to make their experience better. He gives customers lists and recommendations on places to visit, eat and shop. He directs them to local spots where they’re most likely to have fun.

4. Be aggressive with problems

The faster and more aggressively you respond to problems that affect customers, the more likely those customers will rave about your service (even though they experienced a problem). Fish recommends getting to the problem fast, being empathetic, finding an immediate, short-term solution and making things right for the long-term.

For instance, when a customer experienced a plumbing problem, Fish made a temporary fix, cleaned up the mess and got a plumber in quickly to resolve it for good. Then he refunded the customer’s money, just to make up for the issue.

5. Be unique

Because customers can probably get what you offer elsewhere, it’s important to be unique at what you do. Give customers something they’ll want to share with friends, family or colleagues – and in online reviews, if you’re lucky.

Most rentals like Fish’s promote the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, updates, WiFi and appliances. While he does that, he also adds quirky descriptions to those otherwise run-of-the-mill things. For instance, one bathroom: “Master bath. Cleaner than the microprocessor lab at Intel.”

And in the living room, where customers are encouraged to use the musical instrument: “Yea, that’s a guitar AND a weird painting of a ketchup bottle in a corn field…that’s how we roll at the Trailhouse. You need to take that guitar down and jam!”

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.