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Encompass® Agency Insights

Customer Service 2.0: Make Your (Already Great) Customer Service Even Better

Customer service.

In today's marketplace, it's not enough to simply provide good customer service... today's clients expect great customer service. The role that influencers — such as social media and review sites like Yelp — play in your agency's reputation can't be understated: A whopping 90 percent of consumers form an opinion about a business after reading less than 10 reviews, according to a 2016 survey by BrightLocal.

In fact, 87 percent of consumers are likely to share a positive customer service experience, which underscores the key role that great customer service plays in your business' reputation and success. (Of course, an even higher percentage of consumers are likely to share not-so-great experiences, further highlighting the essential importance of customer service.) There are many things you can do to provide great service. Here are three ways that you can help make your (already great) customer service even better, for both current and potential clients.

1. Respond to Feedback

It's no secret that online interactions can make business more convenient for both agents and consumers. But your clients still want that personal touch; after all, interacting with a computer just can't beat one-on-one communication. That means responding to reviews and comments on social media in a consistent and timely manner. Dedicate a portion of each day to creating warm, personalized responses. Not only does this let clients know that there are real people working at your company, it also helps build trust, boost your brand and build customer loyalty over time. So make a point of promptly returning those calls, following up on emails and replying to reviews and comments on social media.

2. Pay Attention to Current Clients

While it's easy to get caught up in efforts to bring in new clients, it's essential to maintain a positive relationship with current clients, as well. Studies indicate that the cost of attracting and wooing new clients is five times that of maintaining relationships with existing clients. The bottom line is that cultivating your current clients through superior customer service is good for your bottom line. Implementing a regular schedule for client contacts helps make cultivation simple. Remember, your interactions don't have to be face-to-face to be effective, though in-person interactions on a regular basis are ideal. Consider sending personalized notes about milestones, birthday or anniversary greetings, and notifications about new products or services that may benefit them in order to keep your agency at the top of your clients' minds.

3. Increase Your Accessibility

If a client is trying to reach you, are you making it simple or throwing obstacles in their way? Remember, while digital platforms and automation can save time, they still need to be friendly. For example, what happens when a client calls your office? Is it easy for them to connect with the person they want to reach, or are they thrown into a chain of frustrating phone prompts? Is your website user-friendly and intuitive, so that clients can easily access the information and answers they seek? What happens if they try to reach you after-hours? Do you utilize an answering service that makes them feel like their business matters to you? Put yourself in your customer's shoes and put systems in place that make it as easy as possible for your customer to find what they're looking for.

By implementing these three steps, you may help improve your customer service... and transform your clients' experience from good to great!

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