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The adage that the customer is always right still rings true and in fact with competition in nearly every industry at its peak customer service has never been more important.
Social media has done a lot to help customers get what they want from companies. It has provided a platform for complaints as well as for some companies to shine through with their ability to always be on the customer’s side, listening to the customer’s needs and responding in a way that helps them consistently to turn over a profit.
So what makes good customer service? We look at some of the ways businesses of all sizes are making their customers happy.
- A responsive call center. Customer’s need to be heard and not answering your phone, having an automated call center or one that is always placing your customer’s in a queue is infuriating and doesn’t create satisfied customers. If you are going to offer a way of your customers to get in touch make sure it is usable or your customers will soon come to the end of the line
- Be reliable. If you say you are going to do something in a week do it in a week – don’t leave customers hanging around or having to chase work. It not only wastes their valuable time but can be a real turn off next time they want something done. Be realistic with timescales and once you have agreed them stick to them. And if you really can’t for any unforeseen reason make sure you tell them in advance and find a way to make up for the time they might have lost.
- Listen to problems and complaints. There’s nothing more upsetting than taking the time to pass on feedback and feeling like you haven’t really been listened to. Feedback, even if it is in the form of a complaint is valuable knowledge as it can help improve your service or product in the future so listen to what your customers have to say. Investigate business software that can help you stay on top of your customer feedback and importantly if there is a problem put it right!
- Make sure your staff are a good reflection of the values and culture of your company. Discourteous staff is a real problem for customers as is staff that can’t answer their questions. Train your staff and incentivise them to do an outstanding job and your customers will thank you for it.
- Update your technology to continue to meet your customers’ needs. If you run a plumbing business for instance and your customers have indicated they don’t want to pay in cash for home visits equip your plumbers with payment processing equipment so that they can take card payments wherever they go. Investing in the technology infrastructure you need demonstrates to your customers that you are a business of the future and they will want to follow you.
- Reward your customers. Don’t just offer incentives to new customers, reward those that have stayed loyal to your company because they have made you the type of business that attracts new customers. From money off vouchers to special rewards if they recommend a friend – there are many ways to reward customers that won’t break the bank.
Photo Credit: WOCinTech Chat