How to Provide Outstanding Customer Service According to Insurance Professional Sai Gadam
Every company aims to achieve customer loyalty. Most business owners will tell you that acquiring customers can be difficult but keeping them around is even harder. According to several sources, the single greatest reason customers stop purchasing from companies is because they feel undervalued. Devoted customers are important for a variety of reasons; they spread free word-of-mouth marketing, they spend more, they act as a focus group for your products, and stick up for you when you need it most. Research by Bain & Company indicates that loyal customer relationships can even save costs. For instance, in financial services, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. So, how can you prove to your customers that you care? The key to retaining customers is providing excellent customer service, always.
Sai Gadam is a highly experienced underwriter for a commercial insurance company. He has worked in the financial services sector for several years and is well versed in providing outstanding customer service. Today, Gadam will share his best tips to help you establish long-lasting relationships with clientele.
Know your product or service
One of the most effective ways to provide excellent customer service is to become familiar with your products and services. A comprehensive understanding of your merchandise will allow you to present customers with accurate product benefits and convince clients to purchase from you rather than your competitors. Speaking to customers in a language they understand is important. For instance, make sure to refrain from using too much technical jargon that clients will not be able to appreciate. To help employees learn about your products and services, Gadam recommends providing them with brand literature, trade industry publications, internal sales records, visits to the manufacturing site, sales training programs, and relevant competitor info.
Ultimately, customers trust salespeople that are confident in the merchandise they are selling, which is achieved through extensive product knowledge. According to Gadam, customers are more likely to leave a positive review on your website if a sales rep leads them to discover a new product that solves a problem that is important to them. By that same token, customers are liable to post negative commentary online if they received poor service or if a product has failed to work as advertised. Consequently, do not lose the trust of your clients by over-promising and under-delivering!
Listen to your customers
All businesses exist to satisfy a particular set of customers. If you want to learn how to satisfy them, you need to listen to what they have to say. According to Gadam, simply asking your clients for advice is one of the easiest ways to determine how your business can improve. For instance, you can use social media, surveys, or comment cards to facilitate customer feedback. Once you have garnered adequate responses, make sure you implement the necessary changes within your company, or else all your efforts will be in vain. Furthermore, making a public announcement will show customers that not only are you reading their feedback, but you are also acting on it.
Moreover, every company will face a dissatisfied client at one point in time. Just because a client is not happy does not mean you have lost them forever. The key to handling irate customers is apologizing when necessary and resolving the issue as quickly as possible. Remember, without satisfied customers your company will not survive.
Treat your employees well
Sai Gadam suggests treating your employees how you want them to treat your customers. Employees leave lasting impressions on customers and can impact whether or not a client decides to re-purchase. Companies that are empathetic and care about their staff are more likely to experience higher levels of productivity and profit. As such, businesses should develop long-term relationships with employees, promote an entrepreneurial spirit, lead by example, offer good benefits, communicate consistently, and provide opportunities for advancement.
It is tempting to assume that customers purchase from you solely based on the products and services you sell. However, more often than not, customers have built a relationship with your employees. If you are experiencing a high turnover rate due to the poor treatment of employees, loyal customers will start to catch on and may abandon your business. Thus, taking care of employees from day one can help to ensure you do not lose customers due to an unhappy workforce.
Respond to inquiries in a timely manner
Nobody enjoys long wait times, especially when you have a pressing question you want answered. Another way businesses can provide better customer service is by responding to clients in a timely manner. Thanks to technology, social media is a great way for clients to connect with their favourite businesses. According to HubSpot, 80% of customers expect companies to respond to their social media posts within 24 hours. In fact, a whopping 50% of customers claim that they would cease business with a company that fails to respond to a negative social media post. As a result, businesses need to make sure they have enough customer service staff to be able to handle customer calls and social media inquiries in a timely manner.
Reward your customers & follow up with them post-purchase
Loyalty programs are designed to encourage repeat clients. Research indicates that 76% of women and 73% of men are likely to shop with businesses that offer a loyalty program, according to CrowdTwist. These types of programs provide customers with rewards or discounts in exchange for their brand allegiance. At the same time, these incentives also provide critical information on how customers are spending their money and what products they find most appealing. Thus, loyalty programs end up benefiting both the customers and the businesses that offer them.
In addition, a simple “thank you” can go a long way when providing customer service. Customers often remember sincere appreciation, and it reminds them why they hired your firm or opted to shop at your store. Saying thank you and following up after every transaction is an easy way to show customers you care.
Delivering outstanding customer service is important now more than ever if you want to see your company succeed. A RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Report discovered that 86% of U.S. adults are willing to pay more for great customer service, and 73% said that friendly customer service made them support a brand. So, if you do not already have a customer service strategy in place, you might want to consider implementing the above tips to ensure you retain and grow your customer base.