When it comes to growing a business, customer service is key. It sounds simple, but itâ€™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 todayâ€™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 customerâ€™s shoes - how would you like to be treated?
- Understand your customerâ€™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 â€“ make sure the phones are always answered
- Maintain active (and interactive!) social media profiles
- Provide offers that can be shared with your customersâ€™ 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 â€“ replicate what theyâ€™re doing well, and then do it even better!
Customer service isnâ€™t a quick fix by any means; itâ€™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 â€“ providers of call answering services to start-ups and SMEs.