Customer service is an integral element of business that’s become increasingly important in recent years. With technological advancements, rapid digitalisation, and the growth of social media, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to provide comprehensive customer support and keep their clients happy and satisfied. If you want to attract new customers, build meaningful relationships and gain loyal patrons who can directly affect growth and your bottom line, you must cater to customer needs and provide the best customer service possible. Whether you’re operating a business online or offline, your level of customer service can dictate whether or not a customer makes an initial purchase or returns to spend again.
Offline customer service
With more than 80% of shoppers preferring to make in-store transactions for quickly-needed items and those compulsive purchases, offline land-based businesses can still be highly profitable. Despite the unprecedented growth seen in the online retail sector, offline businesses are still pulling customers in – but what can you do as an offline business owner to improve customer experience? As with any business, it’s essential that you and your staff are welcoming, friendly and polite when dealing with the public, especially when handling complaints. Try to cater to digitalisation and the fact that many customers prefer free wifi access, so they can check their phones when shopping in-store. If your budget allows, think about installing self-service machines, which can significantly speed up checkout queues and serve as a comfort for those customers who’d rather not interact when they’re doing their shopping. Offline businesses have an advantage over their online counterparts in that business owners can often make direct contact with their clients face-to-face. This makes it much easier to collect authentic feedback, connect with customers and provide a personal touch, increasing the chances of customers making a repeat visit.
Online customer service
Owing to the digitalisation of customer service over the past 20 years, online businesses can now make use of a wealth of tools to support their clients and improve customer experience as a whole. For example, The growth of AI technology has enabled more businesses to offer round-the-clock support via live chat, with chatbots responding to customer queries and complaints. As with any offline business, you must take customer feedback on board and respond to any complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. Think about the typical customer journey of one of your clients and try to introduce pre-eminent strategies to tackle any potential issues before they occur. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism – you can use negative feedback as a starting point to fix mistakes and improve your service.