When it comes to the success of your business, customer service is critical. Attracting a new customer can cost up to 5x more than retaining an existing one. Keeping customers happy makes good economic sense.
A culture of exceptional service should be a priority at your company. Treat your employees with the same respect and service that you would expect them to give to your customers; make them feel like they have a stake in the success of the company. According to the Customer Service Institute, most customers don’t follow through on the sale because of a perceived attitude of indifference toward them by an employee. Use these tips to put a positive spin on the customer service experience:
Be knowledgeable and accessible. Your customers may have questions before, during and after the sale. Provide as many avenues for answering their questions as you can and place an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on your website.
Be proactive. Train your employees well and make sure your policies and procedures enhance your customer service goals. When you do encounter a problem, learn from your mistakes and train employees accordingly. Alert your customers to problems before they have a chance to complain. If you can’t deliver on something you promised, be upfront.
Be responsive. Resolve issues quickly and generously. If you do receive a complaint, do everything you can to fix the problem. Show sincere concern for any discomfort, frustration, or inconvenience. Then go above and beyond by giving your customers something positive to remember: a discount on future orders or an upgrade on their purchase. Restoring customer goodwill is worth the price in future orders and new business through positive word-of-mouth.
Follow up. Contact your customers to make sure they received their orders in good condition, and that they are satisfied with your product. Asking for feedback after a problem has been resolved can also help you measure how well your procedures are working and to identify any areas that need improvement.
Add a personal touch. Instill a sense of investment and devotion in clients by cultivating personal relationships with them. Going above and beyond demonstrates an attention to detail they probably won’t get elsewhere. You might mail handwritten notes, have periodic giveaways or offer special customer appreciation programs.
Dr. Betty Uribe, Executive Vice President of California Bank & Trust
Customer Service Creates Happy Customers