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15 ways to improve your customer service

Improving customer service is essential to all companies. Even the best ones keep improving all the time. But did you know that staffing your call center with enough people might be wrong? Where should you start if you struggle with unhappy customers? That’s what I had in mind when I compiled these fifteen bullet points.

  1. Analyze why contacts are being made.

    Take a look at the last year, the last month or the last week. Why are your customers making contact? Find top 10 reasons and solve them.

    Result: Less traffic to your call center. Bonus: Happier customers! Potential impact: Huge!

  2. Who are your most frequent fans?

    Find the top 10 most contacts customers. Why are they contacting you? Do they need more training? More information? Can you fix their troubles?

    Result: Less traffic from what appears to be frustrated customer. Bonus: You solve problems for less frequent customers as well.

  3. Produce good and clear routines in delivery, order handling, returns, complaint handling and billing.

    Bonus, no reason to contact you if stuff works.

  4. Update your website with guides and self-help articles.

    The more do-it-yourself the better. Bonus: Customers can find their own solutions.

  5. Have a peak traffic handling plan.

    Bonus: Peak capacity improved.

  6. Under promise and over deliver

    Create a surprise once in a while – customer experience is about expectations and if you meet them.

  7. Make it easy to contact you

    Visible phone numbers, easy to access contact forms.

    Yes, this will increase traffic – but we all hate to search for contact information – hiding this, is not a way to reduce traffic. Read 1 and 2 again.

  8. Collect customer feedback on a regular basis.

    Ratings, feedback on email responses or in chat windows. Annual customer satisfaction surveys.

  9. What kind of requests leaves your agents with no solution?

    You want to know what your staff can’t answer directly – train them.

  10. Pay your staff enough to stay

    High employee turnover, who wants that?

    If you solve 1 and 2 – you will afford this anyway.

  11. Try to be a customer yourself.

    Order stuff, contact your call center or shop in your stores.

  12. Improve knowledge about your products

    Do this all the time – an employee can never get enough information about your business or products.

  13. Create happy employees.

    Your job is to please your employees, and if they are happy, they will create happy customers.

  14. Create lifetime customers

    lifetime customers is worth a fortune compared to this single sale.

  15. Your customer service department is gold.

    If you are a CEO, spend your meeting free time with these people, eat lunch with them. They know what is going on.

Important note:

Point 1 and 2 might have huge impact because of the 80/20-rule also known as “Pareto’s Principle” – 80 % of your customers contact you because of the top 20 % reasons. The top 20% most frequent customers provide 80 % of the contacts. I have actually never seen these numbers in real life. It is normally 90/10 just so you understand why you should start with 1 and 2. 20 % of your customers provide 80 % of your income. You find these numbers all over the place. So top 20 % most sold products? Do you want to run low on stock on those babies? No, they result in 80 % of your income, make sure to stock wisely.