Business is good, business is bad, clients come and clients go and the roller coaster of being a business owner can certainly keep you up at night.
The truth is that business is incredibly competitive. The Internet is at everyone’s fingertips and with just a few keystrokes everybody has the ability to research businesses worldwide. The ability for a business owner to differentiate in a global marketplace can be difficult; however, one thing is for certain, repeat customers and positive reviews can propel a business to success, in spite of the competitive landscape.
Superior customer service is not discretionary and should be a company imperative. Here are five things that can help make your company more customer-centric:
Let’s face it, customers don’t connect with customer service when everything is going well and they don’t have any problems or issues. They reach out when there is a problem, or they have a question, and it is that critical moment when a company can either make or break the business relationship they are trying to cultivate. It’s as simple as returning calls or responding to emails in a timely manner and not leaving customers feeling helpless, or ignored when they need a solution or answer.
Train Your Staff
Many companies provide comprehensive training on their product or service to their staff but neglect to offer even the basics of customer care. Any employee that regularly interacts with customers should receive training on customer service fundamentals, including communications effectiveness, how to handle different personality types, how to diffuse an angry customer, etc. While you may consider good customer service to be common sense, training ensures that all employees understand that it is a core component of their job.
The customer might not always be right BUT they are always the customer and depending upon how you handle their situation you can either retain them as a customer or lose them, and losing their business might be just the tip of the iceberg. Disgruntled customers now take to social media to air their grievances and the viral spread of their message can result in a seriously compromised reputation.
There is no excuse for grouchy and sullen behavior, an irritated demeanor or an impertinent tone of voice even if the customer is acting out. Train your staff to remain calm, focused and professional and they will find that they are better able to handle those customers that are very upset and unreasonable.
Go the Extra Mile
What can you do to provide superior customer service and dazzle the customer so that they become a raving fan? How can you go the “extra mile” so that you stand apart not only because of how you handled the situation but also because of how you went over and beyond to exceed their expectations? Providing good customer service is the baseline; providing superior customer service should be the goal.
Do an assessment of your customer service. Monitor and evaluate all of your processes to see just how customer friendly they really are. Make changes wherever necessary and always remember that customer growth and retention is fundamental to your long-term success.