You may be offering the cheapest prices on the block or have irresistible promotions, but if your clients aren’t happy with your service or your company, there is a slight probability your business won’t be around much longer. Customer service is the oxygen of every business: you need it to survive. The key to sustaining your organization is offering your clients above-average customer service. In other words, consistently exceed their expectations. Customer service is about establishing a customer-centered organization, where you live and breath to keep your customers loyal through constant satisfaction. You are probably wondering why customer service is so important and critical to an organization. First-time customers can eventually evolve into your company’s most loyal and biggest brand promoters. All that you say and do, will influence the way they reference your organization to their colleagues. This means their positive or negative word of mouth referrals are critical and crucial to making or breaking prospective business opportunities.
Just like customer service can grow to be an organization’s greatest asset, it can also destroy it – believe it or not. Keeping customers happy is not an easy challenge. It is often strenuous. However, it also brings along numerous remunerations (such as new business opportunities, excellent reviews, and enhances your brand equity). At times we get overly attached to the endeavor of acquiring and bringing in new clients that we neglect our current customers. This does not mean that you should forget about generating new opportunities if you have the means and the adequate staff. Just don’t leave your current customers in the dark. After all, they are still contributors to your organization’s revenue, or at least that is the idea.
A happy and satisfied customer is the equivalent of positive feedback and great reviews. As a result, other individuals will want to give your organization a try, and… Voila, new customers! The essence of customer service lies within developing a relationship with customers based on trust and reliability, where customers feel at ease and desire to pursue your organization. Check out our helpful infographic below.
We have 3 quick and easy tips to not only retain your existing customers (in hopes of acquiring new ones), but also to put a smile on their face.
1. Go the extra mile
There is no greater feeling in the world than feeling special. Provide additional information and advice on your products and services, constantly update customers about certain products, or even offer free delivery. Providing unexpected small simple gestures will leave a long lasting impression in your customers. Give them opportunities and choices, even when their focus may be elsewhere. Show them that you care. Notify them when the job is done, or touch base once in a while just to make sure they are satisfied with your service. In other words, give them more than what they expect. This will elevate your brand image and distinguish you from your competition, while putting you on top of the list next time a customer has to make a decision.
2. Use social media as a vehicle to respond.
Using social media to communicate with your customers may have more benefits than you think. Customers not only want, but also expect an immediate response. They are apprehensive about having to wait 24 hours or more for a response to their email or voicemail. With social media, you can respond to customer’s complaints within minutes; and thus keep customers happy. As customers recognize the sense of immediacy in an organization’s response, they begin to develop a favorable attitude towards your organization. Social media also allows for a transparent conversation, which means that potential customers can see how your organization handles situations, and reach out to your organization in the future. Being able to answer quickly is not the only advantage of communicating with customers through social media. As social media users we tend to talk about our experiences and opinions, which eliminates the communication and sales process funnel. Next time a customer posts on your social media networking sites, answer friendly and quickly as others (potential customers) are watching.
3. Avoid “Please hold for the next representative…”
When a customer has a problem and is seeking help from your organization, it is in all likelihood that they are experiencing anger, disappointment, or other frustrations. Whether something was not delivered in time, a product is not functioning properly, or they were simply waiting to hear back from you, your uneasy customer is only seeking to express his, or her, frustrations to a human being, not a robot. Customers are individuals. They are humans, and as such they expect to talk to another human who empathizes with their troubles and frustrations. Although an immediate solution to the problem may be non-existent in some situations, providing courteous knowledge will go a long way. Customers often judge by what you do, not what you say. Therefore, if the phone is constantly ringing and there is no response, it might be a good idea to invest in a phone system that will allow for call forwarding or answering services. Hearing “please hold” drives us crazy. Customers expect another human to quickly be on the other end of the line, who is not only ready to empathize and understand their pain, but also someone who is willing to provide a solution, or at least a way out. Listen to your customer. Be patient, identify their problems and needs, and provide them with your undivided attention. Building a strong rapport will be a great step into building a stronger and better relationship with a happy customer.