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A Better Answer Blog

5 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You about Customer Service


As a manager or business owner, taking some time to look at what your competitors are doing can teach you how to win more customers. To begin with, an increasing number of organizations focus on customer service more than ever before. Why? According to several case studies, offering customers excellent service is the only way a company can thrive, regardless of its industry sector.

“We can be bothered” is the slogan Simplyhealth—a company boasting award-winning commitment to offering excellent healthcare—uses to summarize the exceptional personal customer service it has provided for more than 140 years. Following a customer-centric approach, this healthcare provider has achieved massive success, with more than 3 million happy customers and 20,000 health schemes offered until now.

Customer service. After all, it’s often the only contact customers have with organizations. When people have questions about the products or services they intend to get (or have already purchased), they expect to find a company representative capable of resolving their problems. They also want that person to be professional, courteous and caring.

How do you meet these expectations? By looking at your competitors. Here’s what they can teach you about customer service:

1. Offer Round-the-Clock Service

Outsourcing customer service to professional 24-hour call centers is one of the best ways to ensure that all calls are answered on time and situations are handled efficiently. By simply opting for an experienced and dependable call center available day and night, an organization offering IT support in California has achieved incredible results with incoming call volume. In fact, it increased by 45 percent within several months.

2. Make a Compassionate Connection

For a person facing a difficult situation, informed, compassionate communication is very important, as a hospice facility serving the Wisconsin area found out. According to the director of the center, one of the things he considered before outsourcing his call answering service was the ability of call center staff to show empathy to patients and their families. Although industry-specific knowledge is essential in certain fields (such as medicine and law), a compassionate, caring and friendly staff committed to offering people all the support they need to cope with difficult life situations is of paramount importance.

3. Go One Step Further Than Necessary

Sleep Country Canada, a renowned mattress retailer, promises professional, on-time delivery. Its delivery teams not only bring products according to the schedule, they also show respect for customers by putting on clean booties before walking into someone’s house. In this example, going one step further consists in wearing clean equipment. In your case, it might be dealing with a complaint expeditiously or calling a customer back instead of waiting for him or her to call you.

4. Get Feedback From Customers

Organizing a survey is one of the things you can do to assess the responsiveness, professionalism and productivity of your customer service. Knowing exactly how helpful, knowledgeable, and caring your staff is can help you understand what areas you need to improve. To ensure superior service, most successful businesses run customer satisfaction surveys regularly. 

5. Implement Successful Strategies

Based on customer satisfaction surveys, organizations develop new strategies to enhance their service level. To get the most out of such strategies, you must focus on identifying and anticipating customer needs, making your customers feel valued, and offering them more than they expect.

To leverage customer service even more, offer your staff a regular dose of appreciation and treat them with respect. Showing employees how much they matter to you then incentivizes them to have a higher regard for all your customers. 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Topics: Better Service