Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the phone, going through an interrogation to return a product, or trying to communicate through a language barrier.
If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience, they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!
Senator Feargal Quinn talks about “the boomerang effect” when it comes to customer service – how can we get our customers to come back. Other businesses that do this well talk about “the small touches” that make the difference.
There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.
You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that includes customer service.
There are three main goals you need to consider:
- It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, your website and other technology-based programmes to help them shop.
- Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff have to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience.
- Change your mindset and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keeping happy customers.
With these thoughts in mind you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programmes and standards you’ll put in place.
- Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff.
- Connect your staff incentive programmes and bonuses directly to customer service.
- Monitor the level of customer service your staff are putting in.
- Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
- Continuously focus on your customer service goals.
Now, that you know what you want, you can start thinking about how to meet those wants, and create a positive customer service experience.