When you’re looking to start a new business or improve your existing one, there are many obvious things to focus on: your branding, website, and pricing structure may all come to mind at the front end of your business efforts.
However, customer service is a critical feature that can often be overlooked – and especially for those new and small businesses that may lack the manpower, such as entrepreneurs working alone.
Why is Good Customer Service Important?
A customer’s experience with your service can make or break their relationship with your company. It doesn’t matter how successful or in-demand your product is – if the customer has a negative experience with any of your interactions, this can be enough to send them to another brand. Customer service is therefore vital for creating a reliable reputation for your business and for ensuring the customer always feels looked after.
3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service
- Provide As Many Options as Possible for Contact
Customers love having several different ways to contact you. That’s because each individual will have a different routine and preferred means of contact. Some people may not have time to call up and prefer quick emails instead – others may love a live chat option for handling problems as soon as they arise. Be sure to give your customers plenty of options, including:
- A designated customer service email address
- A customer service telephone number
- Social media messaging
- Live chat assistance
- Always Make Sure Calls Are Answered
If you’re a company operating with a phone line and giving clients the option of phoning up to enquire or discuss your service, you don’t want to risk customers being tired of being placed on hold or – worse – having their call unanswered altogether. Despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to have the manpower to answer every call all the time during busy phone-ins, so you might want to consider a telephone answering service to outsource your call handling and make sure that every call-in customer is cared for.
- Provide as Personalised a Service as Possible
No customer wants to feel as though they’re one of many, with interactions that imply you don’t know what they buy from your business and why. Personalised service becomes much more difficult when you’re an extremely large company compared to a small business, but it’s not impossible.
For starters, names make all the difference. Addressing a customer by their name, such as in an email or during a telephone conversation, can make the interaction feel less generic.
Additionally, when dealing with a customer enquiry or complaint, knowing as much as possible about who they are will always help. Bring up their order history (if there is one) and learn about previous enquiries so that you can speak to your customer with that prior knowledge of their situation. This will all help them to feel understood.
To give yourself the best chance at providing exceptional customer service, you need to make sure all avenues are covered, such as email, phones, and live chat. On top of this, recognising that you don’t have the facilities to manage the number of enquiries you receive is a must for those struggling, as you can then work to outsource services that can easily help you and make sure your customer service never falls by the wayside.