If you’re looking to provide value, retain customers, present business value, or reduce employee turnover, you must provide exceptional customer service to your customers. It is not only the business owner’s responsibility to focus on customer service, but the responsibility of the entire team. Customer service is especially important for small businesses as you are working hard to gain new customers and keep them coming back. Have you ever walked into a retail store or a restaurant and the staff seems to be miserable and is not at all eager to cater to your needs? How likely is it that you will return to this establishment or leave them a good review? Not very likely. As business professionals, we need to ensure that all our customers receive the utmost respect and care, as they are the reason we are still in business and we would like them to continue doing business with us. Surveys actually show that customers claim that they are willing to spend more with businesses that provide a positive service interaction. We’ve gathered some tips that will help you consistently provide excellent customer service and will allow you to exceed your customers’ expectations.
Know your product/service:
In order to sell your product or service, you need to be familiar with and have an expansive knowledge of it. If a customer comes to you with a concern or doubt, you must be able to discuss features and give valid insight into the product or service. It’s your job to upsell and provide value to your customer. As a business owner, it is important to keep in mind that you have the ability to offer a solution to a given problem. Make it your goal to know the ins and outs of your product or service so that your customer chooses your business instead of your competitors. However, avoid making any false promises or guarantees. We want to make sure we are always being genuine and truthful with our customers.
Be Present and Attentive:
This is arguably the most essential part of customer service. In this day and age, we live in a very fast-paced environment. That being said, when a customer is left waiting for a response or doesn’t receive attention in a timely manner, it is unlikely that you will be their preferred choice in business. Whether it is in person or online, you must remain attentive to your customers at all times. Taking hours to respond via phone, email or social media might lead to the customer looking for other options. We want our customers to know that we value their time and preference. That being said, place focus not only on responding quickly but also on resolving any issues they may have in a timely manner.
Keep a Positive Attitude:
The golden rule applies to customer service. Treat your customers the way you would like to be treated, with respect. Your attitude is everything and we never want to come across as rude or dismissive to our customers. It is inevitable that we will come across difficult or sassy customers. However, we cannot allow this to affect how we treat our customers. When a customer is perceiving our attitude in person, it is important that we keep a positive tone of voice, proper body language, and an inviting facial expression. This is much more difficult to present when communicating online with a customer. Consequently, we must go the extra mile when handling customers online. Always use positive language and focus on what you CAN do for the customer as opposed to what we CANNOT do for them. Make sure to always thank your customer for doing business with you.
It is no secret that customer service should be a top priority for you and your team. Consider monitoring the communication styles of your employees to make sure all your customers are being treated equally and fairly. Listen to the feedback you receive from customers and adjust your customer service communication styles accordingly. Direct communication with customers can sometimes be difficult if the customer isn’t cooperative or understanding. Remain patient and trust in your ability to be the solution to their problems.