One of the best ways to grow your business is to keep customers coming back for more. But how, exactly, are you supposed to do you do that?
Focus on delivering not just the best products but also the best customer experience possible.
Whether you’re involved in the daily interaction with customers or not, here are the easiest ways to ensure you offer the best customer service possible.
1. Listen to Your Customers. Read that again, please. I didn’t say make assumptions about what your customers want. I said ser listen to them. That means if they complain about your product, hear them out when they tell you what’s wrong with it (and act on it). If they tell you what they want from your product, make a note. The best way to serve your customers better is by really paying attention to what they’re telling you.
2. Act Quickly. There nothing more pet-peevish than a company that encourages you to email its customer service department, only to not respond or wait weeks to respond to your inquiry.
Create a policy for your customer service reps (or for yourself) to respond within 24-48 hours. We’ve become such an instant-gratification society, thanks to social media, so people come to expect a prompt response.
3. Fix It, No Matter Who’s at Fault. As a customer, you’ve gotta love no questions asked return policies. I once spilled juice all over a Dell keyboard and they sent me a new one, even though it had been my fault. It’s too time- and cost-consuming to figure out whether your customer is the cause of her own complaint. Repair or replace the item. It’s cheaper in the long run, and you’ll have a lifelong customer for your efforts.
4. Invest Heavily in Training. For many companies, the only time a customer may interact with a real, live person is when she has a complaint. As the first point of contact, it is of the utmost importance that this customer service rep be congenial and comfortable in his role. Don’t simply throw him a script and sit him in front of a phone.
Realize how important it is to your customer to have a positive experience: 45% of people rank dealing with a friendly customer service rep as part of a great online experience. If your staff isn’t well-trained in your processes, they can’t hope to make a positive impression to customers.
5. Take the One-on-One Approach. Many companies have seen positive results from assigning specific reps to clients, rather than have all clients call a generic customer service line. Having a specific individual to connect to empowers customers, as they know they can call or email with questions and not have to explain their entire situation again and again, only to be transferred to a different department.
Providing the best customer service isn’t rocket science, but it does take devotion to your customer and understanding her wants and needs.
Editor’s note: This was originally written by Susan Payton on Growth University.