Customer tracking software can help improve your service. Develop a customer service test and survey to focus your business on its strengths and weaknesses. Through software and testing, discover and understand "what is good customer service" for your business and then act on what you've learned.
Customer tracking software provides the capability for tracking service issues; complaints and complaint handling; referral information; prospects; source of prospects and clients; orders; quotes; and more. Use tracking software to manage all aspects of your customer relationships and to improve service.
The most compelling customer service test for your organization is to look at the 'life-span' of your relationship with clients.
Do you only sell once to a customer (purposefully, expecting the product to last a long, or a life, time)? If you have difficulty in retaining clients you need to find out why.
If you need to focus on improving your customer service, develop a customer survey program that asks your clients to provide feedback. Then focus on the feedback.
Using software to track customer activity (or inactivity) helps you to understand what's working and what's not. When you invest in marketing efforts to grow sales or launch new products, you need to know what is effective. Using software to analyze response rates, buying patterns, service issues and more will enable you to improve your business.
What is good customer service? It is ensuring that your client is more than satisfied by the experience and it is using feedback to change, adapt and improve services.
Acknowledge the issue. Be empathetic.
Actively listen to the client's complaint, without getting defensive and without interrupting the client's story.
Deal with the issue directly: do not pass the client on to the next person! If you get an angry customer complaining about bad customer service, it will only make the individual more angry to be passed around for the 'right' person to talk to; make yourself the right person even if it's another department's responsibility.
Use phrases such as "I understand. I'm sorry you're unhappy with our service". Or paraphrase back for clarification, "What I heard you say was that...". And ask for more information, "Can you provide the details about what happened?"
Then tell the client that you will investigate the issue. Provide a specific response or reply time: "I will investigate and call you back by the end of the day" (or within 2 hours), or whatever is appropriate, but make the response time reasonable and then deliver your response on time or early.
Find the root cause of the issue. Good customer service management means involving the people responsible. Do not focus on who is right or who is wrong, focus on how you fix the problem and satisfy the client. If cost is a consideration, remember to look at the overall cost of losing the customer. If the root cause of the issue is one you want to change, build a plan to fix it.
Once you've resolved the customer's complaint and communicated the resolution, follow up with the client in four or five weeks and make sure the client is satisfied with your service. Also conduct regular customer service surveys to ensure your customers are satisfied on an ongoing basis.
Customer tracking software can help you to learn more about your clients and help you to focus on building highly satisfied (even delighted) customers; this will help you build strong customer loyalty.
Return to Good Customer Service.
Focus your customer service efforts on the highest value activities; these are the actions that will provide your business with the best return on your investment of resources.
Review your sales by customer at the product or service level (by type). Then analyze your direct and full costs by product or service.
Your goal in gathering, and then analyzing, the numbers is to compare the costs by products and services and then by customers; you want to know which products and services are the lowest cost and which customers provide your business with the best value.
This will help you focus your business resources to provide the most service and support to high value customers.
What's the gross profit margin by customer? Rank your customers not only by total sales but by profitability; and by sales by product or service.
If you have specific products or services that you know are more profitable than others you will want to focus your attention on the customers buying those more profitable items and/or you will want to encourage customers to buy more of the profitable product or service lines.
Note: A number of accounting software systems provide the capability to run these reports quickly and easily.
Providing customer service that consistently delights (rather than just satisfies) results in long term customers.
Your business' commitment to exceptional quality; the reliability and consistency of your service (your customers like to know that they can expect the same product or service, and the same level of support, on each and every order); and highly trained and knowledgeable staff are all key attributes to developing successful relationships with your customers.
Focus your business on more than satisfying customers; make delight a number one goal.