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13 customer service improvement strategies for your team to implement

Nina Godlewski
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The best customer service teams have one thing in common: they’re always looking to improve the services they provide. It can be hard to constantly come up with new ways to do this though. We’re going to go over 13 customer service improvement strategies for you to try with your team. These strategies can be used to keep your customers happy and around for longer.

13 customer service improvement strategies

These are the 13 improvement strategies to try for boosting your customer service.

1.Use native messaging apps

One of the best customer service improvement strategies for you to do, if you haven’t already, is to be sure you’re available on your customers’ native messaging apps. Using the channels they already use whether that be Instagram messages, Facebook messenger, SMS, or email can go a long way in keeping your customers happy. That way, they don’t have to create any new accounts or logins, plus they don’t have to download anything new. 

2. Establish an omni-channel approach

Using native messaging apps leads us to our next strategy: adopting an omni-channel approach to customer service. Having your customer service available on multiple channels means there are as few steps as possible for your customers to contact support. Your customers likely regularly use a few different channels for communicating with friends, family, and even work. By taking an omni-channel approach you give your customers the option to use the channel they’re most comfortable with and the one that’s most convenient for them. You won’t lose out on a customer because they can’t figure out how to contact you.

3. Offer two-way communication

Your customers want to hear from you. They don’t simply want to get an answer or an automated response when they contact you. In fact, 72 percent of customers say they only interact with messaging that’s been personalized to them. That means they need to be able to contact you and you need to be able to contact them as well, and make it tailored to them.

4. Focus on human interaction

Part of offering two-way messaging is also focusing on the actual human interaction happening with your customer service. Give agents the option and time to have real conversations with people. This also means giving them time to build a relationship with customers beyond problem-solving. Customers like talking to real people, 55 percent of people prefer to talk to a real person when contacting customer service. Remember, you can have real people on your customer service team using channels other than phone to make customers happy. 

Headset and smiley face with 55 percent
55 percent of people prefer to talk to a real person when contacting customer service
Example of focusing on human interacting in customer service texting
A customer support representative handles a customer complaint via business texting.

5. Customer forward strategy

Your customer service strategy shouldn’t be to simply deflect customers. Deflecting them or answering a question then sending them on their way doesn’t give you the real chance to talk to them and build a relationship. When you focus your attention on your customers and form your strategy around them you build a loyal customer base and build your brand as one that cares about its customers.

6. Automated where you can

Utilize automation where you can and where your customers expect it when contacting customer service. They expect automated messages when opting in, opting out, requesting account information, or order information, to name a few. Using automated messaging well also means making it easy for customers to reach a real customer service agent when they need to. This should free up some of your customer service agents to refocus on the other customers who need assistance.

7. Utilize links and photos

Our next strategy is to utilize links and photos as much as possible when talking with your customers. Using photos, or MMS, for customer service can help improve your service immensely. You can use photos to help illustrate your point and links to help direct customers to support pages or troubleshooting instructions when necessary.

Utilizing links and photos in a text message
A customer support representative sends a link and photo to help a customer.

8. Ask for feedback with surveys

In order to constantly continue improving, you need to get feedback from your customers. Constantly getting feedback and recalibrating is a key customer improvement strategy because it helps you see exactly how you can improve. You can send surveys to your customers via SMS or on whatever other channel you use for customer service.

9. Communicate proactively

Customers want you to communicate proactively with them and be transparent. For instance, if things are delayed, telling your customer sooner rather than later goes a very long way. Having those hard conversations with customers and having a solution or way to help at the ready will make your customer appreciate you more.

Communicating proactively via text
A customer support representative alerts a customer to an order delay due to inclement weather.

10. Create VIP experiences

Customers want to feel like they’re getting the best customer service attention they can. You can create this personalized expert experience for your customers by being sure you’re only sharing relevant information to them. You can make your communication more consultative. Take it beyond simply answering questions for your customers and personalize the experience to the customer.

11. Follow up quickly

Another method for improving customer service is to follow up with your customers in a timely manner. Doing this shows them that you care about them and are considerate about their time. It can also keep them from giving up and abandoning their purchase or your brand as a whole.

12. Set proper expectations

Part of running smooth customer service is being sure your customers know what to expect of your customer service teams. You can do this by setting expectations. This can mean sharing your business hours, communicating about delivery times, or sharing how your customers should reach out to your business.

Setting proper communication expectations via text
A customer asks for an order update via business texting.

13. Anticipate needs and send reminders

The last strategy we’ll highlight has to do with staying one step ahead of your customers. Anticipating their needs can help improve your customer service. This includes sending them reminders when they’re due for their next appointment or when it’s time for their monthly order.

Challenges for customer service

You need customer service improvement strategies because of the challenges that customer service agents face. These challenges will vary depending on what you offer customer service for, you can find some templates for SMS messages in our article: 29 SMS templates for any business offering customer service.

Some challenges customer service teams face:

  • Not having answers
  • A lack of time to answer every single customer
  • Missing customer messages because of busy phone lines
  • Burnout
  • Being spread too thin
  • Service outages
  • Company-wide crisis or problem

Any and all of these challenges might be something your business faces. But by implementing some of the strategies we’ve outlined above you can help rise to the occasion of these challenges and solve the problems you or your customers are facing.

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