According to a survey conducted by Echo Research, consumers who are impressed with a businesses’ customer service will spend about nine percent more with that business. High levels of customer service not only encourages customer loyalty and repeat purchases, but it can help increase referrals. At its backbone, outstanding customer service begins with a genuine desire to please your customers, but outstanding customer service requires extra attention.
Here are eight ways to help your business be known for outstanding customer service.
1) Know thy product or service. It’s critical that all personnel who deal with customers know the product or services you are selling inside and out — backwards and forwards. Customer service reps need to intimately know common questions, and be able to concisely and articulately provide answers.
2) Provide service with a smile. In face-to-face situations with customers, make it a habit to smile and make eye contact with them. Experts say that a smile can be heard in a voice, so when speaking with customers over the telephone, be sure to smile.
3) Provide progress updates. If you have an e-commerce website, be sure to include a way for customers to track orders. Take note from Amazon, who recently won the top spot in customer service satisfaction survey conducted by ForeSee Results, a customer satisfaction firm. Amazon provides a handy “Where’s My Stuff?” section on their website, where customers can track their order progress with precision.
4) Allow refunds. And make them hassle-free. This is particularly important if you sell apparel over the web. Again, Amazon provides a no questions asked return policy.
5) Be accessible. Allow multiple points of contact. That is, enable customers to get a hold of you in person, over the phone, through email, via chat, or through social media.
6) Obtain feedback. Encourage feedback on your customer service. Use anonymous surveys or simply ask customers directly to provide their thoughts and feelings about your company’s customer service. The important thing is to regularly review customer feedback, and implement concrete business changes when negative customer service trends are spotted.
7) Be responsive. When a customer comes to you with a problem, act quickly and swiftly. Even if you are researching a customer issue and haven’t discovered the solution just yet, give the customer a progress update. Some response is better than no response.
8) Forget the sale. Instead, focus on the relationship. Remember, happy customers are typically repeat customers. While it’s obviously important to close the sale, make sure you show the customer how important she is before, during, and after the sale.
All things considered, outstanding customer service is one of the best ways to sway your target customers to choose your business over and above the rest.