Many companies struggle to improve customer service because they don’t take action.

They assume that the service they’re providing is good enough. They assume that it’s better to spend resources on other areas of their business. They assume that their customers won’t notice.

All of these assumptions are wrong.

Even if you feel good about your customer service strategy, there’s always room for improvement. Here are five simple tips for improving customer service today:

1. Learn to Listen

What’s the first thing you do when a customer comes to you with an issue? Do you practice active listening, or do you begin to make excuses?

When you learn to listen, you give the other person the opportunity to speak their mind. Subsequently, they feel understood, which puts you in position to take action to make things right.

2. Have More than One Way to Communicate

There was a time when customer service was all about being readily available by phone. While this is still important, there are other ways to communicate with your customers.

Here are some examples:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat

Some people don’t want to contact you by phone. They’d rather send a quick email, shoot you a tweet, or connect with an agent via live chat.

When you offer more than one way to communicate, you’re able to better serve your entire customer base.

3. Take the Blame

There are times when customers are wrong, but even then you need to take the blame. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s the best approach to customer service.

In other words, live by the mantra of “the customer is always right.”

When you combine this approach with using positive language, you remove some or all of the tension from the situation, thus allowing you to get to the bottom of the problem.

4. Know Your Products and Services

There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than contacting you with a question or concern, just to find that you don’t know the answer.

For example, if you own an HVAC company, you should have advanced knowledge of the products you install in your customers’ homes. This way, if someone contacts you with a question or complaint, you can provide accurate feedback.

5. Follow-up

Follow-up with customers who’ve contacted you with a question, concern, or complaint.

For instance, if a customer called you to complain about a recent experience, ease their mind and do your best to immediately make things right.

When applicable, follow-up to provide additional information and/or to make sure the issue has been resolved. This goes a long way in showing the customer that you care.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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