You can do absolutely everything right in your business – you could have the best service or product, the best logistics team, the most streamlined process, and the greatest warranty – but if you don’t have excellent customer service, then you can’t be the best. And you won’t have happy customers.
Sure, if you’ve got something others want, you will have customers. You will be able to convert leads. And, you will make some money. But, here’s where the importance of customer service comes in – those first-time buyers that you have can quickly become invaluable, one-time buyers if you don’t have the ability to nurture them and retain them.
How do you do that? Well, with great customer service, of course!
Benefits of Excellent Customer Service
We are going to take a look at all the ways you can provide excellent customer service. But, before we do, it is important that you understand why. You need to understand the benefits of ensuring your customer service is top-notch.
▶ Acquiring new customers costs more than retaining current customers. The reason for this is because current happy customers are more likely to purchase again from you. Whereas new customers need to be sought out, convinced, and so forth.
▶ This is your direct line of support for your customers. Your customer service team will set the tone for your company – how they speak and care for your customers will determine how well your true mission, values, and image comes across.
▶ Satisfied customers are likely to refer others – which means new buyers without any extra work on your part.
▶ Customers are often willing to pay more if they know they are backed by great customer service.
▶ Delight customers and entice them to purchase new products or services. When the customer feels good and confident about a company (thanks to the customer service), this can be prime time for new marketing techniques.
Imagine all of these benefits because you provided something that should automatically come standard for companies – healthy, solid customer service.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can actually implement it.
Be Friendly and Welcoming
It does not matter how bad of a day customer service reps are having – when it comes to communication with the customer, it needs to be friendly and approachable. Remember, these individuals are often the first contact buyers will have with your company.
You want them to feel heard and feel good. You want them to be treated like they matter. And, you want your customers to know that you stand behind your product or service – and that you are willing to do what it takes to make it right.
This is the tone that needs to be on the line when a customer calls.
Be Polite and Respectful
Working in customer service can be a very trying and emotional job. While there are some customers who will contact your representatives for simple questions or comments, often there is a lot of frustration and aggravation involved.
You need customer service representatives that can meet the demands in an effective and resolute manner while remaining polite and respectful. It takes a certain type of person to answer a call with an irate individual and end the call with a happy customer.
Losing manners or being disrespectful should never be tolerated – and is a quick way to lose customers.
Properly Train Your Customer Service Representatives
You should never allow someone to interact with your customers without being properly trained. And, this should be a formal process. Your customer service representatives should be able to fully understand your products and services – how they can benefit the consumer, what they are used for, and so on.
That’s not all, though. Your representatives are representing you and your company. Therefore, they should be trained in what you stand for – and what feeling you are trying to get across to your customers. They should know the proper way to interact, things that should or should not be said, and how they should assist customers.
Your training should aim to have a consistent approach toward customer service. It shouldn’t matter who the customer receives on the other end of the line – the level of service should remain the same every time.
Listen to Your Customers
Listening is something that often gets overlooked. It is easy to do but is not always done. Customers call in and have a problem – they are looking for someone to listen and solve it.
Ideally, your customer service representatives should be able to listen verbally and non-verbally to the needs of customers. Listening for things that may signal that he or she is not pleased with the product or service. And determine how or why. Then, be able to take steps that will allow you to offer a solution without necessarily having to be asked.
Careful listening and picking up on clues is a great way to impress – and retain happy customers.
Offer Appropriate Solutions
When customers call in, they often have a problem, a question, or a concern about your product or service. They want reassurance that they made the right choice – and they want a solution to their situation.
Many times, these customers are not necessarily going to be very happy. This means that the customer service representative needs to be ready with an appropriate solution that will turn that disappointment into gratitude.
The Bottom Line
Customer service is your front line. And, it always needs to be available. Whether you hire your own employees or you seek a virtual receptionist, you need to do what it takes to make sure that every time your customer calls your line – a friendly, welcoming individual with solid knowledge and a solution is on the other end.
The level of customer service you provide will set you apart from all the others in your industry. And, the best part is that it can have the power to make this happen for your company. Yes, really! All you need is the right individual to meet your customers where they are – then turn them into loyal, happy customers.