3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service, Starting Today

by Mark Fisher

Here are three things you (and your team) can do today to improve the customer service in your business. They don’t cost any money, they don’t take much time, and you already have all the resources you need to do them.

1. Ask more questions.

The more you encourage your customers to talk about themselves, the happier they will be. Ask more questions by being curious during client conversations and sending regular customer surveys to ask for their feedback. End each interaction by asking them how satisfied they are with the experience.

If you have spoken with a call center in the past decade, you’ve heard them end the call by asking, “Was I able to help with everything you needed today?” They are giving you a chance to talk about whether or not your needs were met. And the research shows that whether or not your needs were fully met doesn’t matter (much). Just the nature of their asking and you talking about yourself will have a positive impact on your experience.

Harvard researchers used fMRI machines to discover that the areas of the brain activated when participants were asked to talk about themselves are “generally associated with reward, and have been linked to the pleasurable feelings and motivational states associated with stimuli such as sex, cocaine, and good food.”

“Disclosing private information to others can increase interpersonal liking and aid in the formation of new social bonds—outcomes that influence everything from physical survival to subjective happiness.” (source)

In short, it feels good to talk about ourselves, it increases our ability to connect with others, and it can even affect our overall happiness.

 

2. Make it personal.

Many of us have been conditioned while at work to keep it professional. As a result, our work cultures often discourage vulnerability, authenticity, and fun.

Professionalism has its place. It’s great for establishing oneself as an expert. It’s a great reminder to avoid making your personal problems your customer’s problems. And professionalism is a fine mindset for ensuring your customer’s needs are being considered at all times.

Beyond that, being professional is overrated. It’s a barrier to everything that connects us with our clients.

People want to do business with people, not robots (well…yet). If we expect people to know us, like us, trust us, and buy stuff from us we have to share our authentic selves. Conversely, customers in a high-touch service business want you to really know them.

So, start by getting personal with your customers. Ask them about parts of their lives you don’t know about. Share stories about yourself that give them insight into what motivates and inspires you. Make it personal on your social media by sharing stories of your team and your customers that go beyond the superficial.

Turn off your work persona, get real with your customers, and have some gosh darn fun!

 

3. Be responsive.

The average attention span of humans is short and getting shorter. Experts disagree on the exact amount of time, but it’s in the range of seconds, not minutes, that humans can stay focused on a specific task. Honestly, we’re not much better than goldfish.

Combine our short attention spans with the immediate gratification culture energized by social media and the expectations of responsive communication are extraordinary.

There are countless ways your business can improve its responsiveness to customer communications (stay tuned for a future blog article on the topic), but here is a great place to start today.

Respond to all customer contact in 24 hours or less. Challenge yourself (and your team) to never leave an email, or voicemail, or tweet, or Facebook post, or Yelp review unanswered for more than 24 hours. If that’s a lofty challenge for you, think of it like a goal. See how responsive you can be.

If you are already nailing it in this department, try to step up your game. Can you do 12 hours or less?

What are the customer service challenges in you business?

How do you engage your customers in a way that builds better relationships?

Leave your thoughts below or email me directly, michael(at)markfisherfitness.com.

   

Comments

4 Comments

  1. Maureen Carruthers

    Attention span– Thank you, Michael. Great information and worth the time reading it!

    Reply
    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks for reading Maureen! Anything else I can write about that would be valuable for you?

      Reply
  2. We Factor

    I think that it is important that you know how to handle your customer. This article is very helpful to me. This will help me improve my customer service.

    Reply
    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks, We Factor! So glad the article helped you improve your service.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A (Counter-Intuitive) Facilities Tip…

Here’s a quickie pro–tip to best nurture your facility. When making improvements, don’t do everything all at once. If you’re anything like me, you like to get THINGS DONE. FAST. (I have many lovely qualities. Patience is not among them.) So when I’m thinking about...

“It Worked So Well, I Stopped Doing It!”

First up, want to give you a gentle reminder, you have until tomorrow to sign up for my upcoming time management workshop and save $200. I’ll be hosting it over Zoom on January 7th from 10am est to 5pm est. Although live attendance is strongly encouraged, we will be...

Who We Are

We’re just a few days away from the closing of the Early Bird window for the Unicorn Society’s 2023 enrollment… So I want to shamelessly talk about the humans who provide the BFU coaching magic.  If you’re looking for support in growing your training gym, you have one...

Exactly What I Track (Personal, Financial, Business)

First off, reminder: this is one of your only chances of the year to join a crew of some of the fitness industry’s most successful gyms AND get personal coaching from Michael Keeler, Pete Dupuis, Ben “the Secret Weapon” Pickard, and yours truly.  To learn more about...

Top Lessons From A Unicorn Society Member Turned COO

Today we have a guest post from BFU coach (and now COO!), Ben “The Secret Weapon” Pickard.  Ben was a client for many years. Since we just opened up enrollment for the 2023 Unicorn Society, I’ve asked him to share a bit about his experience. He also includes one super...

3 Takeaways From My #1 Tool [I Legit Cried To My Wife]

I had a pretty intense experience recently… For the first time in years –– possibly since I wrote them –– I went into old journals and reviewed my planned 5-year goals from ten years ago. The years described were 2017- 2020 (written in 2012-2015). As I flipped through...