You could be spending big bucks on marketing, however small businesses will always benefit greatly from word-of-mouth. How do you get people talking positively about your brand? Knock their socks off with some good, old fashioned customer service.
No matter what industry you’re in, exceptional customer service will set you above your competitors and give your business a good reputation.
If you’re looking to improve your customer interactions, better train your team or create customer experiences that get everyone talking, the following tips will help you to achieve your goals.
- Know your customer
The best way to create personalised customer interactions is to ensure you know and understand your customers. This also means knowing how to best reach your customers. Are they Instagram or Facebook users? Or can they be best reached through email? Conduct some customer research to gain useful insights.
- Be patient
No two customers will be the same. Some will be happy and others will be annoyed or frustrated. It’s important to show patience in all situations, actively listen and ask questions to understand more about their concerns. Customers appreciate when a business takes the time to listen and seek out the best solution.
- Be consistent
Make customer service a priority every day. Regardless of the time of year, whether you’re busy or quiet, understaffed or experiencing significant growth; your commitment to your customers shouldn’t change.
- Communicate clearly
How you communicate with customers will reflect on how your brand is perceived. Communicate clearly, positively and in a way that your customers can understand. This means being mindful of slang and technical jargon.
- Admit to your mistakes
While your business might strive for perfection, the occasional slip up is bound to happen. Mistakes will be made, but it’s how you handle the situation that will determine whether your customers are negatively impacted. You could turn an unfavourable situation into a good one with the right approach, an apology and a well-thought-out solution.
- Follow up
Take the time to check in with your customers. Whether you’ve resolved an issue or recently finished a job, follow up with a phone call, email or feedback request to ensure they’re satisfied with the outcome.
- Show appreciation
Loyal customers are integral to the success of your business, so make it known to them by expressing your gratitude. This can be done with a verbal thanks, loyalty discounts or promotions, or taking time to go the extra mile.
- Ensure your team is happy
The best customer service providers are those who are passionate about their job. Keep your team happy and their customer interactions should follow suit.
- Keep your customers up to date
Customers are interested in hearing about your brand, whether it’s service or product updates, information about upcoming or completed projects, or getting to know the team. Consider writing a monthly newsletter that can be emailed to your subscribers. If time doesn’t permit, be sure to still provide updates with important information if the need arises.
- Seek customer feedback
How can you consistently improve your customer experiences? Find out what your customers need! Your approach to customers doesn’t need to be a guessing game. If you actively seek feedback from your customers through surveys, feedback forms or follow up calls, you can get a good idea of what they’re looking for.
Take time to reflect on your current approach with customers and identify areas for improvement or opportunity. Your business, your team and your customers (of course!), will reap the benefits.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can build confidence in customer service situations, read our article on The 7 Golden Rules of Customer Service.