Customers want things as soon as they ask for them. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a restaurant, delivering something to their address, or fixing an issue they have come to you with, every customer is sure to expect quick and efficient service. Whatever it is they are paying for, you can’t make them wait too long to get it, or they will take their custom elsewhere. The modern world has given us many things, but it has also made everyone much less patient, mainly because of instant downloads and same-day delivery options.
If your business cannot offer fast customer service, you could easily lose out to your competition who can. If this happens too often, it will ruin your reputation, and you will find that your business starts to fail. You might even be left with not just a lack of sales but some bad reviews to make things even worse.
Read on to find out how to fix slow customer service so that this doesn’t happen and you can keep your customers happy and loyal.
Use Time-Saving Technology
Just as modern technology has created this particular problem in the first place, so it can also solve the issue, assuming you use it in the right way. When it comes to customer service, there are several different types of technology you can install in your business that will help speed up your processes and, if it’s modern and exciting enough, it will also impress your customers, making them more interested in buying from you.
Some examples of this useful time-saving technology include digital ticketing systems, a chatbot to answer queries immediately, and automation in picking and packing orders.
Outsource Where Necessary
If you are working at capacity – or over-capacity – and you think you might need to hire someone to take on the extra work that is slowing you down, there might be another option. Making your first hire is a big step, and if your business is seasonal or you’re not confident (yet) in how well it will do in the future, it might be a step too far.
Instead of hiring someone when things get busy, why not outsource instead? You can take on a temporary worker, a freelancer, or outsource to a third-party business that specializes in whatever it is you need assistance with. When you do this, your customers will receive their orders in a much more timely manner, and you will be much less stressed. When you aren’t quite so busy, you can stop using the additional help until you need it once again.
If you do have employees, then training them to be more efficient is the best thing you can do. To begin with, show them the time-saving options they have at work; they might need to follow a specific system, for example, or perhaps they all need to learn how to use every piece of equipment, including the mini cranes from Maxim Lifting Services and the forklift trucks. If everyone knows how to do everything, even if someone is sick or on vacation, the work will still be done – someone else (perhaps a nominated deputy) can step into their role if need be. In this way, there will never be any lagging behind, and orders won’t be slowed. Combining this idea with the point about outsourcing could make you even more productive.
Training isn’t just about learning how to do other people’s work well; it should also be included when it comes to the employee doing their own work well. Regular training means that you can be sure your staff knows exactly what they should be doing, and they can keep up to date with any changes in the industry, and specifically within their part of it. Plus, training will prove to the employee that you are taking care of them, and they will be more loyal (and work harder) because of that.
Keep Customers Informed
Sometimes there is no way to speed up the service; something might be out of stock, for example. In this case, the best thing you can do is keep your customers informed. Don’t wait for them to come to you querying where their order is; let them know there is a delay as soon as you know about it, and although this won’t help them get their goods any sooner, it will defuse the situation. Customers tend to get angrier when they don’t know what’s going on.
You might also want to offer the customer something extra while they wait. This could be a coupon for money off their next order, or a bottle of wine, or a free dessert if you are running a restaurant. The more you can do to show you’re working hard at getting their order ready and acknowledging that there is a problem, the better. If the customer can see that you are keeping them informed and even giving them extras to make up for the issue, they will stay with you, even if they have to keep waiting.