Good customer service is the lynch-pin for a successful business!
Now, I’m not really trying to tell you something you already know but you will be surprised at how many businesses I come across whose customer service leaves something to be desired.
Customer Service plays an integral role in a business’s ability to generate income and revenue and therefore is a fundamental part of your strategy and focus.
The provision of a service to customers before, during and after a purchase encapsulates the whole of a ‘customer service experience’ and as such can influence the entire perception a customer has of the business / organisation.
Here are my basic rules for GOOD customer service:
#1: Answer the phone
If you are unavailable because of meeting commitments then organise ‘call forwarding’ or an ‘answering service’ – but make sure that your customers speak to a real person as opposed to a recorded, automated service.
#2: Be reliable
Whatever you do, do not make promises if you cannot keep them.
#3: Listen and pay attention
Let the customer speak and answer with appropriate solutions and suggestions.
#4: Deal with complaints
And deal with them quickly and efficiently!
#5: Be helpful and make that extra effort
Even if there is no immediate gain! A potential customer will remember and comeback in the future and will also pass on any good experiences to friends, family and colleagues – building up good customer relations and loyalty.
#6: Train your staff well
Ensure they are always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
#7: Throw in ‘a little extra something’
It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just something that will cement your company’s image in a positive light. Build upon that foundation of good customer relationships and loyalty.
In addition, it is worth recognising that nowadays with the predominance of web-based sales and marketing opportunities that potential custom is often generated ‘out of hours’.
A small business cannot practically employ an around-the-clock telephone customer service but IS able to advertise the times when the office is open and can also commit to replying to a query within a specific time-frame.
Until next time, remember …
Good customer service depends upon actively following-up on these promises and ensuring that every customer feels valued and important – whatever the weather and whatever the time of day – or night!