What if we told you that there’s a way to grow your business by two to four times without developing a new product or receiving additional funding?

Exceptional customer service turns new customers into promoters and promoters into returning loyalists. And these promoters have the potential to grow the lifetime value (LTV) of your brand by 1400%

Let’s take a look at additional data behind why improving customer service should always be a foundational business goal. We’ll also provide some tips on building an impeccable customer service strategy.

The significance of great customer service 

Brands across the globe are taking notice of how investing in great customer service can pay back dividends in the long run.

The data speaks for itself.

Companies and researchers collect data year-over-year that support the need for a dedicated customer service strategy: 

  • 90% of customers find customer service important when choosing a brand.
  • 94% of customers who consider their experience with a business as “very good” are likely to purchase that company’s additional products or services in the future. 
  • 78% of customers are likely to forgive a business for a mistake if they were provided exceptional customer service. 
  • 58% of customers have higher customer service standards due to the COVID-19 crisis.

However. What happens when a business gets customer service wrong? Is the negative impact on a brand as drastic? Yes.

With 52% of global consumers saying that most of their customer service interactions are fragmented, 89% of customers are claiming to leave a business after one poor customer service experience. 

Enhancing your customer service is one of the most valuable things you can do for your company. This guide will help you achieve that goal faster and more cost-effectively.

Measure and monitor customer service experience

Making unguided changes to your customer service strategy based on ‘feeling’ instead of measurement and benchmarking could end up hurting your support team and the brand at large. 

Microsoft reports that 89% of customers want to provide customer service feedback to businesses after an interaction or transaction.

Having feedback measuring tools in place not only allows your consumer to share their experiences, but also helps you to use their insight for strategic action planning. 

Actively collecting customer feedback to see what’s working well and what needs improvement can provide clear direction for how you and your customer service teams can improve the customer experience over time. 

Routinely collect customer feedback

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) are two well-researched ways to collect customer feedback and instantly discover trends within our customer satisfaction survey software.

CSAT and CES are particularly useful because of their simplicity. After a customer service experience, a customer is asked one question:

  • CSAT: “How satisfied were you with [service provided/resolution of your issue]?”
  • CES: “How easy did we make it to do X?”

This unambiguous and to-the-point survey question sent automatically to the right people at the right time allows you to measure specific types of customer interactions and clearly see which areas:

  • Need the most improvement
  • Can be quickly addressed
  • Are the most pressing

For more detailed information about a specific customer service area, consider sending surveys to smaller, more targeted customers. Some sample survey segments can include:

  • Long-time customers
  • Just made 2nd purchase
  • Recently wrote you a review

Or, dive deeper into customer reasoning with Additional Questions. Adding extra customer service survey questions to your survey can open the door to more qualitative feedback about a customer’s experience with a customer service rep or product purchase. Some questions may include: 

  • AQ: Based on your experience today, would you return to [this service/store]?
  • AQ: Is there anything that the customer service rep could have done to have made your experience better? 
  • AQ: Did you find the Help Center documentation useful in resolving your issue?

Monitor and respond to customers on social media and review sites 

Your company’s reputation on social media can be both incredibly beneficial and painfully detrimental. Although complicated to dissect, these stats highlight why attention to social media is worth the effort:

  • 40% of people use social media to keep in touch
  • 41% want to stay informed about current events
  • 29% use social media to discover/research/buy something
  • 30% are here to share their opinions (often about businesses)

Social media is a megaphone for your customers to laud your company with positive feedback, refer your goods or services to others, and create organic brand awareness.

Unfortunately, that same megaphone, more often than not, can also be used to express some incredibly sensitive grievances about your company, and your customer service team, publicly.

While tracking everything mentioned on social and responding to users is outside the scope of traditional customer service, being attentive to what your customers are saying can help you stay ahead of trends and address waining customer satisfaction.

TIP: Connecting Twitter or other social accounts to team communication apps like Slack, can keep the customer service team aware of comments made on social media in real-time for prompt response and issue resolution.

The same idea applies to review sites. 45% of people say they’re swayed to visit businesses that respond well to negative reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google My Business (GMB), or WebRetailer.

Not only will customers update or change their review once a problem is solved, but responding to reviewers shows a strong value in customer service to potential customers.

Boost customer satisfaction with a self-service experience

Prioritizing customer care doesn’t always mean increasing the number of support call centers. Overwhelmingly, customers today want to be able to help themselves online. 

A Zendesk survey found that 75% of customers think that self-service is the most convenient way to get help. From how-to YouTube videos to tutorials to actionable blog posts, making information accessible and easy to find will yield an overall better customer experience.

Delighted uses this self-service model in the Customer Concierge’s Help Center. The resource hub includes detailed articles and step-by-step guides to support a self-service customer experience throughout every aspect of the CX surveying journey. 

When customers can help themselves, they generally feel more content with the customer experience overall.

Tune in to your customer service team

While putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of your brand is essential for business success, it’s still your employees who can make the greatest company impact.

Time invested in measuring team satisfaction and employee training reduces turnover and enhances customer experiences.

Gather customer service team feedback

Open forum team meetings and calls for input from employees can be used to gather details, but they aren’t effective ways to get your finger on the pulse of your customer service department.

Similar to customers and NPS surveys, Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys help you understand employee satisfaction.

Low customer support eNPS scores are a leading indicator that the support they are providing is not optimal and that they are potentially disengaged from your company’s messaging efforts.

Findings have shown that when companies prioritize employee experience management as well as the happiness of their support teams, customers are attended to with more care.

Improve customer service skills with active listening and empathy

According to the Harvard Business Review, the average listener can only recall about 25% of what someone has said. Active listening isn’t something that everyone does intuitively, but is crucial for customer service team members to master.

Most customers dislike having to repeat themselves to clarify something that they’ve overstated and active listening can play well in situations where customers may be trying to explain complicated scenarios.

Practice makes perfect. As either a formal or casual exercise for 10-15 mins a week, practice the art of active listening. In pairs, each team member should take turns talking about a specific topic for 1-2 minutes. Without distractions, the other person will reflect back on what the first person communicated and include empathetic language to show they understand. Then switch.

68% of customers expect the companies they interact with to exhibit empathy and exercises in active listening can help foster empathetic communication naturally in customer conversations. 

Learn more about active listening training tips in Gladly’s How to Listen to Customers Effectively article.

Maintain good customer service with expanded knowledge

Put tools into your customer service team’s hands to enhance their understanding of not only what they do but also what other departments do. A customer service rep may need to be an expert in cross-department knowledge and should have access to up-to-date training materials for their reference. 

  • Sandboxes – These are internal sections of your website with which an employee can create a mock order, walk through a process, start a chat, and see things from the customer’s point of view.
  • Cross-departmental meet and greets – Invite peers from other departments to a meeting to answer questions, show a presentation, and help your agents better understand what they do.
  • Review existing resources regularly – Do they need to be updated? Are they accurate? A customer service team is only as good as the accuracy of the knowledge you put at their fingertips.

With Delighted, you can easily capture customer insight to see what’s working and what areas of your support processes need to be improved using our experience management software. Start collecting support rep feedback with customer service surveys in our 7-day free Delighted trial. 

What are you waiting for? Get started today.