Imagine you walked into a store after an awfully long day, your dog chewed on your favorite shoes, the exact one you planned to wear for your presentation; you got a backlash at work, your supervisors didn’t think your presentation on customer service was as good as you thought, your car got smashed as you turned into the restaurant’s close, and you hadn’t eaten a thing all day.
Everything that could possibly go wrong in one day had gone wrong. You just needed to go to a restaurant to unwind and relax. Your friend Jerry had recommended Myer’s restaurant, he just could not stop talking about their impeccable customer service the last time he stopped by, you thought to head there and see what it is worth.
As you turn in to the close, the door man helps you park he acknowledges the bash on your car, he empathizes and recommends a place where you could get it back in shape. That lightens your mood a little.
As you walked in, the lady at the counter made eye contact and gave the warmest smile as she took your order. It was not long before it arrived in style, with your name on it and a nice note, you got a complimentary cocktail for first time guests. You had a bad day but a pleasant evening.
Just like Jerry, you could not stop talking about the experience with their customer service from the last evening with your colleagues the next morning and now, they would all like to go there on Friday after work to also see what it is worth.
That is what great customer service does, it makes your customers talk about your business and there is not a more powerful way of advertising than word of mouth.
It does the work better and faster. It gives your business a great reputation and it increases goodwill. More importantly it would increase sales turnover and improve your bottom line.
Now, to the real question, how do you improve customer service? Below are five creative ways.
● Go above you Customer service
That is exactly what Myer’s did, it is likely, the food was not as great as its contemporaries but Myer’s beat them to it in customer service. Everybody wants to feel special and important and your business should strive to make every customer feel this way.
One way to do this is to remember their names. When you surpass a customer’s expectation they will talk, when you go below their expectation they will talk. Get your customers talking with your great customer service, that is the greatest referral plan.
● Ask questions.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. How your business can show that it cares is by asking questions, it helps with information and strategy and it also helps with improving customer service. Ask questions like ‘what would you prefer?’. ‘how can we serve you better?’, is there a product/ service you wished that we provide?’
There is no set formula or question, what is most important is that the questions are tailored to suit your business and that they are genuine.
● Match their energy
It is great to have an ideal customer profile but not all customers have the same behavior and approach. You want to be sure that your energy matches theirs. If they talk excitedly, you want to talk the same way. As people like to talk to people like themselves. It’s an art that must be learnt or you can hire the best hands possible within your resource.
● Give rewards
It would be a good idea to engrave good customer service into your company culture. This can be done by top leaders communicating this culture to employees, setting the example and also giving a reward for customer service such as an award of the month called ‘customer service champion of the month’ or something along those lines. This will make employees more focused on providing great customer service.
● Make it timely or communicate
How many times have you wanted to reach the customer service of your bank and you had to wait for long minutes and on your cost? Only to answer and give rote learned answers that do not solve your problem, it takes longer than five working days to reverse that transaction and you are in a fit. It is most important that customer service is timely.
It is also as important to communicate with customers to ensure that they are adequately informed. When their order is on the way or if there is a delay. This would make them feel part of the process and make them more patient and calmer.
In summary, great customer service has huge rewards. They serve as testimonials and drive sales even further.
Which of these are you implementing in your business and which do you hope to include?