What should be in your customer service strategy?

105Your customer service strategy should be designed to delight customers during their interaction with you by using proactive customer service methods to ensure your customers don’t have to come to you with problems.

Make it personal

Make your service feel personal. Your customers want to feel like they have access to real people, not just a website with FAQs. Don’t just offer automated email responses, let them get in touch directly if they need to. Use social media (such as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp) to communicate with them, and respond when customers post on your page. Post photos and bios on your website.

This shows your customers that you are real people working on their behalf.

Be available.

Make sure your customers can reach you. Even if your business is online, you could offer video calls, such as Skype. Someone should work early and late if your customers are in different time zones. Or you can outsource customer support outside of business hours. Publishing your physical address helps build trust and reminds customers that your company exists in the real world off the internet

Meet customers’ needs

Consider what special services your customers might like. Set up focus groups, interview customers, invite feedback, offer a contact email address, or run a survey to collect ideas.

Create a community.

Your customers will feel valued if you treat them as members of a community. You can bring them together in numerous ways, including forums, webinars, interactive websites, and social media. You can learn from them through these interactions.

Deal with problems

Things do go wrong but it is important to admit and rectify mistakes. This will build trust and restore confidence. You can also control the situation, re-focus the customer’s attention and resolve the issue to their satisfaction.

Follow up

Once a problem is solved you need to follow up to ensure the issue stays solved and that your customers were satisfied with the service. Sending an email, or a feedback survey is a great way to let the customer know you’re still interested in them.

Allow for feedback

It is very difficult to deal with every customer issue. To make sure you learn about them, create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback.

You could use an email survey, or a form on the “Contact Us” page of your website, or a “contact us” email address, but find a way of creating a means for customers to give you feedback. This not only shows you what needs improvement, but also discourages unhappy customers from commenting in visible places like your social media pages. It will also help highlight your strengths and weaknesses, and help you get closer to your customers.

Your customers will be able to see that the company is dedicated to providing first class, proactive customer service.