Whether your business is a tiny start up or a corporate giant, strong customer service has a vital role to play in ensuring success.
Customers are the lifeblood of almost every enterprise and satisfying them is a sure fire way to prosper and grow.
We’re sharing our ten tips to successful customer service:
- The customer is king. Never forget that customers are the people who ultimately provide the funds to keep your business trading, pay salaries and enable growth and development within the company. Treat the customer as the number one priority at every level of the business and tangible results should follow.
- Listen and respond. Focus intently on exactly what the customer wants and never make assumptions on what you think they are looking for. Ask them, listen to them and notice the way in which they get their message across – then establish what the most important things to them are.
- Stay one step ahead of their needs. Although products should be carefully developed, tested and tweaked, it is the solution they provide that the customer is really buying. Anticipate what future needs or problems might arise in your customers’ lives by really getting to know them through regular communication and then ensure you are delivering solutions that work. Remember that buying decisions are more emotional than logical and try to tap into customer feelings in the services you provide.
- A little sincerity goes a long way. Make your customers feel as appreciated and important as possible by being sincere, friendly and personable. Use their name often when talking to them and find subtle ways to compliment and thank them, in a way that sounds genuine rather than like a charm offensive. Also, focus on maintaining welcoming and open body language on the shop floor.
- Keep it simple. Don’t baffle your customers with jargon or tech talk. Instead make sure they understand exactly what your company offers and why they need to invest and believe in it. The systems within your organisation should be easy to understand and use.
- Bend over backwards. Whatever requests your customers make do everything (within reason) in your power to meet them. Never fail on your promises and always look for solutions using the resources at your disposal.
- Saying sorry when things go wrong. However strong your customer services are sometimes, through human error or technicalities, things will just go wrong. When they do be sure to apologise, but also to seek to find ways of rectifying the problem. Make the process of complaining easy for customers and treat complaints as a signpost on how to improve your business.
- Going the extra mile. Unless you’ve created an absolutely game-changing product or service, your business is likely to face fierce competition for customers from elsewhere in the market. Work out ways to stand out from your rivals. What added extras can you offer? What after-sales services can you provide? What will give your customers the ‘wow factor’ that will keep them coming back for more?
- Keep in touch. By eliciting regular feedback from customers you can plot out a path to improvement that will bring you closer to meeting their exact needs.
- Be good to your people. The customer may be number one on your agenda as a business, but your employees should be a very close second. A happy and motivated workforce breeds successful customer service and the good feeling from your team will generate a similar mood among your customers when they interact with your products or services.
Follow these steps and you will see a marked improvement in your customer satisfaction levels which should in turn aid your growth as a business.
If you’d like to discuss our customer services, please call 0845 643 7047.