There are more than 2.24 million currently actively trading businesses in Australia. What truly sets them apart from each other isn’t just their product alone, but the secret sauce of why customer service is important to those companies that are serious about being leaders in their respective industries.

That said it’s not just delivering the basic, vanilla-flavoured, “that’ll do” level of customer service. Those who understand how to offer world-class customer service are the ones that will see shout-it-from-the-rooftops increases in their profits from both returning and new customers.

Here are five ways your company can go beyond the standard customer service and compete at the same level as much larger businesses.

  1. Actively Listen to the Customer: By listening and empathising with the customer, it shows you care about them – which will not only make them loyal, it will increase their patience with you when things don’t go according to plan.

  2. Check Yourself First: Leadership sets the tone of your business, and if you’re not displaying the values that you are seeking from your employees – well, you need to fix that ASAP. Take a step back and examine all of your interactions. Are you cranky with your customers? Not a great listener? Too enthusiastic? A bit too eager to close the deal? 

  3. Look at yourself through the same lens you use in conducting performance reviews and see how you do. It’s easy to course correct, try new techniques and see how your staff in turn learn to adjust their ways as well.

  4. Know Your Company’s Values – Then Live Them: Most large and successful companies have a mission statement or a list of values that guide how they operate. It’s also important to consider how your customer service fits into your values and to craft your own guidelines to be followed. A great example is this list of Customer Care Principles from American Express.

  5. Respond Quickly, but with the Right Answer: Too often reps send standard, canned responses. While this may make for efficient service, it doesn’t create a great feeling. It’s fine to use a canned response as a basis, if it answers the question, but always personalise the message so the customer doesn’t feel like they are being ‘handled’ but being serviced.

By doing an audit of the various touch points that customers have with your company it will help you become familiar with the areas that your business may need to improve upon.

From there, you’ll be set to start applying these tips to your processes and power up your service levels. In no time, you’ll be selling more thanks to both repeat and new customers and more importantly; building your brand as one that can be trusted and respected.

For more about how else to provide great world-class customer service, take a read of What makes for excellent customer service?, How to offer the best customer service you can or What is exceptional customer service?

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