While you would like to think that it is always a priority for most businesses, the truth is that is not always the case.
For whatever the reason, some companies simply drop the ball when it comes to providing consumers with solid customer service. As a result, some of those companies end up losing business, business that could have easily remained with them had they just been a little bit better about taking care of Mr. or Mrs. Public.
With that in mind, there are a number of steps you can take as a business owner to increase the chances of keeping customers happy, not to mention helping to promote your brand through their word-of-mouth efforts.
Solid Customer Service Equals Better Revenue
In order to keep your company’s customer service a step or two ahead of what the competition has to offer, make sure you:
- Go that extra mile – Consumers expect satisfactory customer service, but what if you take it to another level? It is oftentimes the little things that set your brand apart from others, so go that extra mile for the customer. For example, maybe a customer purchased a product or service from you recently over the holidays. As an added incentive to keep them shopping with you, offer them a discount (maybe 10 to 20 percent off) on their next purchase with you. Given that many consumers probably had to watch their pennies over the holiday shopping season, a nice little reward for those who shopped with you last month could go far in making them come back to you this year and beyond;
- On-time service matters – How many times have you gone in for a doctor’s appointment and waited and then waited some more? Yes, a doctor’s office is typically going to be busy, but that does not remove the frustration you have with being kept waiting for your appointment. The same holds true for businesses who have timed appointments with customers and also when customers are in line waiting to make a purchase. Whether you run a business office, a store, or even a salon, don’t keep your customers waiting. If you have a salon appointment book, try and stick to the times posted on it as much as possible. It just takes one unhappy customer to get the chatter going about how you can’t stay on top of times. When that happens, others (even if they’ve never been to your place of business) may think twice about doing business with you;
- Avoid negative tones – Last but certainly not least; go out of your way to avoid customer service conflicts. Honestly, there will be times when you or one of your employees doesn’t meet a customer’s needs. When that happens, do everything possible to make amends, giving you a better chance of retaining that individual’s business. This is also true if you’re getting online feedback from customers. By all means, do not get into a tit-for-tat with customers on your social media pages. No matter how much you try, you will never win those battles. Worse yet, online comments are archived for all to see.
Providing consumers with solid customer service isn’t as tricky as it may seem.
Be responsive, reliable, and of course responsible when treating each of your customers.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.