Providing great customer service puts you ahead of other competing businesses. It's what your business needs to develop a loyal customer base.
When your competitors lose business because of poor customer service and their lost customers become your first time customers, it's your customer service that will keep your new customers coming back. It will cause your business to rise above its competition.
The following tips will help you to satisfy your customers better, get more repeat business and realize higher profits. Use them to increase your sales and create a business that you can be proud of.
1. Have a strong customer service policy in place.
First of all, create a strategy for interacting with your customers that focuses on providing great customer service. Make it part of what your business is all about.
If you make customer service your top priority, your employees will know that excellent customer service is expected of them. They'll provide better customer service and you'll have more satisfied customers and repeat business.
Without a clear cut strategy, your employees may come up with their own ideas about what customers want and how they should be treated. Letting this happen is very dangerous to your profits. It can cause your competition to take customers away from you.
2. Hire the right people.
Employees should treat customers with respect and courtesy. They should make it easy for people to want to do business with you and not eliminate your chances of your customers buying from you again.
Pre-employment tests can help you to determine whether the person you're considering will be an asset. Will she cause you to lose money? Is she the right person for the job? These tests put the odds in your favor. Your hiring decisions can become a lot easier.
3. Listen and act on complaints.
Not taking complaints seriously will cause the same negative situations to happen again. You'll lose business when your other customers have the same problem.
Instead of shrugging off complaints, use them to make your business more profitable and to offer better service. Complaints, when taken seriously, can make your service, policies and systems for dealing with your customers better. They can add to your bottom line.
4. Survey your customers.
Surveys provide an anonymous way for your customers to give you feedback. They make it easy for you to find out if your business is satisfying your customers or not satisfying them.
People can be brutally honest, so it's wise to have very thick skin, when using this strategy. Also as in the previous tip, use any negative feedback that you receive to better your business.
Surveys also give you the opportunity to find out what you're doing right. Compliments about your service, how you treat your customers or how you resolve issues show that you're hitting your target. You have proof that you're doing a great job.
5. Get questions answered quickly.
You can cut down on the time you spend answering questions by email and phone by having a detailed FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on your site and by using FAQ management software.
Live customer support software can also help you to provide excellent customer service. You can answer your customer questions and pre sale questions, right on your site, and increase your sales by getting questions answered faster than your competition.
If you choose to use software to help you fill your customer service needs, know that you still need to provide superior customer support by email. Questions need to be answered within 24 hours. Problems need to be addressed and overcome.
The same holds true when providing phone support. Questions and problems need to be handled in an efficient manner. Don't keep customers waiting for long periods of time or make it difficult to talk to a "real person."
6. Provide ongoing training.
Training can bring your customer service from where it is to where you would like it to be.
Whether your employees work in a call center or face to face with your customers, they still need to provide better service than your competitors. Your goal is repeat business not one time business. Training your employees can help you to achieve this goal.
You can train your employees in house, through seminars, or by using an outside firm. Whatever you choose, involve your employees by gaining they're feedback. You'll get better results by letting them know that their opinions and ideas matter.
7. Treat your customer service team with respect.
It is difficult for employees to treat customers well when they are treated poorly. Your working environment needs to be one of mutual respect. When this is the case, it is much easier to provide excellent customer service.
Basically, you want your employees to be treated the way you would want to be treated if you were the employee. You also want your customers to be treated the way you would want to be treated if you were a customer.
Accomplishing both of these things and using the other tips that you've been provided will help you to provide great customer service and increase your sales. You'll be able to surpass your expectations for your business. You'll be able to put yourself above your competition.
Digital Coach, Robin Matuk addresses the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners looking to maximize the use of the Internet to build, manage, and grow their businesses. Check out her website My Digital Coach and her blog Creating with Impact.