In a world of ever changing technology and craziness, consumers crave great customer service. It’s the bedrock of the most successful companies in the world. You may love a brand because it’s visually appealing, practical and convenient but at the end of the day it’s the great customer service that really wins you over. A company could take a seemingly mediocre product and pair it with great customer service and people will love them! I am among many who will pay more for something if it comes with great customer service because my time and headaches are worth something.
Many companies with the best reputations are also favorably regarded for their quality customer service, just as customers of the companies with the worst reputations often report some of the worst customer satisfaction scores.
So how do you offer excellent customer service?
1. Are you the only person in your business? If so, make sure you have enough time to offer excellent customer service. Often times if you are a one person business you run low on time and typically the first thing to suffer is the customer service. You spend all your time chasing new business and not enough time trying to keep the business you have. If you are struggling with time then hire someone to help out – even if it’s just for a few hours each week. You need someone to take things off your plate so you can concentrate on what you like to do best.
2. Do you have employees offering the customer service? Are they doing a great job? Are there issues you need to address? Keep in mind that workplace moral and conditions most likely will affect customer service. Are your employees happy? Have you made a great work environment available to them? Ask yourself these questions and then come up with a plan to improve your customer service.
3. Are your customer service hours posted somewhere? Nobody expects a company to be open 24/7 but it is nice to know when a person can be reached. It’s very frustrating to try to reach someone and never get them on the phone or via email. Consider letting your customers and clients know the best times to reach you and/or your staff.
4. Be helpful! This one sounds super obvious but some people just aren’t cut out for customer service. Some people take everything as a personal attack. We are all only human, things go wrong and at times customers need help. I would think that most people calling customer service are reasonable people and just need help. They aren’t personally attacking you or your brand but if they are – kill them with kindness. Remember, at the end of the day it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy but you need to try hard to make MOST people happy.
5. Review, adjust and incorporate. Review your current customer service plan. Is it working? Is it not working? Make some adjustments to create a new plan and incorporate it. It’s never too late to turn things around. And if you offer excellent customer service already then keep up the great work! Word of mouth referrals come from great customer service.
6. Show your appreciation! Customers and clients love client appreciation events, give-a-ways, appreciation gifts, etc. If you don’t already have this in your marketing plan – consider it! Again, an appreciative customer is excellent word of mouth marketing for your business. There are so many different client appreciation events and promotional marketing items out there the sky’s the limit!
Danae Branson owns Elite Scheduling Services, LLC and is the Co-Founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you are interested in any of the services please check out www.eliteschedulingservices.com or give us a call at 515.309.2838.