Customer Experience News & Trends

4 ways to turn Customer Service into a profit machine

If you want to see profits increase this year, focus on improving customer service. Here’s why.

Two-thirds of customers are willing to pay more for excellent customer service, Echo Research and American Express’ Global Customer Service Barometer found.

Providing customers with a sincere, consistent experience is one of the most powerful ways to earn high satisfaction ratings and gain their loyalty, according to Kyle LaMalfa, senior insight analyst at Allegiance and author of “The Top 9 Ways to Increase Your Customer Loyalty.”

To improve service, engage customers and build loyalty, focus on these tactics:

1. Know customer expectations

You can’t meet — or better yet, exceed — expectations if you don’t know what customers expect.

In addition to asking what they want, check that you don’t disappoint them by failing to meet expectations that you and your company have set (such as response times or policies posted online or in company literature).

2. Be more responsive

Customers have more patience when waiting to talk to you than they do waiting for a resolution. That means, when they get in touch with someone, they expect that sales or service professional to take care of whatever they need right away.

Respond to their emotions first (“I’m sorry this happened,” “That’s great news!”) Then answer questions, resolve complaints or fix issues immediately. If that’s not possible, explain the timeline for the fix, and keep them updated.

3. Reach out for feedback often

Gather feedback from social media, email, comment cards, letters, phone calls and surveys. When you ask for feedback, tell customers how you’ll use it.

But you want to get unstructured feedback, too. Keep an eye out for trends, and respond to them.

4. Manage complaints

Don’t just read and react to complaints, solicit them.

Loyalty will grow when customers won’t feel like they’re complaining. Instead, they’ll feel like they’re having an open conversation with you and you’re interested in their views.

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