Customer Service is Paramount
When your business provides excellent customer service, your customers will often become loyal for life. When your customers become loyal to your business they will talk about your business to their friends, family, and coworkers; perhaps anyone who will listen – and they will do all of this marketing for free. Businesses shouldn’t require money to provide excellent customer service in hopes of gaining a better reputation, they should genuinely be interested in making customers happy as part of their game plan. After all, customers are the lifeblood of your company and your livelihood.
It’s All About the Experience
There are several steps that you can take to create the best experience for customers, both existing and new. This is about more than just providing a great product or service; the customer needs to enjoy everything about your company, from your website, to your store, to how your team speaks with customers over the phone.
Customer Service Techniques
Check out these techniques for building excellent customer service for your business.
1. Know What You’re Selling
There is nothing more annoying than an employee who can’t answer a question about a product. You and your staff should be informed on how everything you sell works and why a customer would need it. You will make a lot more sales if your employees know the way to sell an item. Be sure that your staff is aware of common questions that may be asked.
2. Treat Everyone With Kindness
Every customer that walks into your store should be welcomed with a friendly greeting and a warm smile. If someone asks you for help, you should be genuinely interested in helping them out. When speaking over the phone, it helps to talk with a smile because it changes your tone of voice. People can easily detect over the phone if a person is happy or not.
3. Express Your Gratitude
Always tell your customers “thank you” whether they have purchased something or not. If someone walks in and browses through the store, let them know that you’re thankful that they stopped in. They may come back later with friends if they had a nice experience and simply weren’t interested in buying at the time. Never forget to thank the customers who do make a purchase, and you can send them off with a farewell greeting as well.
4. Provide Employee Training
Not only must employees be literate in what products and services the company is selling, it is also important that they understand how to handle issues if they come up. A properly trained employee will rarely need to refer to a manager.
5. Be Respectful
If a customer is unhappy with a product, try not to mirror their energy. Use a relaxing and kind tone of voice and remember to apologize even if you think you shouldn’t have to. Customers can get very emotional and it is important that you and your staff keep your cool in heightened situations. It can make the difference between getting a customer for life or losing one and risk them bad mouthing your company.
6. Listen Intently
Listening is an important part of communication, especially in the customer service sector. Customers will feel respected when they can tell that you have genuine interest in what they have to say. It will also help you to solve their problem faster and more effectively when you’ve really understood what they meant.
7. Respond in a Timely Manner
Customers do not like to wait. Whether that means offering to call them back so they don’t have to wait for an available agent or responding to an email, it means a lot when you can say you’ve received their request and are working on the solution. Just because you cannot solve their problem right way doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Communicate to all of your customers that you have heard them and will begin working on helping them with their issue right away. In a busy store setting, you might be helping out one customer and see another hover around waiting their turn with their question. Just by simply acknowledging their presence, you will be able to watch their demeanor change to a more relaxed state as they wait patiently while you finish up with your first customer.
8. Request Feedback
A successful business is always eager to learn ways to improve their products and customer service. You can gain feedback in several different ways. Questionnaires and customer surveys are popular techniques businesses use to get information from their customers. You can send these via email, by calling a phone number they provided, or some businesses will provide a website to visit printed at the bottom of a store receipt. As a customer completes an order in store, you can also ask them personally what they thought of the experience, or after completing a purchase online you can add a pop-up that will bring them to a page for feedback.
9. Meet the Customer’s Needs
Once you have received feedback on your products, services, and practices, you can incorporate what you’ve learned to improve your business. Perhaps people don’t like the way your website is setup, or the dreary colors on the walls in your store; take their input into consideration and keep on improving.
If you follow all of these techniques you can build customer confidence and your business will be on the fast-track to greater success.