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When one takes into account how much money is allocated to increasing brand awareness and creating a positive image that appeals to consumers, what most companies allocate to improving customer service standards trifles in comparison.

In fact, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination at all to say that customer service in many companies is relegated to the proverbial backseat in favour of practically everything else when it should be up front in the driver’s seat leading the way.

If this seems to you like a serious faux pas that appears somewhat akin to a dog chasing its own tail, then you realise the folly of this. Surely, it doesn’t make sense to spend so much on creating a positive image that will appeal to potential customers only to destroy it by neglecting the same customers they spent so much on wooing.

Your company’s customer service standards are crucially important. In effect, they’re just as important as your products and services in many ways. If you’re not sure why this is, the following three reasons may serve as a wakeup call. But don’t fear, it isn’t too late to take an improved approach to customer service and get back on track.

  • Customer service is often the only contact a company has with its customers

Customers may have purchased your products from a retail store or online, but if they have a problem with them, they’ll want your company to resolve the issue.

  • Customer service standards differentiate companies from one another

When two companies offer similar products at similar prices, the service customers receive will determine which company has the advantage.

  • Great customer service wins the hearts and minds of customers

This makes it more likely that customers will become repeat customers which brings about more business and also reduces overall customer acquisition costs.

Whatever industry you operate in, or how much value-for-money your products and services represent, the service you provide for customers will inevitably come to define your company. Basically, without great customer service standards your company will lose out to the competition, even though you may offer superior products and services that represent better value-for-money than your competitors.

Extend Your Customer Support Hours

By extending your customer support hours you’ll be better able to assist customers who aren’t able to call during business hours. Usually because they’re also at work.

If you aren’t able to offer customers afterhours support, the next best option is to arrange a 24-hour message taking service with Netcall Solutions. Our message taking services are affordable, flexible and reliable, and they’ll help your company to convey a professional image at all times. Whatever your preferred contact method, we can take messages on your behalf and get them to you quickly and accurately.

Provide Training for Your Customer Service Team

Hiring the right customer service staff will get you off to a great start, but your team can’t rely upon natural talent and previous experience alone, especially when there are new and improved customer service methods being developed all the time.

Before deciding upon a training program for your team, analyse the need for training. An astute way of doing this is to have your supervisors monitor the team in action, provide feedback on their performance, and also list each team member’s training requirements in three areas – knowledge of customer service methods, soft skills (personal attributes) and technical skills. With your team’s training requirements in mind, you can then arrange training that addresses each of these three key areas.

Improve Employee Engagement

Positive employee engagement can improve your customers’ experiences because employees who are happy at work and respond well to the internal dynamics of the organisation are more likely to go out of their way to provide great customer service.

This makes perfect sense. After all, if you aren’t happy at work, would you go out of your way to make sure your employer’s customers are happy? It suffices to say you wouldn’t. Consequently, you need to think about your employees and how engaged and satisfied they are in your employment.

If members of your customer service team are rushed off their feet because they’re struggling to take phone calls whilst resolving customer related issues online and in person, chances are they’re not going to feel engaged. And that won’t motivate them to deliver the excellent customer experiences your customers want for themselves.

Netcall Solutions’ expert call handling services – message taking, temporary cover and overflow call handling – can help you to improve employee engagement by reducing stress in the workplace. This not only eases the strain on your team, it also empowers them to dedicate more time and greater energy to your customers.

Ensure You Have Ample Customer Service Staff

Companies that have seasonal demands, like hotels in peak season and retailers in the period leading up to Christmas, generally have to take on extra customer service staff to help them manage these busy periods. This is fine, provided you have solid backup staff who are adept at customer service.

If you don’t, you may have to look at temporary recruitment options which can lead to problems, or you could take advantage of our flexible overflow call handling service to help you comfortably manage the influx of extra calls to your phone lines. With no monthly fees that keep companies tied into contracts, this is a highly flexible option.

Enable Customers to Provide Feedback

Providing your customers with an easy way to give feedback about their experiences empowers you to identify areas of customer service that are in need of improvement. This feedback can be used for training purposes and it also helps to keep customers from voicing their complaints on social media and other platforms. It’s often the case that customers need to vent a bit, so let them vent to you and not the Twittersphere.

For outstanding call handling support 24-7, get in contact with Netcall Solutions today and empower your customer service team to take their skills to the next level.