Customer service drives your business! But, it shouldn’t end once you lock up for the night. In today’s digital world, customers expect constant access to your business, and want to experience positive customer service along the way. All of this sounds overwhelming, but it can be done, with these 5 tips.
1) Forward Calls to an Answering Service or IVR
No matter how good of a business owner or employee you are, once you clock out for the day, your dedication to your business decreases.
You’re nights and weekends should be dedicated to family time, personal time and sleeping. But, for some industries, the calls never stop.
If you usually take all of your business calls on a personal cell, you most likely are guilty of hitting the decline button a few times. If you have an employee who takes home a work phone and is tasked with answering calls overnight, they probably are missing calls as well.
(If you don’t take business calls to your cell phone and instead have a dedicated work phone that stays in your office, you may be missing emergency calls from your clients!)
Instead of overwhelming yourself and bringing your work home with you, you can forward your business calls to an answering service or IVR system. Both an IVR system and an answering service can help eliminate call traffic to your cell by filtering out emergency calls from non-emergency calls.
An answering service typically uses live voice agents to speak with your callers. These agents will assess the nature of the call and can often schedule appointments, or assist callers in a manner that you or your employees would.
An IVR system uses an automated voice menu to direct callers to extensions or pre-recorded messages. (You’ve interacted with an IVR if you’ve ever heard “For billing Press 1, For directions Press 2, to speak with a representative Press the pound sign”)
Each has its pros and cons, but to determine which solution is best for your business, read: Are IVRs Better Than Live Agents?
Regardless of your preference, both an answering service and an IVR system will increase after-hours customer satisfaction by ensuring that all of your calls are answered and that your clients are not ignored or lost.
2) Stay Active on Social Media
While your business may have set store hours, your social media is open 24/7. Many customers will visit your social media before even calling to speak with you. So, how you present yourself on social media platforms is very important, it is often the first interaction that potential customers have with your business.
Be sure to create a brand on your social media profiles. You want your current and potential customers to associate your profile with your brand. It is also important to post regularly and remain active on your socials.
Putting your phone number in your bio and posting once or twice a year is not going to cut it. This makes you look inactive, and clients may assume that you are either out of business or not making much of an effort.
You can manage your social media personally, or outsource to a social media management company or freelancer.
Not sure how to approach social media? Social Media Do’s and Dont’s gives you a helpful list full of tips to maximize your social media.
3) Take Advantage of Video
Potential and current clients are full of questions and they expect you to have answers. If you are unable to provide them with such in person, you can through video.
- Pre-recorded Tutorials: Prevent FAQ calls! Do you always have customers requesting for you to come out for an issue only for it to be a very simple fix that they could have completed? You don’t mind helping your customers, but you’d rather save them time and money-they feel the same way!
By creating videos discussing and explaining these frequently asked questions, you allow yourself to always be available to your customers, even when you’re fast asleep at 2 am.
- Knowledge Videos: As a business owner or employee in your industry, you know a lot! Create short videos explaining issues, products or services to buyers in your industry.
Informative videos such as these can showcase your knowledge and make you a thought leader in your industry. Not only will this gain the trust of your clients, but it can also generate new leads.
4) Offer Self-Service Options
Today’s customer wants options! They are busy and may not be able to drop by your office or call you to get information on your business or to set up consultations and appointments.
Popular self-service options include consultation forms, informative blog posts or web pages, and customer logins. These types of self-service options will allow your current and potential customers to access helpful information, all on their own time.
If possible within your industry, consider online appointment scheduling. This feature will give your customers the freedom to schedule at their convenience, which could boost your profit.
Consider: Some customers don’t have the time during a typical workday to call up your business to book, schedule, reschedule or cancel an appointment.
Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling
- Convenience: Online scheduling allows your customers and potential clients to make their appointments on their time and in a comfortable environment. This reduces any selling pressure.
- Accuracy: With your customer filling in all information through your website form, you can ensure that their appointment information is accurate. Even the best secretary can misunderstand a caller, so it is a good idea to back up info eliminates discrepancies
5) Always Follow Up
Even if you thoroughly use all of these tips, you must follow up with your customers in order to ensure that your customer service is up to par.
Incorporating the above actions into your business will work wonders if they are partnered with a follow up!
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