It may not seem like it, but the business world has changed quite a bit since 2007. The way the business world has changed may have you wondering what you need to do to catch up.
One of the biggest things that have changed is customer service. As a small business, you simply cannot cut corners when it comes to taking care of your customers. It’s hard for smaller businesses to win the price war, but they can provide personal customer service to ensure they keep their clients.
There are several ways to provide better customer service, but it all starts with understanding what your customers want. Here’s a look at what customers want today and how you can deliver it.
Your customers are now known as “Nonstop Customers” This is a term Accenture created and they use it to describe the many customers that now want what they want and they want it now. They expect a very fast solution to their issues and they expect it without much hassle.
If you cannot deliver what they want, they will find somebody that can, usually your competition. About 50% of consumers have admitted they are less patient today compared to five years ago and about 66% admit they turn to online channels for customer service due to the speed and convenience provided.
Customers Want More Options
Along with wanting it fast, customers in today’s business world want more options. They don’t want just an 800-number they can call for help. They want to contact you by email, online chat, a ticket system and any other option you can offer.
Word of Mouth has Exploded
Another thing you should understand about today’s customer, they care what others think. Not only has the many online review sites caused an explosion in world of mouth, but also the modern consumer compare themselves to others far more than they used to. Part of this is due to the ability to compare to others on social media and through other instant channels.
Loyalty Has Changed Tremendously
In the older business worlds, customers chose your business and they stuck by you. Today, customers are itching to use your competition. They are not afraid to switch if they feel like the service wasn’t up to par or something was just off. About 60% say they are more willing to switch providers today compared to ten years ago.
How to Boost Customer Service and Keep More Customers
Providing better customer service has to start with the first point of contact and continue through every channel after that. It’s important to address every possible channel a customer can contact you and make sure the service they are receiving is nearly perfect, if not perfect.
One of the best ways to boost your customer service is by hiring a virtual receptionist service. This type of service provides a large amount of benefit to your customer service. Not only will you have a live person answering the phone every single time somebody calls, but you will also get a friendly voice with a professional tone.
What can a Virtual Receptionist do for You?
When you hire a virtual receptionist to help provide better customer service over the phone, you get a highly trained professional ready to help you grow your business. They can do many things for you including:
- Schedule appointments – When customers call, your virtual receptionist will schedule an appointment, if necessary, and add it into your calendar.
- Take orders – If you have a customer calling and they need to place an order, your virtual receptionist will take care of it for you.
- Handle general inquiries – How often do customers call to ask how late you are open, where you are located or another general question? Your virtual receptionist can take care of all your general inquiries.
- Transfer calls – If the call isn’t something they can handle or they’ve been given instructions to transfer it, they will get the call to the right person.
- And More!
Your virtual receptionist with handle every incoming call and you won’t have to worry about missing a single call. This means, your customers won’t reach a machine and they won’t have to wait forever on hold.
When you hire a professional virtual receptionist service, your customers get a friendly voice whenever they call. This makes the first impression much better and you become an impressive small business to your customers. Not only do they get somebody to help them immediately, but they also get friendly service without having to select an option from a machine or leave a message.
Of course, you have to address other channels for better customer service, as well. However, it starts with the first point of contact, which is often the telephone. Make sure you have the best possible customer service, over the phone, and you will put yourself ahead of your competition.