Customer Experience News & Trends

7 ways to improve your customer service reputation

Is your company’s reputation for great customer service really important? Only if you want to boost sales. 

About 40% of customers start buying from a company because of its reputation for great service, a Zendesk study recently found. More than half continue to buy after great customer experiences.

Once they’re buying, they’re talking: 87% of customers share stories of good service, and 95% share bad experiences, the Zendesk study found.

Stories spread. The key to building a good service reputation is to give customers more positive experiences to talk about.

Here are seven ways to improve your reputation:

1. Build partnerships

Salespeople often get new customers by talking about the partnership they’ll form with them. The relationship isn’t just about customers buying a product or service and your company providing it. It’s about partnering in ways that benefit customers — giving them tools, ideas and resources to help them improve their companies or selves.

Use the word “partners” more, “suppliers” less. Let customers know about how you partner with other companies to give them the best deals, highest quality or more efficiency.

2. Talk about innovation and growth

Your company likely does innovative things in your industry. You also help the industry as a whole grow to meet changing needs and trends.

Let customers know about all that. Put it on your website and in email signature lines. For instance, “ABC Co. – Winner of three Baldwin Awards” or “Apex Inc. — Home of the Industry’s First Patent.”

3. Tout employees

Customers like to do business with people, not corporations. They get to know and trust the people within a company.

Play up your employees, their accomplishments and special connections with customers. Feature them on your website and in company literature. Encourage them to put special notes on their email signatures or social media handles. Examples: “Sonia Frost, 17-year expert on our flagship line” or “@Soniathelineexpert”.

4. Show your community face

Most companies and their employees are involved in the communities where they have a presence. Employees might get paid-time-off to volunteer for causes they support. The company might adopt a school, charity or cause, and foster its needs.

Whatever your philanthropy is, show your employees in action with their causes.

5. Get customers to talk

Although research shows customers share their experiences, that doesn’t mean they do it with you and the people you want to reach. They tell friends and family the good and bad.

If you want their words to reach a broader audience, ask them to share their feelings. After a great experience, encourage them to post something on social media. Invite them to take a survey, and ask if you can use their comments in your marketing materials.

6. Admit mistakes

A customer’s bad experience doesn’t necessarily mean a bad reputation for you. Fess up when things go wrong and act fast to fix them.

When customers complain in social media, where everyone catches can see — and spread — it, respond immediately. Offer to take it off-line if it’s a complex or sensitive issue. Then, once it’s resolved, invite customers to share how it turned out.

7. Stay professional

Despite your best efforts to make every experience positive, customers will sometimes have bad experiences. And they’ll let others know about the situation.

When you respond — and yes, you need to respond because silence will hurt your reputation — remain professional. Focus on facts and what you can do. Acknowledge customers’ emotions. Avoid arguing and rehashing.

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