What is that magic touch that can transform your customer service from something mundane and expected to something that truly exceeds your customer’s expectations and even your own? Here are some strategies to keep in mind that will help you stand out from the competition and grow your business.
1) Build rapport with your customers.
You probably have a client base that is a bit smaller than most Fortune 500 companies, which is a good thing. This means that you will be able to personalize your customer experience. You can regularly reach out to the customers you have, learn their names and the details about each interaction. This will make all the interactions with your clients more memorable. This will make your clients feel like a valued family and encourage fierce loyalty.
2) Be present on every level.
The measure of customer service is how present you can be in each encounter, this includes emails, service counter and social media interactions. If you are taking hours or days to respond, you will be letting your clients know how unimportant they really are to you and this will lead them to feeling neglected and unhappy. Don’t let this happen; make sure you have an action plan for responding to clients on each channel of communication you have set up and make sure that your team is always on the same page as you.
3) Treat all customers with the same level of service
Make sure you treat the customer who checks in with you once a year and the one that is communicating with you daily with the same high levels of service. See here an example of good customer service and keeping customers informed. Repeat customers, former customers and referrals are all major assets to your business and you never want to make the mistake of taking a chance with providing inconsistent service.
You will want to have a solid method and process for your customer service that runs seamlessly from your marketing to sales and on to onboarding and retention. This will ensure that your customers are treated with excellent service from start to finish.
4) Pay close attention to customer feedback.
Make sure that your customers have an easy way to share their opinions about your business. This could be a regular survey or an open invitation to share their feelings and experiences on websites like Yelp! or Facebook. When customers feel like their opinions and comments are important, they will be more inclined to invest in your products.
5) Hire employees with excellent people skills.
Any contact point with your valued customers must be held by a top-notch representative with extraordinary people skills. Because these people will be the face of your business to reach the customers you need, you should do everything you can to make sure this face is presentable.
6) Learn to be a pro at problem solving.
The saying “the customer is always right” is just as true today as it ever has been. It really doesn’t matter who is right or wrong though. At the end of the day, the only choice that will improve your bottom line will be the one that finds a solution your customer will be happy with. The best result will be word-of-mouth advertising and positive opinions about your business. In the worst-case scenario, you will squash negative reviews and opinions before they have a chance to be a problem. Be sure to put aside your pride when you are dealing with customers. The only thing a customer investing their time and money into a business wants to be told is that they are right and that everything possible will be done to reach a solution that satisfies them.
7) Don’t make false promises or guarantees.
Don’t go overboard with your promises and promotions, nothing is more frustrating for a customer or damaging to your reputation than offering click-bait offers that will never actually be delivered because they only apply to 70-year-olds accompanied by their grandparents. Make sure you are completely upfront about the promotions you offer and you will build a happier and committed customer pool.
8) Understand the value of customer retention.
Marketing is not a cheap process and it takes special creativity and effort to be done properly. It will be very important to grow your business by adding as many customers as you can, but it is far more important to do as you can to retain the customers that have been brought to your business through your marketing efforts. According to figures by Kissmetrics, it is almost 7X as costly to bring in a new client as it is to keep one you have already. But this type of retention will only be possible if you are showing appreciation and value for your customers at every step of the process and through every interaction.