Your customers form the backbone of your business. Because of them, your business grows. That’s why you need excellent customer service. It builds customer loyalty, improves customer retention and assists your long-term growth and success. As part of your successful business strategy, implement seven customer service tips today.
In an effort to achieve success, you may focus on how many sofas, books or wrenches you need to sell in order to make a profit. However, your customers don’t care about your needs. They need to know how you can help them save money, be smarter or fix a problem in their life. When you provide solutions to a need your customers have, they feel valued and know that they are more than a number or statistic to you. They are then more willing to purchase from your company, share a favorable online review or tell friends about you.
- Prioritize Employees
Your excellent customer service strategy is only successful if it's implemented by your employees. They’re the individuals who will interact with your customers and ensure their needs are met.
The first step in prioritizing employees is to treat them like you want them to treat customers. Greet them with enthusiasm every day, listen closely to their feedback and extend kindness and respect to them at all times.
You can also implement a hiring and retention strategy that attracts and keeps customer service experts. Offer decent wages, performance rewards and advancement opportunities.
When you treat your employees well and value them, you model your customer service strategy. Plus, valued and appreciated team members often care about the company’s success and will go the extra mile for customers.
- Build Personal Relationships
You know the feeling you get when a clerk at your favorite store greets you by name or a company rep takes time to respond personally to your comment on Instagram? That feeling of value and worth is one you want to give your customers, and you do that when you build personal relationships with them.
- Always greet customers as soon as they enter the store.
- Hire real people to answer the phone.
- Find out what products your customers like.
- Respond to every email with a personal reply.
The personal touch demonstrates that you are a real person, not a robot, and that you value your customers as real people, too.
- Train Employees
If your employees don’t know how to provide excellent customer service, train them. They should know how to handle any situation, including surprises and chatty, indecisive or irate customers, with consistency, kindness, grace and compassion.
Offer ongoing customer service training meetings and classes. Equip employees with knowledge about your products, and teach them how to handle any situation. With training, your employees can provide excellent customer service every day.
- Respond to Complaints
Customer complaints signal that something’s not quite right in your company. While you could argue with the customer, ignore complaints or pretend the customer doesn’t exist, take action. Show that you care about your customers and their experiences when you respond to every complaint as soon as possible.
Ideally, your employees should be trained to handle complaints in the store, online or over the phone. With consistent kindness and compassion, they will actively listen and offer a solution. They will then follow up and be sure the issue is resolved satisfactorily.
With this full-service approach, you calm your customers and relay that they and their opinions are importnat. You also build a bridge of confidence that inspires your customers to return in the future.
- Go the Extra Mile
Let’s say you receive a request for expedited shipping, a custom order or an online video series. Try to say yes to as many requests as possible, and show your customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.
You can also send thank you notes for every order or give customers a discount during their birthday month. This extra attention showcases the value you place on your customers and improves customer satisfaction.
- Ask for Feedback
Be sure you’re delivering quality customer service when you ask for feedback. You can do this via a feedback card at checkout, a survey link on their receipt or a survey in their monthly statement.
On the survey, ask questions like:
- What did you like about your experience?
- What would you change about our store?
- How can we do better?
- What comments do you have for us?
After you receive feedback, read it and take action. When you listen, you value your customers and build trust.
Your customers are important to your company’s current and future success. Implement these seven customer service strategies into your business model as you show customers that they are valuable to you and your company.