Top 5 Customer Service Tips for Business Owners
The customer experience is the next competitive battleground. ~ Jerry Gregoire
Quality customer service may be the ultimate decision making factor when it comes to a buyer choosing you over a competitor. Having a great product with competitive pricing will mean next to nothing if you provide your potential customers with an unpleasant experience.
According to some very interesting customer service data shared by GrooveHQ, 86% of customers would be willing to pay more for a product if it involved a better customer experience. Not only that, but 82% of customers reportedly left a company after a negative interaction.
What does this mean? It means that more than a service provider or a vendor, your potential buyers want to see you as a brand they can identify with. They want to make sure you share the same values, so they can feel proud of their purchase. And more importantly, they want to feel that same level of respect from you.
Improving Customer Service: Where to Start?
Before jumping into any customer service solutions, it’s only fair to evaluate your current status. Make an honest evaluation of your processes and identify those areas where you could be providing a better experience. Try to do this as objectively as possible. You can conduct surveys and ask third parties to help you out.
Whether you are a small business or a huge corporation, customer service is one of the most important elements of running a business successfully. Customer interaction is what can make or break your business operations. You want to make sure that your customer satisfaction is in line with your brand identity.
The good thing about the tips we’ve gathered is that they can be applied to any business. So take a look and start planning how to adapt them to yours.
#1 Define Your Message
In this social media-driven era, it’s common to find brands wanting to be on every social network and digital communication channel but not knowing exactly what it is they want to share. A clear message can only be defined if you know what you offer, how you want to offer it, and to whom you want to offer it. It is also important to follow your brand strategy without sacrificing having excellent customer service skills.
Once you have that message down, it’ll be easier to provide a better service to your target audience. After all, it will help you understand what customers expect from you, and what motivated them to choose your services.
#2 Train Your Staff
And not only during the first days, train them constantly! Let every employee know how their actions impact the overall process. Have branding training sessions and include staff members from every department. The goal is to create an environment where everyone understands what your brand values are and how you want to be perceived by your customers.
Having everyone on the same page will hopefully motivate each employee to perform their best and also make them accountable for their actions.
#3 Listen to Your Customers
Depending on the nature of your business, service providers can easily fall into “auto-mode” and stop listening to each customer as a unique case. This can particularly be a problem if that customer is looking for help in order to make a decision. Take the time to ask and understand what your customer wants. Ultimately, this will translate into a better service and a superior experience.
From a business point of view, listening to your customers is an excellent opportunity to identify your strengths and those areas you need to improve. You can use some customer service interactions during your training sessions and brainstorm about what went right or wrong.
#4 Don’t Wait of Your Customers Contacting You
You can be proactive without spamming your customers. Feedback is important and so is showing you’re eager to get it and work to improve. Unfortunately, negative reviews tend to have a much higher reach than positive ones. So, it’s better to show your customers you care before they decide to post a public complaint.
Having an open communication channel also shows your potential customers you are someone they can trust. Knowing that there will be someone there to help them is always encouraging when deciding between providers.
#5 Don’t be Afraid to Say No
Ideally, you have marketed your product to the right audience and can find a solution to every inquiry. However, sometimes people will contact you with requests you simply cannot meet. In that case, don’t be afraid to say no and explain why you can’t provide that specific service or product. It’s better to be honest than to attempt to offer a product your customer might not be satisfied with.
The Key to Superior Customer Service
By now you have probably realized that the most important part of good customer service is understanding what you can offer, and how to communicate with your audience. There is no magic trick or perfect recipe. It’s all about being transparent and genuinely wanting to provide the best customer experience anyone can hope for.
Are you ready to implement some changes? Whether you are a small business owner or a corporation owner, follow these five simple tips and tell us how it goes!
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