15 Essential Customer Service Strategies (To Increase Sales)

customer service strategies

If you’re looking to increase your sales, your customer service team is a vital aspect of your business. It’s the first part of your business that most customers will interact with.

If clients are happy with your customer service, they’re more likely to convert to repeat customers.

Even those clients who don’t buy won’t forget your company if the experience they had with you was a positive one. From this, you could get free word-of-mouth referrals that then convert to sales. It’s a win-win scenario!

Fortunately, you can improve your team’s performance by increasing sales with minimal effort. If you’re wondering how to achieve this, then you’re on the right page.

In this guide, we’ll cover some essential customer service strategies you’ll want to implement to help improve your customer retention rate.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of contents (top 10)
1. First impressions count
2. Understand customer needs
3. Know your product
4. Increase empathy
5. Leverage negative feedback
6. Minimize customer effort
7. Setup a referral program
8. Reward customer service teams
9. Use a digital-first strategy
10. Adopt clear communication

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1. First impressions count

People form opinions about anything and everything from their very first interaction. This means customers will form an opinion about your company from their first conversation with your team.

For the best outcome, your customer service team should make a good first impression while proving that they’re reliable and trustworthy. Instead of being aggressive, they must always ensure that they’re polite when speaking with customers.

This will lead to a memorable experience. They also need to be knowledgeable in terms of the operations of your company.

Having the right information to hand will help them cater to the needs of clients without any issues. While the first impression may not seem all that important, it can and does encourage clients to return.

2. Understand customer needs

Making a great first impression is pointless if the customer service team doesn’t understand what a client wants. You must ensure that every step your customer team takes is based on an individual client’s requirements.

As a business owner, one way to achieve this is to request feedback from clients via emails, surveys, phone calls, or any other tools at your disposal. Doing this will give you insights into what your customers want and how to properly address them.

Remember that the main purpose of requesting feedback is to know if your team is meeting client needs and improving the customer journey. It’s also a great way to determine if clients will purchase specific products or services from you again.

3. Know your product

If your customer service team doesn’t know everything about your product, it’ll be impossible to address clients’ needs.

Therefore, your team should have a solid grasp of the products and services you offer. With this, when prospective clients ask questions regarding your company, they can swiftly provide answers.

Potential clients who receive this kind of experience will appreciate the business and develop enough trust to complete a purchase.

Many businesses lose the opportunity to make more sales because the customer service team couldn’t provide enough or the right information.

Therefore, teaching your support team what they need to know about your business is an effective customer service strategy that can maximize sales.

4. Increase empathy

It can be very frustrating when dealing with a customer who can’t figure things out – especially if it seems easy to you. However, you need to train your customer service team to see the problem from the customer’s point of view.

This will help them understand how clients feel so they can properly address them. Put yourself in the shoes of customers and see if you’d be fine with the treatment you receive from your team. If you aren’t, it’s a sign that you need to make some changes.

Prospective clients who contact your customer service team and get responses without being made to feel “dumb” are more likely to return.

The same applies to existing customers as they will be more responsive if they feel the team understands the problem. Make sure you include empathy training for all your customers and watch as both customer satisfaction rates and sales increase.

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5. Leverage negative feedback

We mentioned above that requesting feedback is one way to understand the needs your of customers.

However, there are moments when you’ll get negative reviews or customer feedback regarding your business operations. Don’t be disappointed if this happens, as you can use it to boost sales.

So, how do you do this?

First, get your team to respond to customer complaints quickly and politely. If a company responds to a negative comment directly, it will make clients feel respected and valued.

It also lets them understand that their voices are being heard and shows that your company is ready to take the necessary steps to ensure clients are satisfied.

This stellar customer service strategy can boost customer loyalty and ensure they continue to buy from your company – which means an increase in sales!

6. Minimize customer effort

Ask yourself this question; would you rather do business with a company that makes the buying process easy or hard?

Obviously, you’ll want to go with the one that makes it easy.

This means a good way to increase your sales is to make the customer’s job simple. Ensure purchases are simple, both offline and online. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure the process takes 5 minutes or less from start to finish.

Make this happen and watch as clients choose your company each and every time they want to do business.

7. Setup a referral program

Nothing beats word-of-mouth referrals, and you can encourage them by creating a referral program: a system that rewards loyal customers who refer others because they were satisfied with your service. This can mean more sales.

For instance, you can create a referral program that provides clients with discounts every time they refer new customers. Your customer service team can relay this information via emails and phone calls to current customers.

They can also inform prospective clients anytime they reach out for any inquiries.

This customer service strategy is a great way to leverage the positive performance of your team and improve sales.

8. Reward customer service teams

Everyone loves to feel valued for their efforts – and this is why sales teams are always happy when they get commissions. Rewards can motivate team members and staff to surpass their set targets and bring in more sales.

You should also use this system to reward your customer service team members.

For instance, you can reward excellent team members for dealing with difficult problems or for getting referrals. Alternatively, you can include bonuses for team members who are highly rated by clients during surveys.

Taking steps like these can make all members strive to bring their A-game, which means better customer service – and potentially more sales!

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9. Use a digital-first strategy

We have entered the digital age, and companies that want to remain relevant must quickly adapt. This means you’ll want your support team to easily be accessible in all digital outlets.

For instance, your customer service teams should be accessible to clients via email, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. To ensure your resources aren’t spread too thin, monitor those platforms with the most inquiries and try to focus on them.

Also, you’ll want to have a live chat service manned by a responsive team. Many customers love live chat because it’s the fastest way to get help. It’s personalized, and customers won’t need to deal with distractions e.g. staying on hold.

Lastly, live chat is very simple to use – so even clients without technical know-how can get around it without any particular issues.

With these strategies in place, your overall customer interactions will be faster and easier. Finally, you’ll want to create outlets for customers who prefer a “self-service-style” customer service.

For instance, a help center, FAQ page with answers to common questions, or a form. Not only will this ease the job of the support team, but it’ll also ensure customers can get answers themselves – 24/7!

10. Adopt clear communication

Clear verbal and written communication is a strong customer service strategy.

Therefore, team members need to learn how to communicate in a concise and clear manner. This is particularly important when you’re speaking with prospective clients who don’t have a common first language.

When prospective or existing clients reach out, they’re looking for precise information. Those who want to fully understand a situation will ask for more details, which is when the team can delve a little further into an issue.

But in most cases, customers want to get quick solutions to their problems. Make sure your team is trained to resolve issues without delay.

Customers who understand that they will get clear information when they reach out to your team are more likely to make a purchase.

11. Encourage cross-selling

Another great customer support strategy is cross-selling. While this is mostly used by the sales team, it’s something the customer service team can leverage too.

Presuming a customer purchases a monitor, for example, the sales personnel may offer a mouse or keyboard alongside. This is an example of cross-selling.

If a customer calls to enquire about a product and then makes a purchase, the support team can recommend something to go with that product. This should not pose a problem if the customer already had a great experience interacting with the team.

At this point, increasing sales becomes easier.

12. Make returns easy

Letting go of a little profit is a small price to pay to ensure your customers are satisfied.

As you grow, you’ll run into clients who are unhappy with your product/service, as mentioned earlier. In most cases, these clients never return to do business with you – which means you lose out on continuous earnings.

However, you can avert this issue by having a return policy in place. If an unhappy customer has the option to return goods at no cost, they have a higher chance of returning to buy your product or services.

This will also boost your customer satisfaction score. Make sure you communicate the process in a simple manner and streamline all internal processes.

As long as your customers don’t abuse the policy, you’ll have a higher chance of getting more sales. You’ll also want to provide tracking features so that customers always know where their products are.

Lastly, make sure you follow up after delivering products to customers. Instead of ignoring them after a sale, following up with clients improves customer expectations and makes them feel important.

While this customer service strategy may be tricky to implement, the benefits you’ll receive are well worth the hassle.

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13. Take ownership of mistakes

Teach your support team never to blame customers for mistakes. There are moments when clients may make a mistake in making a purchase or using your services. Instead of blaming them, you can transform this moment into a memorable experience.

For example, let’s assume a customer buys the wrong product and only realizes it after delivery. You can resolve this by offering a free refund, even it’s not your standard policy.

Then, offer them the product they originally wanted and deliver it at a discounted price. While this may cost you a small amount, you may find that customers who receive this experience are more likely to return.

14. Truly value your customers

A great way to improve customer satisfaction is to treat your clients like real people! To do this, ensure your team interacts with customers using their names. This should apply regardless of whether the communication is happening via phone, email, or surveys.

Another option is to use personalized messages after every customer interaction. If a client sends an inquiry or buys your product – reach out to them.

Make sure you use their name and ask how you can help. Even customers who don’t need help at this point will not forget the gesture… or your business.

A friendly approach makes clients feel human and more willing to do business with your company. And as you know, more business means more sales.

15. Always keep improving

If you sell shoddy products to clients, they’ll never be satisfied, regardless of the customer service strategy you implement. Never use your customer support team to upsell customers into buying defective products for more sales.

While this may work in the short term, it will eventually affect your business negatively.

Existing customers who aren’t satisfied with your products or services will eventually go to your competitors. Aim to improve your offerings before convincing clients to buy.

This way, your level of customer satisfaction stays high and could translate to an increase in sales.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, customer service can have a significant impact on your business. While there is no single answer or tip to improve your company’s customer service – the strategies above will certainly help.

By combining some of the successful customer service strategies we have covered in this post, you can improve your team and boost sales. Make these strategies part of your company culture and allow your clients to experience premium customer experience.

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