The customer is always right, goes the old saying. Although a bit of a simplification, any business owner will know how important it is to keep customers happy. Research shows that if a customer receives excellent customer service, they will tell two or three other people. But if their experience is poor, they will tell ten to twelve.
I’ve been in business for over a decade and I can say that this is 100% true. I grew my business to what it is now because I always make sure I provide the best service to my clients. It goes the other way around, too. When I failed at customer service, I lost clients AND potential clients!
That being said, your reputation will have a huge impact on your success, so you should do your best to give customers the best experience possible. In this age of social media and blogging, word-of-mouth referrals are one of the best ways to promote your business, so you need people to talk about you in a positive light.
It’s not enough to give the bare minimum in terms of customer service. Although you won’t get any complaints, you’re unlikely to have people raving about their experience. Instead, you should aim to go above and beyond in the service of your customers.
To help you to achieve this goal, here are four effective ways to improve your customer service.
Understand your customer
The more you get to know your customer, the better prepared you will be to give them exactly the experience they need.
Conduct some research into your market and pinpoint your exact demographic. An excellent marketing tool is to create buyer personas for your ideal customer, which help you step into their shoes and understand them more fully.
Ask yourself what kind of experience they want to have and tailor it to fit their needs and preferences.
Provide company-wide training
If you have multiple employees interacting with customers, then you need to set expectations about what kind of service they should be given.
For this reason, it’s essential you provide company-wide training to all your staff and independent contractors to coach them on things like talking to members of the public and dealing with complaints.
This will ensure that all customers have a consistent experience and that your team members are less likely to make mistakes in difficult situations.
Improve delivery times
One of the biggest complaints customers have about businesses is delivery times. Whether you are a retail business delivering products to your customers, a manufacturer shipping goods to your clients, or a digital services provider, you can instantly make them happier by speeding up deliveries.
This will not only benefit them, but it will make your business operations more efficient too. It’s a win-win situation!
Companies like Shiply allow companies to ship goods more quickly through outsourcing, and you could also find ways to streamline your delivery process or improve communication with your warehouse.
The best way to improve your customer service is to ask the customers themselves.
Always ask for feedback after every interaction in the form of surveys, a phone call, or even just a star-rating. Good feedback will allow you to champion and reward your best-performing employees, while bad feedback will help you to identify areas for improvement.
There is no excuse for poor customer service in business, and if you don’t take steps to go above and beyond, your reputation will quickly suffer.
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