One of the vital tenants of running any company is by implementing good customer service. Your customers must be kept happy; it is they who drive your company into success by re-using your services and recommending you to their friends and family. If customers are unhappy with the way they are dealt with by your customer service team, your customer outreach becomes limited and in some cases, tarnished. Customer service quality really can make or break your business.
Providing good customer service, then, is in everyone’s interests. The customer wants service that goes above and beyond their expectations. Loyal customers spend more; the more ‘regulars’ you have, the more you may be able to cut down on marketing costs used to attract new customers to your business.
What is Customer Service?
In the wider sense of the term, customer service relates to the direct help, advice and general service that your company provides to its customers throughout their shopping experience or purchase with you.
For a loan company, this would start with the initial inquiry into taking out a loan and ending with a customer choosing to take out a loan with you, followed-up by ‘after care’ support if they have any problems or questions. The customer will expect access to guidance and advice every step of the way.
Dealing with customer complaints is a vital aspect of performing customer service. Every business, no matter how brilliant it may be, will have to deal with customer complaints. It is very important how these are responded to. If customer complaints are dealt with badly, it can ruin the credibility of your company and discourage that individual to use your services again.
The Vitals of Customer Service
There are many things when it comes to cultivating customer relationships that you not only should do but absolutely need to do. The best customer service is easily done, but it may require your willingness to alter your business practices slightly. For instance, as a loans company, you will need to follow Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Read on for more fundamental areas in which your customer service must be stellar.
This to ensure that your company is only dealing with legitimate customers, and in turn your potential customers can be confident in your thorough business practices. With all of the customer information you collate, you must make sure you comply with confidentiality rights, and you must let each customer know that any information disclosed will be confidential.
- Aim to empower your staff
Encourage the staff members who are working directly with customers to always do everything they can for each individual customer.
- Don’t stick to one formula
It can be tempting to get into a routine and have a particular operation based on what you think is good customer service or good practice. However, every customer is different, so every case is different. Experiment with new methods of delivering brilliant customer service (such as customer catch-up emails, etc.)
Regularly review your processes against customer feedback; this will help you identify what you are doing right and wrong. You can then work on the areas in which improvement must be made.
- Aim to be prompt
Make sure that you solve any problems that arise as quickly as possible. Be sure that all your customers’ questions and complaints are both heard and dealt with in a timely manner. Continue to monitor how quickly your business responds from the customer service department. Waiting for simple things to be done can be very frustrating and even debilitating from a customer’s perspective.
- Remember the long-term value of a customer
Make sure that every member of your team knows the long-term value of the customer; make it the ethos of your company. Obviously, long-term customers bring in more money and more recommendations, so it pays to keep them happy.
- Use social media to deliver customer service
This is a quick way to resolve any problems that customers have. Most commonly, customers can take a few seconds to write a tweet to your company twitter account and hear back from you in minutes, or even seconds. (Please note: Always make sure to do not disclose any of their details on public social media platforms, rather ask them to message you directly on twitter, for example).
- Go the extra mile for your customers
This can be as simple as sending them a friendly message, or as personal as sending them a card or a gift to say thank you.
Providing great customer service is the key to running a credible and functional business. Keeping in touch with your customers is essential. Make sure that customer service does not terminate with a sale. So that you do not just have a coldly transactional relationship with your customers.
Customer service care is absolutely essential within the context of a loans company, given that loan-borrowing is a highly personal and confidential process. Your borrowers need to feel both safe and supported throughout the process, and this is best done with an excellent customer service team at their disposal.
For more on how loans operate, visit us on GuarantorLoans.com.