Whether you run an online business or a brick and mortar store, customer service is absolutely critical to your success. Good customer service can set you apart.
With so much competition in the business world, excellent customer service can be what makes you stand out. It can get you remembered, increase word of mouth advertising and help you build a reputation as a great business. The best thing is, good service doesn’t cost.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to impress people, and often the smaller businesses can provide the same levels of customer service as those with an endless budget at their disposal.
#1 Take it Back to Basics
One problem many businesses have is that customer service skills, and other basics get lost. Businesses spend time and money working on new products, marketing, beating the competition and building an online presence. They want to be modern, trendy and current.
They make changes all of the time, pushing to be better than the rest. The things that can really make a big difference get neglected and forgotten. We assume customer service will always be there and we take it for granted.
But, it won’t. Even the best-trained staff and nicest of people can let service slip when under pressure. If you are constantly on at your staff to try new things, filling their days with tasks that take them away from customers, and if you are fighting to get to the bottom of your to-do list, you don’t have time for your customers.
So, take a step back. Remember that it’s your customers that will make your business a success that will help you grow and that will still be there when times get tough. Reaching a wider audience through a massive online marketing campaign is great. But, you don’t want to need new customers all of the time. It’s as important, if not more so that you keep the ones that you’ve got coming back and bringing their friends.
Try to simplify things, so that when you are with customers, either selling and interacting online or speaking face to face, you are with them. They have your full focus, and you’re not rushing to get them out of the door so that you can do something else. Give them your full attention for as long as they want it.
#2 Talk to People
The key to fantastic customer service is communication. Speak to your customers, both in person and via social media and emails. Don’t be generic, be personable.
Don’t have a speech that you give to everyone. Actually, chat with them. Get to know your regulars, know what they want and need. Ask about their family, remember as many details as you can to create a relationship.
One thing that’s been lost with the growth of online shopping is the experience. Going into a store isn’t just about buying. It’s about personal contact.
Young moms at home with the baby might only get out once a day; you might be the only adult they speak with. So, give them your time without making it all about business.
If you run an online business or your business has an online arm, and you don’t have time to personally chat with all of your customers on social media, get help. Set up a Virtual Headquarters where other people will be able to field queries and manage your accounts. You could even find an online personal assistant to help.
#3 Be a Great Example
If you employ staff, it’s important to remember that they always follow your lead.
Even if you don’t really want them to. If you spend all of your time up in the office and are rushed when you are around customers, they won’t ever give customers their full attention. Even when you are busy, it’s important to remind yourself of what is important.
#4 Don’t Treat Everyone the Same
Some people will come in for a chat with their shopping. Others, won’t. They’ll want to come in, get what they need and leave. If you want to provide everyone with great service, it’s essential that you learn to recognize what your customers want from you.
This is easier when you start spending more time with them getting to know them. But, learn to read their body language and trust your instincts. If they don’t want to chat, don’t force yourself on them.
If you think that your customer service needs work, the best thing that you can do is relax. Stop stressing out about other things and start enjoying spending time with your customers.
What are you doing to improve your business’s customer service?