7 Steps to Building a Better Customer Service Strategy in 2021

6 Min Read

The start of a new year is always a good time to set goals for the year ahead. If your small business is providing minimal customer service, now is a good time to adjust your customer support strategy to provide better service in 2021.

How to build a better customer service strategy 

Presently, ninety percent of Americans say customer service factors into whether or not they choose to do business with a company. 

Knowing this information presents you with an opportunity to win new customers. Therefore, if the customer’s experience with your company outshines your competitor, you will gain a new customer.

Take your customer service from mediocre to crowd-pleasing with these seven steps.

1. Evaluate your current customer support process

For starters, you can’t improve something without first identifying shortcomings. Take the time to evaluate your current customer service strategy and identify weaknesses. 

  • Are calls and support tickets often bottlenecked? 
  • Is your help desk disjointed? 
  • Are agents flailing about to find answers to customer’s queries? 
  • How many new customers return? If the number is low, could it be that you are losing them because of poor customer service? 

2. Set goals

Now that you know where the problems lie, you can set goals to overcome them and improve your service. Be specific. Do you want:

 Don’t try to revamp everything all at once. Focus on a few priority goals that you can realistically accomplish within 12 months. You can roll out other upgrades at a later stage. 

3. Implement the right customer service software 

One of your priority goals should be to replace your old clunky customer service system with well-rounded CRM software. This single change will immediately up your game.

What to look for in customer relationship software:

  • Integration with your other business applications and ecommerce systems. 
  • User-friendly with a 360-degree view of the customer’s profile. All customer information, product purchases, and interactions should be in one easy-to-view place. 
  • A multi-channel system that is capable of centralizing communication from different platforms like email, calls, social media, text messaging and live chat. 
  • An efficient ticketing system for fast query resolution.

To help you find the right CRM system for your businesses, here’s a list of  the 13 best customer service software solutions of 2020.

4. Train help desk agents

All the best systems in the world won’t mean much if your agents are not properly trained. Just how much of an impact do customer service agents have on your business? Here’s what customers say: 

  • 68% of customers said the customer service representative was crucial to a positive service experience with a company.
  • 73% of customers say they fall in love with a brand and tend to remain loyal because of friendly customer service reps.

That’s how important your customer service team is to your business. So, invest in selecting the right staff and train help desk agents in company knowledge, product knowledge, communication skills, conflict resolution, and friendliness. They are on the frontline of your business and often the first point of contact for customers. 

5. Provide more digital channels 

Online shopping fared well in 2020. COVID quarantines pushed businesses to provide more digital contact options as customers struggled to access traditional channels like in-person assistance and overloaded call centers.

If you don’t already offer customer support via social media, live chats, and self-serve knowledge bases, it’s time to expand to more digital channels. Customers want the convenience of being able to contact a company through multiple channels, and most choose to do so online.

6. Continually analyze data 

When your customer service upgrade is complete and the results are delighted customers, take a moment to feel proud. However, that’s not where your job ends. Every good marketer will tell you that measuring and analyzing data is an important pillar of marketing. 

Continually analyzing data reveals a lot about where you’re succeeding and failing at customer processes. It also reveals insights into customer sentiment and preferences. 

You’ll be able to track customer retention rates. You’ll see patterns emerging from compliments, criticism or complaints. There’s a wealth of information you can glean from analytics to further enhance your customer service.

7. Reward high-value customers

Did you know that the number one reason customers stop using a company’s product or service is because they feel unappreciated? How can you turn that around? Offer your high-value customers rewards like an exclusive offer, a gift voucher for the birthday or other milestones, or discounted membership. Make them special and they’re likely to remain loyal to your brand. 

As the statistics show, customer service is often the differentiating factor between competing businesses. You can’t afford to let this area of your business just coast along. It’s time to make 2021 the year you level up your customer service. 

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Becca Williams is a writer, editor, and small business owner. She writes a column for Smallbiztechnology.com and many more major media outlets.