Customer service is like the secret sauce that makes any business awesome! When customers give favourable reviews, recommend you to their friends, and keep coming back for more, it’s like a high-five for your growth and success.
Maintaining good relationships that grow your business organically are far better than constantly searching for new customers. So, let’s dive into some top-notch tips that’ll make you shine like a star and have customers lining up for days!
Have a plan
Create a strategy that all your staff can get to know inside out. If you have staff members who handle telephone orders, you can establish some straightforward Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for them. For instance, they can aim to answer calls within three rings or implement a call back system to ensure that every inquiry is promptly addressed. It would be beneficial to set deadlines for resolving issues and empower your staff to take ownership of inquiries, fostering a sense of consistent support for customers. This approach aims to provide a single contact point for customers so they don’t feel like they’re being passed around.
Create the perfect plan for a wonderful customer experience and adapt it as you go along with feedback from customers. To do this, you can ask customers directly when they make a purchase, create online surveys, and carefully listen to feedback on social media and Google reviews.
Know your product
Giving your customer-facing employees good product training is essential. They should be product experts that understand everything about how the product works, how it is made and what its benefits are. Belief in the product is important, too, so think about this at the interview stage. You don’t necessarily need someone who uses the product themselves or has prior experience with it, but they need to see the value in it and be able to communicate its best features. Guiding a customer into the right purchase is the best way to start a customer relationship, and providing product training will create a reassuring foundation.
Keep your word
If you make a promise, it makes good sense and is courteous to keep your word. If you say you’ll do something, actually do it. If you don’t meet expectations or you miss a deadline, your customer will feel cheated. However, you can salvage such situations by offering a good solution and something extra. Provide a discount, a free gift, or even a refund, and you will gain a delighted, loyal follower. You may lose money in the moment, but a grateful, satisfied customer will be worth their weight in gold and your reputation will be greatly enhanced. The old adage ‘under promise and over perform’ is good to keep in mind.
Go the extra mile
Even when you have provided exactly what the customer expects, it will cement your relationship by going that little bit further. If you sell big ticket items think about adding a free gift. For example a bed that comes with free pillows, or a car that has free seat covers. Items bought by weight or length could be added to, just an extra half metre of fabric at the haberdashery for example or a few ounces more of meat at the butchers.
Alternatively, it could be something intangible like extra time. If a customer is very chatty and wants to tell you about their day, or what they are going to do with the product they just bought from you, it’s worth indulging them. They will be far more likely to come back for a return purchase and recommend your business if they like you.
Being focused on what your customer is telling you is key to good customer service. While it may be tempting to adopt a selling-oriented approach and solely emphasize the features and benefits of your service, redirecting your attention towards what your customer needs is a much better start.
Reflecting back your customers message is a good way to build rapport, so using phrases like “it sounds like you need this…” or “do you mean….” will show that you are actively listening and trying to understand them. Making your customer feel that you are providing a personal service just for them will go a long way to building a good relationship and finding them the right product or service.
Maintain a positive attitude
It’s always good to spread a little sunshine, and it will serve you well in a work environment if you can make the conscious decision to be positive. It’s an attitude that you can actively choose to make at the beginning of every working day, but if you are not a ‘morning person’, then acknowledge this to yourself and take steps to change your mindset. It can be something small like playing your favourite music in the car on your journey to work, or going for a run before breakfast.
Staying positive is key when dealing with problems and it’s easy to feel protective of your business when a customer comes to you with a complaint, but by staying positive and helpful, a tense situation can be turned around. Offering helpful solutions rather than concentrating on blame will resolve a problem much quicker. It sounds corny but if you smile while talking to a customer on the phone it will really come across in your voice, and a phone call is always better than an email if you are having a difficult exchange. Emails and live chats don’t have any emotion so can easily be taken badly. Human beings need multiple signals to interpret what is being said so body language and tone of voice play a big part in communicating positivity.
Offer online help
Sometimes a small issue can be easily solved by having the solutions ready on your website. Why not have a page of frequently asked questions that give problem solving tips and information for the buyer. If there are common questions that you are growing tired of answering repeatedly this is a good indicator that you need this information in a handy to find place. Customers don’t always want to speak on the phone so if you can answer their question quickly online they will feel you are a good communicator. You can also have contact forms on your website and live chat. For the small queries these systems are great and can quickly turn browsers into buyers. Making your website easy and accessible will encourage customers to feel they know you, and that you are approachable.
Your customers are the heart and soul of your business, and they deserve to be your top priority. By focusing on creating an outstanding customer care plan, you’ll see tremendous rewards in return.