“We see our customers as guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” ~Jeff Bezos
You can see how one of the best companies in the world values its customers. Thousands of startups take off every day and yet many of them are the only idea-focused ignoring the customer needs and satisfaction. A famous blog post stresses the importance of customers needs with this sentence, “Don’t focus on your startup idea – focus on the customer and customers’ needs“
First impressions matter. And if you do it right, customers turn into raving fans and share their experience with social media like crazy. In a highly competitive market, it is vital to take care of your customers because if you don’t do, someone else will.
Here are some of the tips that can put your customer service to the next level.
- Be very careful about the first impressions. It is not about what you’re willing to show; it is about how customers perceive what you show them. First impressions stick to your heart even if you don’t think they do. If you’re able to create a lasting first impression, this will stay with your customer for a long.
- First impressions matter. But what is even more important is the perception you create in the eyes of the customer even before the first impression. The first impression is usually what people think of your website. Right before opening anything, what picture are you giving to the customer?
- Last impressions also matter. It is so easy to switch to another customer before you finish with the current one. But what creates a lasting impression is to close the deal. As Harvey Spector says, “I don’t make promises, I just make things happen.” It would help if you made a proper goodbye. You cannot leave the customer in the middle and expect that the customer will understand. Goodbye is an important part of the process.
- Do you offer excellent service? If not start it now. For instance, a web design agency will keep the customer chat widget in front. And if you spend some time on their website, a simple chat pop-up can help them figure out what they need. I love this idea. Giving help even before the customer is asking for it. You need to be present for them to hear what they want.
- Timeliness: How much time you take to answer the customer? This is a big, big question that you need to ask before you set up your product. No matter how general your product is, it would help if you educate users on how to use it. For this, you need to make time to tell the users how to use our product.
- Keep the returns simple: When you do business, things go wrong. There is no doubt about it, but what you do with that mistake is all that matters. While dealing with the service industry, your company will make mistakes, but how you compensate the customer will establish a reputation for your brand. And in this social media era, you need to keep your return policy satisfactory and straightforward. Zappos started with seven days of the free return policy. Amazon does three days for electrical products. These are not just brands; these are customer service giants that are serving more than 30,000 customers per day.
- Consider customer feedback an essential element for your brand: When the customer speaks, listen hard. It is a good practice to listen to your customers. Sometimes the customer gives the best advice. Customers are the ones using your brand. Only they can tell what they want, and you need to provide them as they like it. Do a little survey with every customer. Not much talk. Just a few words to take feedback and let you know what went right or what went wrong.
- Acknowledge the customers: Acknowledge and reward the customers that are giving you free advice on how to make your brand better. Give incentives to your customers so they can share their genuine reviews about you. It is good to ask customers to share their views with you instead of sharing with other people.
- Benchmark outside your industry. This is one of the wisest pieces of advice I got from a friend. Gone are the times when you just needed USP to survive. Now is the time of benchmarking. And the best benchmarking is to move outside your industry. If you’re in the furniture industry, make sure to go beyond the quality of your furniture. Customer service is one thing that can move mountains for you.
- Commit to continuous improvement. Ask yourself what you can do better than others and how can you keep improving in that field.
- Be courteous at all times. Even if you’re dealing with angry customers, ensure that you don’t lose your temper. It would help if you kept it cool. The way you say it matters a lot.
- Maintain strong standards: Whatever you create, make sure you keep it that way. Often the Entrepreneurs get carried away with initial standards which force them to forget what made them successful in the first place.
- Empowerment matters. It would help if you empowered your employees to do the right thing. It would help if you rewarded the employees who decide and think of the customers. This will help employees to take off the customers more.
To conclude it all. Customer service is one reliable way to create and maintain leads for your business. Whether you’re starting or you are already doing the business, you need to take care of your customers so they can put the right word for you out there in the market.