We all agree that customer service can make or break an organization. While many businesses claim to provide good service, only the best actually deliver. With numerous studies proving that it’s easier (and cheaper) to maintain long-term repeat customers than it is to attract new ones; we thought we’d provide you with these six simple steps for success!
1. Pay Attention to Your Customers
Knowing who your customers are and what interactions they’ve had with you will help you identify those who are your best, as well as which ones may need some extra nurturing. Whether you use a CRM software application or simply keep track in Excel – it is vital that you maintain a historical record in order to know how to best meet their needs. Remembering previous interactions shows that you are willing to take initiative and that you are invested in their long-term needs.
2. Manage and Invest in Customer Relationships
If you follow step #1, you’ll be able to use the data you gather to identify and reward those customers that are deemed your best. From discounts and thank you notes, to extra follow through and more – making the extra effort will ensure they continue to trust you with their business.
3. Keep in Touch
Consistent and purposeful interactions show your customers that you value their business. Newsletters, special promotions, follow up calls and events will keep you in the forefront of their mind so that when a need arises, they’ll know just where to go.
Additionally, seek to create an environment where customers will want to interact with you from their end, feeling comfortable to contact you should they have any questions or concerns.
*Note: Be sure that you keep in touch only after obtaining their expressed permission.
4. Always Seek to Learn More
One of the most important things you can do in regards to providing great customer service is to be continuously learning from what does and does not work. A great way to accomplish this is to set up a system or policy for responding to customer inquires or complaints. Being prompt and thorough when given the opportunity to go above and beyond is a great way to not only keep customers coming back, but turning potentially negative situations into positive.
A great goal to have is to resolve issues as soon as possible. Whether this is in the initial contact or within 24 hours – this shows the customer that you and your staff are willing to go the extra mile. In order for this to be possible, your staff should have access to the information they need whenever they need it. If this means developing a database or manual that they can reference, then be sure one is made available.
5. Good Training Goes A Long Way
All too often companies expect their employees to provide great service, but they fail to train them properly. This results in an unsure and inadequate staff and dissatisfied customers. If you are serious about providing good service, you should seek to empower your staff so that they’ll be capable when given the opportunity to succeed.
6. Empower Your Staff
If trained properly, empower your staff to make decisions when a situation arises where there is no clear cut policy. This will give them ownership over the level service they are able to provide, creating pride in a job well done. However, be sure to have them keep track of instances like this so you can record them and create an updated policy if necessary.