When you run your own business, you will know the importance of good customer service regardless of your industry. The fact is, your customers will make or break your company, and if you are neglecting the customer experience, chances are you are setting yourself up for disaster.
That being said, you cannot please everyone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, far from it. There are many direct and indirect ways you can boost your levels of customer service. One important thing to remember is that customer service starts well before they interact with you or that final transaction, and if they aren't impressed, chances are they won't give you their business long before the check-out process.
So what should you do to ensure good levels of customer service at all times?
Everyone needs to get the same level of customer service at all times. If you want to build a good reputation, you need to look at how you treat customers and their experience.
Ways to provide a consistent service include;
Reliable delivery times
Consistent branding and messaging
Good quality products or high-quality service
Always strive for improvement
Cater to your client base
Good customer service needs to be at each stage of the funnel, right down from your marketing messages, responsive and easy-to-navigate website or digital solutions including mobile apps, managing stock levels efficiently, constantly updating communication channels, and more.
One of the best ways to build a good relationship with new and existing customers is to get as many people to leave reviews as possible. While negative reviews aren't something you really want, knowing how to deal with customers who leave negative reviews can be just as beneficial. With online complaints particularly prevalent, the best thing to do is not to give people the opportunity to complain at all in the first place.
Respond to all reviews left online, both via review sites or on your social media, and thank them for their review. If the review is negative or has negative parts, try not to become combative and react angrily, instead take on board the feedback and look at where you can make changes based on the response. Let them know you will be paying attention to the points raised and be professional at all times.
Own Up to Problems
Made a mistake? Own it? A very public mistake, then very publicly own it. Use major problems and feedback to improve your products or services and avoid compacting the situation and making it worse.
Be honest with yourself and your employees about areas you are performing poorly in and work together to overcome your issues and rectify the problem while making sure you never make the same mistake twice.
If your customers lose confidence in your company, then this will have a massive impact. When possible, avoid making mistakes in this place, but problems arise, whether from human error or issues out of your control. Don't bury your head in the sand; confront them head-on and be honest about what has happened and how you intend to make it right again.
Go The Extra Mile
Your interactions with folks both inside and outside of your company speak eloquently about your reputation. This indicates the type of personality that is associated with your company. Is your company trustworthy, dependable, and kind? Is it, on the other hand, chilly, unpredictable, and disrespectful? You don't want your company to be associated with something that should be avoided at all costs.
The experience your clients have with your company is just as vital, if not more significant, than pricing and product quality. If you want to go above and beyond for your clients, you may begin by tailoring their purchasing experience to their preferences. This helps to distinguish your brand from competitors that provide similar products and/or services as you. In fact, 44 percent of shoppers said that a personalised purchasing experience would make them loyal to that brand.
While no one likes to make mistakes, owning up and apologising if you mess up an order or you miss a delivery slot will go a long way in building bridges with customers. While a simple "sorry" won't work for continuous issues, the occasional slip up can be easily rectified by admitting your mistakes.
If you are planning on offering different services or products, then keep any promises you make. So, if you say you are guaranteeing next day delivery, then make sure you have the capabilities in place to deliver on this, not end up failing to deliver on promises. Never commit to anything until you are confident you can follow things through as people rely on honesty and knowing what to expect. Passing the book or failing to deliver can harm your reputation.
Partner with Trusted Suppliers
As your business grows, who you partner within the name of business matters just as much as the customer service you provide. You could be delivering the best service in the world; however, if you are partnering with a company that fails to deliver, you may as well not bother.
Make sure the companies you partner with have the same ethos as you and are trustworthy and reliable. You need to rely upon them either as a stock supplier, shipping partner, or service provider, such as managing social media and maintaining an efficient e-commerce store, for example.
When it comes to delivering excellent customer service, you need to make sure you get the fundamentals right. You pay attention to the smaller details to allow you to build a reputation people can rely on and feel confident with. From here, you need to keep supporting this quality of service by vetting trusted partners and suppliers and taking feedback on board and building on this, so you don't become complacent, and you can push forward to building a reputation that completely represents who you are and what you stand for.
This is a collaborative post.