Good customer service gives your business an edge over the competition. You’ve probably heard that getting people in the door, or to the virtual door of your website, is the key to succeeding. However, keeping them there once you’ve attracted them is equally
important. The likelihood of selling products or services to an existing customer is at least 60%, while the likelihood of selling to a new lead is only 5-20%.
After an interaction with you or your organizations representatives, what are your customers really thinking? It is important that the customer walks away with a positive impression. If you are abrupt, rude, or do not meet the customer’s expectations, then he will walk away with the intention of never returning.
Good customer service starts with and is the responsibility of the leader. The organization will emulate his/her customer service attributes. If you want your employees to put the customer first, then you must model this for them. You must set the example and walk the walk.
Do You Have Metrics from the Standpoint of Your Customer?
You have to know if your customers are happy with the service they are receiving. Some of the big areas should include:
- Order On-time delivery
- Warranty returns
- Customer complaints
When a customer has an issue, such as an item that is under warranty breaks, how does your company handle it? Make sure your customer walks away feeling satisfied with the resolution. This may include repairing or replacing defective products, returning complaint phone calls quickly, and honestly listening to the customer’s concerns and how he/she wants the issue to be rectified.
Does Your Organization Respond to Information Requests?
You spend a lot of time and money gaining new leads for your business. Every business out there has a sales funnel. Perhaps it is on a website and people who land there are then funneled from landing page, to call to action, to request for information. For a brick and mortar store, the process happens one-on-one with a salesperson.
How is the funnel handled when a customer asks for information? Are your salespeople well versed in the product, how it works, and all the ins and out of your company policies? A good salesperson (online or off) should be able to answer these questions:
- What are the benefits of this product/service?
- Why is it better than what the competition offers?
- What if it doesn’t work the way it’s described?
- What kind of support is offered?
The moment that a customer requests information on your product is your make or break moment. This is often the first interaction that a potential customer has with your company. How you handle it can gain you a customer or lose you one.
Thank You Is a Powerful Phrase
Running a business keeps you hopping. It is easy to forget something as simple as telling a customer thank you, yet it is an important part of great customer service. Think about it. When was the last time you said “thank you” to a customer?
After you’ve made the sale, you should:
- Make sure your service has met their expectations. Do they have any further needs? Do they understand how the product works?
- A simple “thank you for your business” only takes a moment, but creates a feeling of amity in the customer.
- If possible, follow-up with another thank you on special occasions. For example, send a postcard on the person’s birthday to thank them for being a loyal customer.
What is your follow-up after you’ve made the sale? Do you just walk away and go on to gain another customer or do you take the time to reach out to current customers? Keep in mind that current customers are far more likely to buy something from you. What add-on services/products can you offer? What problems can you solve for your customers with a product?
If you already say thank you in some aspect, try to figure out ways to improve the process. Add another layer of appreciation with a rewards program or a special gift. Reach out and see what further needs your customers have. It’s important to follow-up and keep in contact.
Benefits of Great Customer Service
There are many benefits to your company if you provide a great customer service experience. What customers remember about you is how you treated them. Did you make them feel appreciated? Some of the benefits of offering customer service that shows the customer you care about him or her include:
- Trust – Offering great customer service builds trust between you and the customer. The customer knows she can count on you to deliver what you promise you’ll deliver.
- Goodwill – Your customer will appreciate that he can trust and rely on you. He will then tell others about how happy he is with your company, which creates free word-of-mouth advertising and helps grow your business.
- Positive – Your customer remembers having a positive experience with your company. This makes him want to do business with you in future. It can also result in great reviews.
- Asset – All of this makes you an invaluable asset. The customer will keep coming back to you for repeat business rather than make the effort to find someone new. Why would he? You are amazing, after all.
Your thank you should be sincere. If you really mean it and a customer asks for help, instructions, or an ear, then you will offer those things freely. Good customer service is about putting the customer’s needs first at the forefront of what you do. Always keep in mind that without the customer, you wouldn’t have a business.