10 Ideas How to Improve Your Customer Service

When we receive good customer service, we tell 2-3 people. When we experience poor service, we tell 10-12 others!

Delivering remarkable customer service should be a key target for every entrepreneur in every business.

The better your customer service, the happier and more loyal your clients will be, and the more likely they are to recommend you.

But it’s more than that – good customer service gets clients to spend more with you. This means that even if you don’t rely on referrals or repeat business you will gain from offering better customer service.

Here are 10 ideas how you can improve your customer service:

1. Be Available

Offer them more, and more convenient, ways to contact you. Respond to questions and requests faster and, if relevant, find ways to offer support for more hours and more days.

2. Ask for and Welcome Clients Feedback 

Give your clients ways to provide testimonials and reviews. Ask them for feedback after they have used your product or service. Provide a short, simple feedback form or survey with an incentive to complete. Inviting regular clients to share their views.

3. Truly Listen to Your Clients

When asking for feedback, make sure to listen to it. Welcome praise and complaints. Consider all feedback as an opportunity. Look for trends to identify strengths and weaknesses, then work on both. When people know they’re being heard, they feel more inclined to do business with you as they value a business that listens. 

4. Understand Your Clients Needs

The more you get to know your clients, the more you are likely to understand their needs and expectations. Here are some things to think about: What do you now know about each of your clients? How helpful is this information? What else would be helpful for you to know? Who else has insights about your clients that could help you?

5. Go the Extra Mile to Solve Problems

Start by paraphrasing their issue (“Did I understand your problem correctly?”), then empathizing with their complaint (“I can see how this could ruin my day too”), then ask them what would be their desired outcome… And then… make it up to them.

6. Personalize Your Customer Experience

Use their names (see Starbucks), answer their specific questions (we all hate irrelevant copy-paste answers), offer a chat or phone support, if you have another product that can enhance their experience – offer it, provide additional information from knowledge-base articles… and to completely blow them off… answer with a quick video…

7. Walk Through Your Customer’s Experience

This can be a great way to find areas that need improving. Go through the process of doing business with your company and review the experience. If you don’t think your own eyes are fresh enough to spot areas that need work, why not invite a mystery shopper or arrange for a complete stranger to visit your website or physical business and give you honest feedback.

8. Follow Up After the Sale

The magic happens after a client buys. Reach out to the client to ask about their experience. Check to see how a purchase went. Is their product functioning? Are they happy with it? Not only do you have the opportunity to address complaints before they escalate, but you will also remind them what a fantastic company you are to do business with. Although it would be better to do this by phone, you could easily automate this process using email.

9. Thank Your Clients

Just a few appreciative words and a smile can make all the difference. Thanking people makes them more likely to look for an ongoing relationship.

10. Reward Your Clients

Give them a treat for their loyalty or ‘just because’. Offer them something for free, no strings attached. You might get the next sale, but even if you don’t, it will leave a positive impression. 

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… how can YOU improve customer service in your business?

Let's Brainstorm

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Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Let's Brainstorm

00:
Days
00:
Hrs
00:
Mins
00
Secs
.000
00:00:00:00

Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. Listening is one of the most difficult things to do. But I really try and make an effort. You get so much information by just listening. I always follow up once I complete a project. How are people doing, how do the things I did work for them. I also think that all people you worked with are equally important. From the secretary to the president of a company. Usually you get more info from a secretary if you keep in contact. I also try to think of something personal to close a project properly. Maybe a personal postcard, with a personal design. I can certainly do more in this field of customer service so thank you for all the tips.

  2. 1. Take a lot of time before the start. Especially with new client. In my case I work with children. I always let the parents come first. When they come with the children, I have time only for them.
    2. Respond very quickly to my customers. Most of my client really can't sleep because of their children. So I respond asap.
    3. Invite your clients a nice office/place. It is nice and tidy. It is in a nice location. Clients feel really great about that.
    4. Keep in touch with your clients every time. I have a database with a parent account. I write everything I did with the child and what I will do next time, as well as their homework.
    5. Prepair them for difficult conversations with other parties and ask about it later.
    6. Go the extra mile outside my expertise to find expertise the child needs more.
    7. Make sure the invoices are made properly and in time. I have my bookkeeper make them. She also makes sure the takes care of the terms or incasso's
    8. When ever you make a mistake I fix it asap.
    9. Make sure I come up with a plan, send it to the parents and follow true.
    10. When your clients stop working with you, thank them for their time with you.

  3. 1. try and solve their problem fast if possible
    2. give them something for free even if they returned all the products
    3. send them something for free with every order
    4. we use a leaflet with a QR code to go to trustpilot and leave a feedback
    5. we use a swing tag with a small gift to say thank you

  4. I answer everyone, also when it takes a little time.
    Be really clear on how and where to reach you (my voicemail says that I'm hard to reach through telephone, and they can reach me through...)
    For my caregiver company: I always (after a zoom meeting) visit the family and patient at their home (and I did the same with the professional caregivers) to be able to make an amazing match between patient and carer.

  5. What a great topic! You are supposed to excel with service and the superlative of service is to provide a great customer experience. Your service can be good and yet the customer may appreciate this less in his experience.
    What I do is regularly call my customers after their journey. How they are and how they are doing.
    Service should not be a technique but something that should come straight from your heart. I am just as happy as them when they have successfully completed a journey and I appreciate this with a personal gift to them.
    Always think along with your customers, if you can't give them what they're looking for, then search with them to find someone who can.
    Service is also a form of flexibility that allows you to give space to customers. You can be flexible without them walking all over you. Too often I see entrepreneurs who are too rigid and don't think along with their customers enough.

  6. I love Nisandeh's #3 sentence 'a business that listens'. I'll print that out and pin it to my wall 🙂

    Reading all your great ideas makes me realize customer service plays a very important role in my business. Especially for the individual monuments, where the design process takes about 6 months, great personal service makes the experience complete. And I love to give it to them. Without exception, the feedback from my clients is very positive and grateful (even after they had complaints).

    Here's my input. I'll skip the things already mentioned by the others.

    This is for an exclusive product:
    1. Start with a face-to-face meeting. When prospects come for an individual monument (which always is a big project), I invite them for a conversation without obligation. I put my phone in flight mode and listen to them very carefully. My first question always is: Could you tell me what happened?

    2. Always visite the site where the monument (product, end result) will finally be.

    3. When it concerns a design process or the development of a customized product, send your clients updates on a regular basis.

    4. Let your clients be part of the process. Mail them drawings, pictures and videos. Send them samples at home, so they can experience feel and colors by daylight. Sometimes I send them DIY-files, so they can easily make a mock-up with their printer, scissors and tape.

    5. Customers who want to check the options/materials in real life should always be welcome. Sometimes they decide another solution is better for them or they buy more of your products. When you're too busy but have employees or interns, you can ask them to help the clients.

    6. When delivery of the product is there, involve your customers by inviting them. Customers appreciate it a lot, it's a moment of celebration.

    7. Give your clients a care kit and personal instructions (in print) how they should maintain the product.

    For webshops and smaller products:
    8. Give buyers an option for personalizing their purchase. It can be a nice postcard they can use, a giftwrap, etc.

    9. When you have problems asking your clients for reviews, pay attention when they react on your product. If they say anything nice spontaneously, ask them if you can use it on your website (maybe this isn't useful work for webshops, but in others situations it can help).

  7. I saw a sign which I think was brilliant and says it all. It was like:

    If you have any complaints tell us, if you are happy tell others!

  8. Hi Dunja,
    Thank you so much for contacting me today. I am looking forward to meet you on the 23th.
    I love the fact that you recognize that your clients work very hard and that they deserve a treat.

    It is unfortunate that the feedback forms did not work for you.
    It might be a solution that you improve your feedback form, where people can give you 3 improvements or tips an 3 compiments.
    That way you give them the opportunity to help you. That makes them feel better and give you the right tools to improve. Would that work?

  9. Hi Gerdy,

    I know you for a few years now. I see your growth. And I love seeing that.
    Fantastic that you saw the things that did not go well saw as an opportunity to grow.
    Well done

  10. I doubt whether I will use a short survey or the like to ask for feedback. It has almost become spam. Certainly the large companies are doing it for everything, either a product or service. Now most of the time I throw them away. Having said that, here are my ideas.
    When I have made an error I apologize and correct it as soon as possible.
    I do my utmost for correct spelling, my last name is very often spelled wrong. So, I experience how that feels.
    Truly listen to your client and keep asking questions. Then offer a solution.
    Help your client anyway you can. Even if it means that you refer them to someone else.
    Make your client feel welcome. I gave a course a few weeks ago and got a compliment that tea and some treats were available when they entered the room
    Do something extra, which is not included in the consult. Usually my client has worked very hard during the consult, so a little treat for all that work is valuable. It is also a small celebration so the change is more anchored.
    Give them a call a few day laters how they are doing.

    1. You're right, Dunja. Referring people to your competitor can in some cases be the best solution for them ánd for yourself. Your clients feel happy because you are honest and offer them the right solution for their problems. At the same time you care about your business, because helping the wrong clients can be a real energy and money drain.

  11. I use a lot of communication by e-mail
    1. I always give an answer.
    2. I always say 'hello' in the way they said 'hello' to me.
    3. I don't assume but ask questions back for more information to give a right answer.
    4. I give extra information when I have that in a blogpost.
    5. I always try to write their name in the right way (although my name is mostly wrong spelt, I feel more seen when my name is spelt the right way)
    6. I always make it a personal reaction.
    7. I always try to stay friendly
    8. I always leave room to ask more questions (to open a trusty relation) "if you have any question, please feel free to ask")
    9. If there are problems with login and it stays after advice by e-mail my VA calls to help.
    10. In the planning is: sent a card when they start the program.
    11. I try to make it as personal as possible

  12. Observe versus believe.
    Often in consultancy/coaching, people will agree to something. They will say they will do it. But then, during the next meeting, it is observable they have not done it. Getting to the bottom of this (in a friendly way) will help me to correct and deliver the value in a different way next time.

    Use forums/ mailing groups
    In the open source community a lot is done through crowds. You can post your question online and someone will help them solve it.

    Work together.
    We had a JV brainstorm some days ago. I am sure there are some clients who could work with me and would be delighted. I am thinking of hosting events together where they invite either their clients or their colleagues.

    Call them proactively
    I think going the extra mile is about helping people before they realised they need it. Instead of waiting for something to hurt and having to handle their disappointment, be there before it happens and offer a solution

  13. I don't have a big operation, so customer service is basically me,myself and I. That makes it, I think much easier as I think "WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE WOULD I LIKE TO GET" When I think that way it makes things so much easier. I remember that there is a human being on the other side and not just a "customer".

    Here are a few things I've come up as my best tips:
    1. LISTEN - truly listen - sometimes they just need someone to talk to, or explain better something that was not clear the first time

    2. GIVE THEM SPACE - to express themselves, meaning give them TIME, NEVER cut them through when they are talking

    3. COMPLAINING CUSTOMER - if you do the first two steps and then ask them how would they like you to correct it - you'll find out that complaining customers become your best advocators and the best referrals.

    4. OFFER A SOLUTION - if what they want is not something you can do ALWAYS offer an alternative. Sometimes they would be happier with your suggestion than what they came up with

    5. RESPOND QUICKLY - can't stress that enough. Sometimes , even if you were notable to give them what they wanted, but responded quick enough and truly listened to them, they see you as a good friend

    1. I like GIVE THEM SPACE Bina. In a conversation but also when you are waiting for their answer. Nobody wants to be put under pressure. Just give a friendly reminder after a little while.

    2. @Bina, your #3 is very valuable. I'm using this principle myself and it always worked out very well. To all the others: try it! Go all the way to offer a solution. It will create you great ambassadors.

  14. You may know that I’m doing Nisandehs customer support for a few years.

    I was horrible when I started. Used to see complaints as a personal offense and found customer support a waste of time.

    Here are a few lessons that I learned (either because they tried to hammer it in my head or because I saw how they both handled it).

    1. Comments. Yes- part of customer service! Handle them with care: remove the errors when you see them, remove hate speech or irrelevant comments, read them all and make sure you answer them whenever you see the possibility. And when you answer them, don’t give them a simple thank you when someone took the effort to put a comment, but try to find a question that will help them think deeper and will help them further.

    2. Whenever you get a complaint, try to get on the phone and make it up. And not just to make it up, try to overdeliver. Not everyone will be open to it but find a way that the customer will be left happy. They will be your most loyal customers. And- it makes you feel so much better!! Often a complaint comes from misunderstanding or a wrong fit and if you take the time and effort to fix it it will help everyone.

    3. Give. From. The. Heart. Listen to what your customer really wants and asks for and only then give. Don’t assume too quickly that you know what they need.

    4. Take the time. I used to be very quick and do it in between the other work, but it pays off to start the reply with their names, answer thoughtful and give them either the next step or a choice.

    5. Everyone gets an answer. Everyone.

    Im still learning so still messing up but this… made such a difference in so many other parts of my life.

    Don’t underestimate your customer support.

    Im sure I had many more lessons. But these were the first ones to come up.

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