Customer service is the life blood of any organisation. Done well, it can spiral your financials in a rapid upward fashion, done badly, it can ruin your business.
Today’s world is social, give a consumer a bad experience and you can expect it to be tweeted, griped about on Facebook, potentially even blogged about and shared on LinkedIn. The larger companies have processes and PR companies in place to try and twist the negative press, but for SME and start ups, it is imperative to try and avoid negativity in the first place.
Creating positive experiences.
Treat every customer like you want to be treated. We all hate poor customer service, we have all moaned when being placed on hold for hours, and we all know companies we wouldn’t give business to again because of the salesperson attitude, or the way we were treated.
My business mantra is to treat every customer like they are my biggest investor; everyone I work with gets the platinum service.
I have processes in my business that help me improve my customer service strategy. I have alerts set up on Google so I can track what my customers are saying. I make it a point to find them on social networks so I can hear what they are saying and engage with them through a different platform. I have a sophisticated piece of call centre software, that ensures all of my calls are dealt with quickly and professionally. It is also a fantastic after sales tool that impacts my customer base and leaves my clients feeling like they are golddust.
Simple rules to follow
- Always call someone back, even if you don’t know what the call is regarding – seize the opportunity and give the right first impression from the word go.
- Hold eye contact with your clients when meeting them, it installs trust and faith in the words you are saying
- Smile – whether you are on the phone or in person. People buy from people, and not many purchase goods or services from a scowl.
- Listen to what the customer wants and needs, the mantra the customer is always right didn’t come out of nowhere.
- Train your staff and set expectations. If good customer service is to be at the heart of your business ensure they have the training to replicate your standards.
- Admit if you get it wrong. If something happens that hasn’t gone to plan, don’t be afraid to hold up your hand and say you are sorry. It is how you deal with errors that form a lasting impression, not the original error.