In this hyper-connected, always-on world, customer service is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. It's a non-negotiable part of doing business. And yet, too many companies still treat it as an afterthought. But here's the thing: customer service is an opportunity. It's an opportunity to create raving fans, to build loyalty, and to grow your business.  

In this post, we're going to look at some of the most effective strategies and best practices on what to do to improve customer service, as recommended by experts. We'll cover everything from understanding customer needs to creating a positive customer experience.

What to do to improve customer service — Follow the 12 principles of customer service 

The 12 customer service principles are extremely important for companies to follow because they align with the business's overall goals and objectives, support the company's brand, and help to build trust with customers. If you want to know what to do to improve customer service, then consider implementing these principles to your business:

1. Putting the customer first: Prioritizing the needs and wants of the customer above all else.

2. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations: Constantly working to exceed customer expectations and deliver a high-quality experience.

3. Providing personalized service: Tailoring the customer service experience to meet the individual needs of the customer.

4. Being prompt and responsive: Responding to customer inquiries and requests in a timely manner.

5. Being polite and courteous: Being respectful, courteous and polite in all interactions with customers.

6. Providing accurate and complete information: Providing customers with accurate and complete information about products and services.

7. Being helpful and empathetic: Showing understanding and empathy towards customers and their concerns.

8. Being professional and knowledgeable: Maintaining a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field and conducting oneself in a professional manner.

9. Being consistent in service delivery: Providing consistent service across all customer interactions and channels.

10. Continuously improving service quality: Constantly working to improve service quality and customer experience.

11. Encouraging customer feedback: Encouraging customers through a customer survey to provide feedback and using it to improve service quality.

12. Following up with customers: Following up with customers to ensure that their needs have been met and to address any outstanding issues.

How can we improve poor customer service?

Is your business looking for ways on what to do to improve customer service? Industry experts revealed some of the actionable tips on how to improve poor customer service and turn a dissatisfied customer to a loyal one:

1. Train employees on customer service: Provide regular training for employees on how to handle customer complaints, how to communicate effectively with customers, and how to provide personalized service.

2. Encourage employee engagement: Create an environment where employees feel valued and empowered to provide the best customer service.

3. Listen to customer feedback: Regularly gather customer feedback through surveys or comments, and use this information to improve service quality.

4. Set clear customer service standards: Establish clear standards for customer service, including response times and resolution times, and hold employees accountable for meeting these standards.

5. Monitor and measure performance: Use customer service metrics to monitor and measure the performance of customer service representatives, and use this information to identify areas for improvement.

7. Invest in technology: Implement technology solutions that can improve customer service, such as live chat support, virtual assistants, and self-service portals.

8. Be transparent and responsive: Be transparent with customers about what to expect, and respond to feedback and complaints as quickly as possible.

9. Continuously improve: Continuously seek out ways to improve service quality, and make changes as needed. If you’re clueless about what to do to improve customer service, then you may consider evaluating your product or service to address gaps and limitations. 

10. Lead by example: Senior leadership should lead by example and model the behavior they expect from their teams.

What are the 4 P's that improve customer service? 

The 4 P's of customer service are a set of customer service guidelines for companies to follow in order to provide excellent customer service. They are:

  • Promptness: Responding to customer inquiries and requests in a timely manner. For example, a customer service representative quickly answering a phone call within three rings. 
  • Politeness: Being courteous, respectful, and polite in all interactions with customers. For example, a customer service representative addressing a customer with "Good morning, how may I help you?" 
  • Professionalism: Maintaining a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field and conducting oneself in a professional manner. For example, a customer service representative being able to resolve a technical issue for a customer. 
  • Personalization: Tailoring the customer service experience to meet the individual needs of the customer. For example, a customer service representative remembering a customer's name and previous interactions during a call, and addressing their concerns accordingly.

What time is best for customer service? 

The best time of day to call customer service is in the morning, specifically before noon. According to research, on average, call center wait times are 70% shorter during this time period (between 5am and 12pm). This means that there are fewer customers calling in during the morning, which leads to shorter wait times and faster service. 

Additionally, the longest wait times are typically between 3pm and 12am. This is likely due to the fact that more customers are calling in during this time period, which leads to longer wait times and slower service. 

It's important to note that different businesses and industries may have different peak times for customer service calls, so it's always a good idea to check with the company you're trying to reach to see when they experience the most call volume. Furthermore, many companies schedule additional staff during peak hours, so it's worth trying again during non-peak hours if you are unable to reach a customer service representative during peak hours. 

In conclusion, if you want to have the best experience with customer service, the best time to call is in the morning before noon, when call center wait times are shorter.

What is the biggest problem companies usually face in customer service? 

Some of the common problems in customer service may vary depending on the industry or type of business. But the biggest problem companies of all industries usually face in customer service may include the following: 

Lack of consistency in service delivery

Different customer service representatives handle the same customer inquiry or complaint in different ways, resulting in inconsistent service quality.

Lack of communication and coordination between different departments

This can result in customers getting passed around from department to department, which can be frustrating and time-consuming for them.

Providing a seamless customer service experience across different channels

This can lead to customers experiencing a fragmented service experience, which can be frustrating and make it difficult for companies to build a relationship with customers.

Understanding and utilizing customer data effectively

Organizations that don’t know what to do to improve customer service overlook the importance of analyzing customer data. As a result, customers feel like they are not understood or that their needs are not being met.

Delivering personalized service to customers

This may be due to lack of knowledge of customers, which can make it difficult to tailor the customer service experience to meet their individual needs.

Inadequate employee training

This results in employees not having the necessary knowledge or skills to handle customer inquiries or complaints effectively.

Lack of customer service metrics and measurement

This can make it difficult to monitor and measure customer service performance, identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.

Handling customer complaints and escalations

This can lead to unresolved issues and frustrated customers which may result in losing customers to a competitor. If you don’t know what to do to improve customer service, then you should hire a dedicated customer support team for your business. 

Offering efficient and effective service through digital channels

This can be due to lack of technology or lack of knowledge on how to use digital channels effectively. For this reason, companies outsource customer service to leverage the industry-leading tools of their outsourcing vendor. 

Why are the first 30 seconds important to a customer service agent?

The first 30 seconds of a customer service call are important because it sets the tone for the entire call. Answering calls within 30 seconds is a common service level target because it shows that the call center has proper staffing for inbound phone lines, and that the wait time to answer customer calls is at an acceptable level. This is an effective key performance indicator (KPI) because it ensures that customers do not have to wait on hold for long periods of time, which can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Additionally, answering calls quickly can also help to improve the overall customer experience, as customers will appreciate the prompt service.

Outsource Your Customer Service Needs to ManilaPros

Are you looking to improve your customer service efforts while keeping your operational expenses low? Look no further than customer service outsourcing. Many successful companies have leveraged outsourcing to improve customer service and expand their customer base.

ManilaPros, a top full-service outsourcing provider of five-star customer care for retailers, can connect you with skilled customer support agents who are vetted, trained, and certified for your brand. You will also get a dedicated account manager who will oversee your customer service operations for you.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can provide customer care for your retail business.