Alison Brown

8 Customer Service Tactics to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Unless you've somehow managed to own every business in your niche, then you have competition and lots of it. And everyone knows that it's dire to separate yourself from the competition if you want to stand out and gain more profit.

Setting yourself apart from the crowd involves more than just lowering prices drastically or beating your business rivals to the newest concept in the market.

Don't ignore the other method that could push you to the head of the crowd: how you treat your customers and provide support for them.

1. Consumers are willing to spend 17% more on a company that has exemplary customer service (American Express).

2. 93% of customers would make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service (HubSpot Research).

3. 77% of customers would recommend your brand to their friends right after positive experiences (Temkin Group).

4. 73% of customers fall in love with a brand that's loyal and faithful to providing friendly customer services (RightNow).

Customer service trends develop right alongside consumers' wants and needs. Furthermore, professionals claim that the way you conduct customer service will be shaped by technology's evolution, and its continuous development to deliver the best solutions for customers in the future.

With that thought in mind, it's evident that businesses need to stay up to date with the latest trends when it comes to serving clients.

Yes, your product prices and the quality of them do matter. But it's also important to remember that customers' loyalties don't lie on these solely.

They stay and patronize brands because of the experience they have with your company. Consequently, if you can't keep up with client demands, you risk your customers leaving you for your competitors.

Customer Service Tactics to Give Your Brand an Edge

Improving customer experience means your customer service team must be driving all the necessary points home. The customer experience needs to be consistent before, during, and after the client's purchase journey has ended.

And here are a couple of customer service tactics to gain that competitive advantage and cater to your customers' needs even better.

#1 Arm customer service agents with unparalleled product knowledge

Can you picture dining in a high-class restaurant and asking about the difference between a brisket and a filet mignon, and the waiter just shrugs -- completely clueless? That would be very disappointing for the customer in question.

Now think about it the other way around. What if the waiter told you the difference? And not only that, he gave you information on how each piece of meat is prepared and how long it takes to put the dish together.

That's some customer service that won't easily be forgotten. And with detailed information like that, you can be sure that you nailed it when it comes to great customer experience.

Well, you don't own a restaurant. And maybe you don't even need to provide information that your customers aren't asking for. But you see the point being nailed here, right?

Your team of customer service agents need to have intimate knowledge of your products and services. They need to know the ins and outs. And to do this, you need to provide your team with the right resources to educate themselves regarding the intricate details.

That way, if questions arise, your team is well-equipped and competent to receive inquiries and provide help.

#2 Solve customer problems in the first contact

Scientific researches studied and noted that repeating problems and delivering customer concerns from one department to another actually frustrates customers intensely.

The solution to your problem is to improve first contact resolution. You need to ensure that the first person who initially takes the call has full responsibility for it and is knowledgeable to take care of customers' problems.

Remember that customers hate repeating themselves...

When it is absolutely necessary to transfer them from one agent to another, make sure that the next person is aware of the correspondence history -- chats, past calls, and issues that cropped up during voice conversations.

#3 Develop customer agents' customer empathy

Customer and agent interaction is governed by emotional exchanges on top of being a factual one. You need to provide your employees with the right tools to share customer satisfaction, enthusiasm, and a reduced tension in clients.

And although your customers may never remember what you told them, they'll remember how you made them feel. The experience you provided leaves an impact.

#4 Use CRM software for better customer response times

You can't respond to your customers properly and accurately if you don't have the tools to help you do that. And if you want to provide excellent customer service, you need as much information as possible to make excellent customer experience a success.

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are needed for collecting and managing interactions and information about your business with customers, suppliers, leads, and other business partners, etc.

You need to track marketing activities to gather relevant data about each customer and their individual needs.

There are plenty of CRM tools to choose from; from Pipedrive to HubSpot CRM.

#5 If you're a small business, use your size to your advantage

If your business is new and you're fairly young with your customer service efforts, you can use that to your advantage. That's the perfect time to build your excellent customer support reputation.

Don't rush into imitating an enterprise level customer service team with hundreds and hundreds of people. Because you're starting out and you have a smaller customer base, you can take that as a chance to treat your customers with human interactions.

Customers will always remember how you made them feel, and they notice when you treat them with the respect that they deserve. You can get return customers through this and more through word-of-mouth reputation.

#6 Provide an integrated experience in communication

We typically communicate with our customers online, don't we? The most common method of staying in touch with consumers these days are through email newsletters right up to companies' social media pages.

For this reason, how you speak with your customers online must reflect how you speak with them offline. In addition, the conversations you carry in the internet must transition smoothly over to person-to-person communication with minimal repetition and asking the previously asked questions over and over again.

#7 Adding chatbots to your website

If you're business is growing, it's wise to invest in adding chatbots to your website. They are the extension of traditional internet customer communication. You can use chatbots as personalized

communication, thanks to natural language processing (NLP) that allows it to understand text patterns. Plus, chatbots are great for processing data and individual customers' histories in quick and efficient ways.

So, in a nutshell, chatbots in the website can help improve personalized communication.

#8 Prioritize customer convenience

Convenience is priceless. And it's a character that customers truly appreciate. If your brand sees an opportunity where it can make your customer's life easier and offer better experiences, step in immediately and do it.

After all, the true heart of customer service is to provide customer convenience. And rest assured in believing that your consumers will remember that and take it to heart.

The Takeaway

In addition to these 8 tactics, remember to:

Value feedback: It's great to receive positive feedback. But real success can come from customers who are open to sharing negative experiences. This way, you know which part of customer support needs improvement.

Reward your customers: In addition to customer support, keep your customers happy by offering up incentives. It makes people feel special, and gives customers a reason to remain invested in your brand.

Customers' satisfaction depends heavily on the quality of customer experience that your brand can provide. Create a brand out of how you conduct your customer services because their experience with your brand is something they won't ever forget.

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