For most businesses, your customers will be your main source of revenue, and the chances are, without good customer service, your customers are likely to look elsewhere – giving your competitors an opportunity to steal your customers. Good customer service is the backbone to many business’s success, but it’s not something that happens in a vacuum. You need your staff to work at it to build good relationships with their customers.

But what makes good customer service? Whilst it’s not something that happens automatically, it’s not difficult. There is no reason why any of your staff can’t provide good customer service. If you’ve ever heard the saying, ‘the customer is always right’, you’ll be aware that many companies operate by that policy. If a customer has an issue or a query, it is your staff’s responsibility to resolve that issue in a polite, professional and friendly manner – if not, your customers are likely to move on to another company. 70% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour. In fact, 54% of millennials, 50% of generation X and 52% of baby boomers all claimed they stopped doing business with companies because of poor customer service.

Customer satisfaction and retention is vital for any business in this competitive market. Building customer relationships is one way to retain your customers – but how can your staff build better relationships with your customers? Provider of name badges, Badgemaster, investigate how your staff can build lasting customer relationships and why they are so important for the success of your business:

Social media

Most businesses are aware of the importance of having a digital presence in today’s competitive market – a social customer interaction should be towards the top of your digital strategy priorities. Providing customer service through social media campaigns have become a popular line of communication between customers and businesses.

In fact, customer service interactions over Twitter have increased 250% in the last two years, and the first most influencing factor in gaining customer loyalty is the reduction of customer effort. If you have a line of communication open via social media, which customers can use, this takes away the effort of picking up the phone and waiting on hold for an advisor, or walking into a store and speaking to someone. Instead, they can simply send a message across using your social media platform and wait for a reply, all the while being able to get on with other things.

Customers have admitted that phone and voice communication is the most frustrating customer service channel – with over 32% of respondents in a recent survey agreeing. This could be because a quick response is a high priority for customers and being put on hold and listening to a scripted member of staff can be time consuming, and the message can be lost in script. Setting up social communications creates a platform for quick responses. Speedy responses on social equals willingness for customer spend. You’re likely to find bad social media reports if your customers must wait days to hear a response.

Personalised customer service

Do you think it’s important to give a customer your name? Whilst over the phone customer service appears to be the least favoured line of communication, that doesn’t mean the personal aspect of customer service needs to disappear. Face-to-face and social media platforms can offer in-the-moment resolutions with a human touch. For some customers, a personal touch is important for good customer service – knowing your name, as well as having you use their name to address them instead of sir or madam can make all the difference.

But how do you differentiate between customers who want to be addressed formally or as Mr or Mrs Smith, for instance, or by their first name? Over the phone, it’s as simple as asking the customer what they would preferred to be called – with social media, the overall vibe is more relaxed and informal, so it’s generally the norm for companies to address you by your first name, using an informal yet professional tone.

Communicating with customers on a human level, using names rather than titles is the building blocks of starting to build a relationship. Customers need you to communicate like a human being, not a robot that has been told what to do – each opportunity you have to interact with the customer, is an opportunity for you to build a better relationship where the customer can begin to trust you. Trust is vital for both customer and business relationships. If a customer trusts your staff, they are likely to be loyal to your business.

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