When it comes to growing a business, customer service is key. It sounds simple, but it’s a philosophy that is either forgotten or neglected by many.
Never forget that customer service is infectious. A happy customer has the ability to attract more business.
In today’s digital age, almost everyone uses social media to voice their opinions and share what they like. There is no better advertising than a person spreading the word about your product or service to their family and friends.
If you want to grow your business using the power of customer service, take a look at the thirty practical hints and tips below.
- Be honest from the start – your customers will appreciate your integrity
- Get the edge by providing better service than your competitors
- Be easy to contact and provide out of hours service
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate
- Make sure everything your customer needs is easily accessible
- Understand who uses your product and why – this will enable you to give them exactly what they want
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – how would you like to be treated?
- Understand your customer’s journey, from potential to lifelong customer
- Strive to exceed expectations – give more than what they were expecting
- Always be polite
- If there is a problem, deal with it quickly and effectively, and see it through to the end
- Define the stages of how a complaint is handled so that all customers receive the same level of care and attention
- Stop and listen – sometimes your customers need to release their frustration before you can get to the root of the problem
- Ask for all the information in order to achieve satisfaction
- Genuinely apologize to your customers before reaching a mutual resolution
- Ensure your employees are informed – they are the representatives of your brand and company
- Give employees the power to help your customers
- If your employees give excellent service, reward them
- Is there a way to do something better? Do it
- Analyze bad customer experiences and learn from them
- Have clear company values and stick to them
- Provide consistent customer experiences wherever possible
- Maintain regular customer contact – make sure the phones are always answered
- Maintain active (and interactive!) social media profiles
- Provide offers that can be shared with your customers’ family and friends
- Reward customer loyalty
- Relentlessly vocalize your passion for your product or service
- Share your expertise without expecting anything in return
- Involve your customers in the development of new products and services
- Take inspiration from other companies who provide great customer service – replicate what they’re doing well, and then do it even better!
Customer service isn’t a quick fix by any means; it’s a commitment than needs to be established, maintained and developed across your business, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
About the author: Sara Parker blogs for Face for Business – providers of call answering services to start-ups and SMEs.