You’re likely already using goal-setting formulas like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rely on these to track your progress, quantify your performance, identify areas for improvement, and measure success in a structured way. This gives you an attainable way to improve your performance and lift your customer satisfaction score.
4. Put customer feedback at the heart of your decision making
Who best to tell you how customers feel about your company than the customers themselves? If you’re not already collecting their feedback, you can quickly make a start.
- Traditional surveys: Add a survey to your website, send an email (or even snail mail), or carry out interviews face-to-face to collate feedback.
- AI assistant: For instant feedback use an AI assistant on your website, app, or any other digital channel to end every conversation with a request for real-time customer feedback.
- Community groups: Give customers a space to talk candidly about your products or services, or if this doesn’t suit your work, use social media comments to garner feeling.
Act on customer feedback, don’t just collect it
There are many ways to collect customer feedback, but the crucial step is not collecting it, it’s taking action and doing something with it once you have it. Fixing problems and enhancing services often leads to higher customer satisfaction scores and, so, increased profitability.
Do better than your competition
A 2021 study of 5,300 people found a whopping “[t]hree-quarters ( 75%) of those surveyed report that brands are not listening to their feedback,” yet 83% said they would “spend more in return for a better customer service experience.”
Make the most of this willingness to spend by creating a group that’s specifically tasked with analysing and prioritising customer feedback. Design an action plan and follow through with it diligently to show you listen to and value the opinion of your customers.
5. Dedicate yourself to resolving customer queries promptly
Being attentive to customer needs might sound like a straightforward task, yet many organisations struggle to excel at this. On average, UK customers wait 35 minutes to get through to companies on the phone and 62% of businesses ignore email altogether. This poor record sends a clear message to customers: their needs and time are not valued or respected, and couldn’t be any further away from demonstrating customer service mindset.
These shocking figures present a golden opportunity for organisations like yours to stand out. By simply cutting down your wait times and responding promptly, your business can better satisfy customers and so attract more of them.
Use AI to combat long wait times
When Barking & Dagenham Council launched an AI assistant to automate customer queries, it independently resolved 10,000 routine queries for their contact team in the first six months, so they could focus on more high value tasks. Offering an instant 24 hour support service, the council also saved £48,000 and customer satisfaction shot up by 67%.
6. Teach agents how to express empathy for every customer situation
Empathy forms the bedrock of excellent customer service and actively making use of it shows your agents truly understand and connect with your customers.
Showing empathy doesn’t mean your agents have to experience the same emotions as your customer or claim to understand exactly how the customer feels. What it does require is an appreciation for the situation your customer finds themselves in and a genuine acceptance of their point of view to be able to do the best thing to help them.
If you feel there’s more you could do to hone this vital skill in your teams, there are lots of ways to teach empathy. From practicing acceptance and matching the customer’s emotion, to using empathy statements and hiring people with high emotional intelligence, there’s no shortage of techniques you can use to achieve empathy in customer service (with AI too).
7. Hold regular reviews to reinforce customer service mindset
Speaking regularly with your team about customer service mindset helps establish its importance. You could motivate your teams further by offering rewards, perks, or recognition for generating positive customer feedback.
- Share performance results with your teams, so they know how they’re doing
- Encourage agents to offer ideas for improvements, since they know the customer best
- Celebrate every win, big or small, for individuals as well as teams
- Give agents time to recharge their batteries and refocus their mindset
That last one is super important because being continually attentive to customers is taxing; agents need to attend to their own needs too to keep their stamina up. Absorbing a lot of emotional energy from customers ― sometimes negative, can lead to agent burnout. Showing you recognise that and want to protect your teams can encourage long-term agent retention.
8. Encourage agents to be proactive and exceed expectations
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company gives their customer service employees a budget of “up to $2,000 to fix any guest problem, no questions asked,” says Qualtrics XM. While that’s a generous way to improve customer service mindset, you don’t have to allocate a budget to encouraging agents to go the extra mile for your customers.
- Let agents know they can spend extra time on customer problems if they warrant it
- Encourage them to be creative with their responses to find new solutions to old problems
- Give awards for good results, like a high customer satisfaction score or positive online review
Remove unproductive tasks from an agent’s workload
Agents tent to be more proactive when they’re motivated and morale is high. Using an AI assistant to handle repetitive routine queries and eradicate low value tasks can help with this.
- Use AI to eliminate unrewarding or repetitive queries
- Assess the unresolved issues and automate as many of those as you can
- Proactively work on resolving the stubborn or more complicated problems that can’t be automated to enhance the customer experience
Before you know it, your teams are dealing with far more rewarding and high value support issues that inspire them to do well to maintain your excellent reputation for customer service.
9. Customer service leaders: Show your teams the way
Speed up progress on achieving customer service mindset by showing, rather than simply instructing your customer service teams on what to do. This removes any possible resentment that builds from having to do the hard work alone, gives your employees confidence to follow your lead, and inspires action to work harder on mindset and excel in their performance.