At one time, if you owned a retail or workshop business you might have been able to get away with a bit of average service towards your customers, or even maybe a bit of gruffness, especially if there was not much competition nearby. These days, things are different as competition can be pretty stiff, and customers will often just go elsewhere if your service is under-par or if they feel mistreated.
So today, good customer service is essential for attracting and keeping your customer base. While this may sound simple, it can still be possible to miss the mark – especially if there is little in the way of direction and guidance provided for your staff to follow.
Providing top-notch customer service can help your business to grow and expand and attract repeat business – which is essential for the longevity of any enterprise. It starts with knowing and understanding what your customers actually want, need and expect from you. Surveys, feedback forms, social media, focus groups and other methods can be used to engage with your market in this regard, and to determine where you might be falling down.
Here are 10 other customer service tips that can be easily implemented to really benefit your business.
Customer service tips
- Good customer service always starts at the top. Make sure to always model the customer service you want your employees to provide.
- Provide a positive atmosphere in your enterprise, and encourage a positive attitude towards customers and towards your brand.
- Know your own products and services thoroughly, including their location and prices, and ensure your sales staff do also.
- Good communication skills are essential for good service, so make this a priority in your business. This includes the ability to listen and show customers that you understand what they need, as well as the capacity to talk about and showcase your products.
- Develop a procedures manual or set of guidelines for customer service, and provide initial and ongoing training for all sales staff.
- If you run a retail business or office, develop a system for greeting customers in your business that is friendly but not intrusive or pushy.
- Use a suitable recording system for recording sales and keeping track of purchaser behaviours – a CRM program such as Zoho or Salesforce can be good for this. Use this system to analyse sales data and for customer relationship-building.
- Create a referral system – one that rewards customers for successful referrals as this can help expand your customer base.
- Develop procedures for promptly and politely dealing with customer complaints, as well as applying solutions where required.
- Keep in regular contact with your best customers, by phone, in person, or through email or a fax to email service in Australia.
It may also be necessary to review your procedures around recruitment to ensure all new sales employees have the right attributes and experience for providing great customer service.
Summing up great customer service
In essence, great customer service starts with a positive attitude, having good people skills including listening ability, knowing and understanding your products and services and what your customers need, managing your sales data, and developing good relationships.
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