Improving Your Customer Service

Customer service makes a huge difference in assuring customer retention—especially in the insurance business. If your company offers good customer service, your customers will be less likely to switch to a competitor based on price alone. Here are just a few ways you can improve your customer service.

Know what’s on your customers’ minds. If you’re not sure how your company is doing in terms of its customer service, ask your customers. Find out how often they’ve been really pleased by your company—and whether there’s anything your company does that has annoyed or displeased them. Discover whether any company policies particularly bother customers. You may not fully understand your company’s particular customer service challenges until you do this.

Respond quickly. This might seem like a small detail to you—especially when you’re busy—but people don’t like to wait. And if your customer took the time to contact you about something, it’s probably important to them. So don’t wait to respond to customer contacts and inquiries. Always respond to emails within 24 hours—preferably within the same day. Answer the phone by the third ring whenever possible. If a client requests a quote, be sure you get it to them at least 30 days before expiration.

Establish customer service policies. If you have employees, be sure they understand the customer service policies and how they apply to specific service situations. Be sure your policies address common concerns and issues you’ve found your customers are experiencing during your surveys.

Allow flexibility in solving customer service problems. Customers hate to hear “That’s our policy” from customer service representatives denying them what they’re asking for. Don’t let your employees use this as a way to shut down the conversation. Instead, grant them the leeway to creatively solve customer service issues by going outside of common practice or policy whenever you can.

Check your phone manners. Being positive and helpful on the phone can create a good impression with customers. Be sure you or your employees don’t leave callers on hold for more than a minute or two, and always ask before putting someone on hold. Avoid using slang or eating and drinking when answering the phone. And focus your attention on the phone call, rather than allowing yourself to be distracted by what’s going on in the office.

Good customer service can often make a big difference in a market where really excellent service is more rare than low prices. If you focus company resources on training your employees to provide better service, you may find it improves your customer satisfaction and retention over the long run.

Check out Fit-Marketing.com for more tips on how to improve your phone manner, and Business Insider for more ideas on how to improve your customer service.

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