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How to modernise your customer service methods

Customer service must keep pace with the changing times to be effective and just as businesses are increasingly using social media for marketing purposes, so they also have to be mindful of making sure their customer service methods are meeting customer needs. Here are some tips on how to ensure it is as good as it possibly can be.


Maintain customer contact

Current technology enables people to contact each other in a variety of ways and being able to respond to customers’ requests is an essential element of providing good service. The personal touch is frequently preferred, for example on the telephone and a real person is more attractive than a series of recorded messages. Online communication is becoming increasingly common and many businesses are opting for live chat in place of an exchange of emails, although these are still used to confirm orders and provide receipts.

Deal with administration efficiently and promptly

Many businesses find that administrative tasks can be both tiresome and time-consuming, while suppliers, staff members and customers can become very frustrated if payments are not processed efficiently. In this respect it is a good idea to consider using an umbrella company to manage financial tasks such as payroll, processing timesheets and claiming eligible expenses. The company does all the work required to calculate tax and national insurance contributions, so the business owner need not worry about making a mistake, which can often prove to be expensive.

Listen to what customers want

If a customer has a problem or an issue with the goods or services supplied by a business, it is important they are listened to and understood. Care should be taken to appraise any problem and seek to make the most appropriate response. It is very important to take the time to do this, because clients and customers always appreciate the efforts a business makes to deal sympathetically with what can be an uncomfortable situation, particularly if there has been a misunderstanding relating to the terms and conditions under which the business is operating. Additionally, it should be easy for customers to communicate with you, so cater to those customers who prefer to get in touch with you via the use of a customer service app if needs be, this of course in addition to all other customer services communication channels. You do not want what could very well be an already irritated customer to be further agitated by a very limiting communication channel through which they can voice their concerns.

Streamline the invoicing process

Issuing invoices promptly for work completed is essential to maintaining good cash flow and customer relations; an umbrella company can provide a useful service in both these areas. A business owner need only keep records of hours worked and pass this information to the umbrella company, which will then bill the customer directly. This allows business owners to focus on their core tasks and provides them with more time for refining customer service methods and marketing options.

Focus on what you do best

Umbrella companies provide a wide range of options in terms of payroll solutions, pensions and insurances, including life benefit, income protection and professional indemnity cover. It is therefore worth checking out the options in order to select one that best suits a particular business model. UK contractors and freelancers can take advantage of these services as well as small or medium sized businesses. With back office functions effectively taken care of, business owners are able to focus on what they do best, offering a truly personal service to their customers.


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