Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

4 Ways To Getting More Creative With Your Customer Service

Adding to an already-established advice and assistance division will always boost your business.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

An impressive 95 percent of consumers say that customer service influences which brands they choose — and which ones they stay loyal to.

Positive and creative interactions can help your brand earn loyal customers who turn into repeat buyers and spread positive word of mouth. Some outside-the-box thinking can help you deliver higher-quality service in ways that customers will truly appreciate.

Make personalization the norm

Personalization in customer service should go beyond simply inserting their name in an email or phone conversation. For starters, your service team should take note of patrons' preferred contact channels (and use them).

Listening is key: Service professionals shouldn't ask intrusive questions, but quite often, customers will willingly share these details in their conversation. When your company references the information that a client has shared (be it about their family, work or other life details), they will feel valued.

Even paying attention to how your customers communicate can help you offer a more personalized experience.

"We communicate with our customers in a way that reflects our brand and tries to relate on a human level. If a customer is displaying a sense of humor, we match that!" said Marvin Amberg of Caseable explained in an interview with BPlans. "One customer commented that her "naked Kobo [tablet] is so cold' without its custom case and inquired about the delivery---after tracking her case, we commented that her Kobo wouldn't be cold anymore!"

Related: It's All About the Customer Service

Help them help themselves

Few things are more empowering than figuring out a solution to a problem on your own. When done right, service solutions reduce customers' reliance on your staff while still enjoying a positive brand experience.

Consider this example, as reported by TechBullion: "GC Plus is one of the companies leading the on-demand revolution in the home improvement industry. The company offers an innovative platform where customers can instantly connect with plumbers and other repair specialists. There is even a video calling feature for areas where there are no available handymen, that allows clients and repairmen to connect remotely, which can help customers to fix smaller issues themselves and save money in the process."

In this case, the company turns what could be a negative (a lack of available repairmen) into a positive — a chance to empower the patron by enabling them to resolve the issue with expert guidance. Similarly, a robust FAQ forum could make it easier for customers to find solutions on their own before needing to contact your service team.

Use event-triggered outreach

Businesses often use automated emails for marketing — such as to encourage customers to go back to an abandoned shopping cart. But in a proactive environment, you should also be initiating outreach when clients engage in key service-related actions.

If your product or service is somewhat complex, you could send followup emails after a patron completes an order with user tips. If your tracking indicates that one of your customers was spending a lot of time looking at your FAQ page, you might send a followup email asking if they need any extra assistance.

When you experience internal issues that could affect your customer experience, you should always be proactive. For example, Slack's System Status page gives customers a real-time look at any known issues that may be present. The company also has a history of posting on social media to alert customers when service issues are taking place.

Proactive outreach when certain events take place (whether by email, social or another method) will reduce complaints and confusion.

Related: 7 Essentials of Great Customer Service

Ditch the fine print

Fine print is inevitable for most businesses — but all too often, it is presented in a massive wall of text that instantly causes your customers' eyes to glaze over. Case studies have found that as few as one percent of consumers actually read the minutia.

While this often isn't a big deal, it can lead to conflicts when important information regarding warranties, breach of contract or confidentiality are hidden within a hard-to-read wall of text. Clients are swift to cancel contracts when they feel like they've been deceived.

Making policy pages more easily navigable and highlighting the information that is the most relevant to your customers will eliminate misunderstandings. Remove jargon whenever possible. If your ecommerce store's return policy is listed in a few concise bullet points that are easy to understand, you'll have far fewer complaints and far more satisfied customers.

Deliver better services to provide better experiences

By using these and other methods to make your customer service more effective, the more your business stands to benefit. In fact, 81 percent of consumers say that positive experiences make them more likely to buy from a company again in the future.

As you consistently seek ways to turn every experience into a positive, you will earn lasting trust and loyalty that leads to long-term growth.

Related: Creating Customer's Wow Moment

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks