These days, the companies that will succeed will be those that offer superior customer experience. The value of a lifetime customer is immeasurable. So once you get a customer, how do you keep him?
Here are 6 “golden rules” of killer customer service!
1. Service with a Smile
Welcome prospects to your business. Introduce yourself and tell about your services in an introductory email. Let your customers get to know you. No selling in this email, but you can offer a valuable freebie! People are more likely to do business with someone they trust. You can’t overstate the importance of building strong customer relationships.
Smile when you are talking on the phone. Customers will hear the difference in your voice.
Be careful when you send an email. It’s easy to be misunderstood. Email lacks the visual and audio cues of face-to-face communication. You must make an extra effort to ensure that your “tone” is cheerful and friendly. Also with email, people expect a quick reply. A fast, friendly response will let your customers know that you are working hard to keep them happy!
2. Value-Added Service
When a customer buys a service do you have something complementary that would add value? Business folks, who are pressed for time, will value the convenience of one-stop-shopping. Look at your line of products and think to yourself, What can I do to make this more useful to my customers? Is there a helpful article I can send them? Is there a service that would complement my business’s other services?”
3. The Customer is Always Right
“I’m sorry your order was wrong, how can I make it better?” The best way to turn a negative into a positive is to go out of your way to make it right and make that customer feel satisfied with the results. After you make it right, apologize sincerely, and offer an incentive for him to try you again – for example, a discount on future service.
Everyone knows one complaint will scream louder than 30 compliments. Make sure to answer ALL complaints. Don’t give anyone a reason to leave and say that his or her needs were not met.
You can learn a lot from your customers. Make sure to LISTEN. Other customers may be experiencing the same problem. Learn from your mistakes.
4. Quality of Service
Is there any way you could improve your service? Do you set a level of excellence for your products and services that you meet or beat expectations? Do you make your customers feel like they are number one in your book? Do you listen to customer needs and fill them? Does the atmosphere of your virtual business make customers happy and want to come back? Is your website visitor-friendly and easy to navigate?
5. What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
Tell customers right on your home page why they should do business with you and not the guy down the cyberstreet. Tell your visitors in one short sentence who you are, what you do, and why you are better. Will you save them money? Can they rely on your experience? Try to list these in terms of benefit to them, and NOT features of your product.
6. Customer Appreciation
Thank your customers for doing business with you. Send them an e-mail as a follow-up to see if your product or service was what they expected. Would they recommend you to a friend? How about a hand-written note or card to tell someone that you value his or her business.
There is a lot to be said for good old-fashioned customer service. Treat your customers like gold and they’ll be customers for life. The most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal is a customer referral. Give your customers a reason to brag about you and you’ll have a lot of customers knocking at your door!
Your turn: What other “golden rules” of customer service do you use in your business?
Customer Service and Administrative Consultant