Customer service is changing rapidly in the 21st century. It’s not so much that old values are going away or dying off. Maxims like “the customer’s always right” still have their merit.

It’s still essential for businesses to interact with their clients in a friendly, responsive, and polite way. Showing genuine interest and concern in customers remains a hallmark of successful organizations, and providing high-level service at a reasonable rate is something customers continue to appreciate.

One of the fundamental adjustments to customer service involves how information is exchanged between businesses and their clients. In other words, the lines of communication are changing and expanding.

A major reason for these shifts is the wealth of communication options available to the general public. Very few consumers rely on landlines anymore, WiFi is available in almost every home and business, and many of the best information resources are found online rather than in files, books, or newspapers.

These changes in how we communicate directly impact customer service. At Weave, we believe that your customer service is optimized by updating and modernizing the way your business communicates. Our combination of hardware and software solutions is designed not only to increase your productivity and revenue, but to improve the experience of your customers.

Here are ten tips for providing the best customer service possible with Weave:

1. Switch to a VOIP Phone System

Many small businesses are still using outdated phones in 2022. Switching your business’s phones over to a VOIP system, if you haven’t already, makes it significantly easier to communicate with customers and provide them with the best customer service possible.

VOIP phones use the internet to connect people instead of landlines. By utilizing digital networks, businesses are able to sync all their various phones, increasing the speed with which calls can be transferred. This ability cuts down on call wait times, an important factor in determining customer satisfaction.

VOIP phone systems also make it possible to reach employees that are out of the office on their smartphones. This level of connection simply isn’t feasible using traditional telephony. It’s especially relevant at a time when huge numbers of people are working from home.

2. Know Your Customers’ Histories

This tip isn’t meant to encourage stalking or HIPAA violations. It’s meant to encourage your business to get software that informs employees about customers the moment they call or step into your office. Having insight into your customers’ histories helps them trust you and see you as an expert in your given field.

When information like health and financial history, upcoming appointments, outstanding balances, and family members are synchronized with calls, your team is better able to communicate effectively with customers. Administrators don’t have to worry about remembering every single detail about every single customer anymore.

Plus, with the right software, your team actually gets to know customers better. They’re reminded of the particular needs and preferences of their clients each time they call. Getting to know customers is an essential step in providing great customer service.

3. Text with Your Customers

To some, this recommendation may seem overly casual. Who wants to text with a business?

Well, lots of people. Younger generations are especially fond of texting and many prefer it to talking on the phone. The best businesses of every size are adapting to this preference by offering their customers two-way texting.

Texting allows customers to communicate with businesses at their own pace. It’s less strained than talking over the phone and cuts out unnecessary small talk. Clients can get the information they need from a business without playing endless games of phone tag.

Additionally, more texting means less calling. Administrative teams don’t have to worry about the phone ringing off the hook when they’re trying to help other customers in the office. Two-way texting empowers businesses to spend their time doing essential work instead of constantly managing communication lines.

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4. Send Out Reminders and Confirmations

Another crucial aspect of customer service is getting people to their appointments. Too often, businesses set appointments and don’t show any initiative in following up with their customers. Sending out reminders and confirmations for upcoming appointments is a basic courtesy that improves customer service and attendance.

Customers usually don’t skip out on appointments without a reason. That reason is typically that they simply forgot. With the right communication software, businesses can schedule reminders to be sent out automatically to save customers the hassle of rescheduling.

Confirmations are just a more interactive form of reminder. These too can be automated with the proper technology. Appointment reminders and confirmations get your customers into your office, where it’s up to you and your team to provide them with quality service.

Reaching customers when they’re not in the office is vital to getting them there on time.

5. Respond Promptly to Missed Calls

Another pet peeve of many customers is not having their calls returned. Businesses aren’t intentionally neglectful, but when call queues get out of hand, it’s difficult for administrative teams to ensure that they return every missed call and voicemail.

Installing software that facilitates missed call auto texts lets customers know that their call was received. These texts go out to clients that tried to reach your business on the office phone, but weren’t able to get through. They open up the lines of communication by giving customers a text option.

Again, utilizing other forms of communication besides telephone calls makes life easier on your office. They can respond as soon as possible to missed calls and voicemails without worrying that a customer is losing patience. Like in any relationship, having multiple lines of communication improves the way employees and customers interact within a given business.

6. Communicate with Your Team

Some aspects of customer service begin internally. When your team is all on the same page, they’re more likely to be consistent in their interactions with customers. An easy-to-use team chat lets your office communicate with each other quickly and efficiently to optimize customer service.

Lots of people text or call their coworkers, but do so through their own private lines. By implementing a team chat that’s accessible both inside and outside the office, your business can work as a unit and avoid the hiccups that detract from smooth customer service.

With countless businesses working remotely right now, team chat is as important as ever. Your employees don’t need to rely exclusively on time-consuming video meetups to communicate; they can take care of the majority of their communication with team chat. Adding this feature to your business speeds up customer service and makes it easier for your employees to network if they’re working from home.

7. Give Customers Multiple Payment Options

At a time when customers are deeply concerned about the spread of germs and viruses, providing multiple payment options enhances the customer experience. Many small businesses still only allow their customers to pay with conventional transactions: cash, check and credit card. Enabling your clients to pay with their phones is an important step toward modernizing your customer service.

There are a couple ways to pay by phone. First, digital wallets, like those created by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung, let customers scan their phones in order to pay for services. This form of transaction cuts out the messy business of thumbing through cash or entering a PIN to approve card transactions.

A text payment option is even better for proper social distancing. Once your administrative team has customer card information, they can simply send a text after an appointment, allowing customers to click a link and pay digitally. This method improves customer service by cutting down on the time they spend handling business at the front desk.

8. Collect Customer Reviews

It’s strange to think that asking customers to do work like writing a review could improve their experience. However, it’s one of the best ways to find out what they really think about your business. If you don’t ask for their opinion, you rely on word-of-mouth anecdotes and in-office conversations for qualitative feedback.

There are numerous online review sites available for gathering and sharing these reviews. Directing customers to these sites makes it convenient for your team to read and monitor reviews. As your employees and customers go through the process of creating reviews, they discover better ways to provide customer service and appreciate the things your organization does on a daily basis to make the customer experience satisfactory.

9. Analyze Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Because businesses are busy with day-to-day operations, they sometimes forget to take a moment to reflect and analyze how they’re providing customer service. It’s important to have the tools necessary to gather data and then to actually go through the data to see how your team is performing.

Effective software gives businesses the ability to look at metrics like call volume, call length, and response time. It also allows you to record calls for one-on-one employee training. Taking the time to consider what your business is doing right and wrong when it comes to customer service is one of the best ways to identify strengths and weaknesses, leading to greater efficiency and client satisfaction.

10. Utilize Email Outreach

This article has primarily focused on using phones, texting, payments, and reviews to provide top-level customer service. Emailing is another way to keep customers happy. Especially given the number of people working from home and self-quarantining currently, email is a great way to reach customers without being overly intrusive.

While calls and texting are powerful tools for reaching customers individually, email lets your business share information about upcoming promotions, events, and changes without bombarding your clients. Software is available to help businesses design, customize, and send emails in a way that’s professional and informative. Keeping customers in the loop with email enhances their experience and maintains loyalty.

Use Weave to Provide the Best Possible Customer Service

Weave gives your business hardware and software solutions for providing top-notch customer service. We consider integrated communications to be a foundational component of modern customer service. Our product lets your business utilize VOIP telephony, two-way texting, automated reminders, digital payments, review gathering, data analysis, and other technological features to improve the customer experience.

Watch a demo to see how Weave can change the way your business provides customer service.