ECX members and other savvy business owners don't need to be told that if we receive good customer service, we will tell two or three people. However, if we get poor service, we will tell ten to twelve others!
What business owners know as well is that word of mouth recommendations and referrals are high key drivers of new business. So, all companies should strive to achieve consistently high service levels. Here are some practical tips on how to improve customer service. You will know some already, but I make no apology for the reminder.
Understand customer needs
The more you know about your customers, the more you are likely to understand their needs and expectations. Do some research about your main customers. Then think how your product or service could better suit their needs. This will help you find the right ways to meet customer aspirations and achieve great customer service.
Seek and analyse customer feedback
Don't make assumptions; look for ways to find out what your customers think about your business. Invite them in to help you identify what you could do better.
Delight your customers with WOW! moments
Nothing is more powerful than going out of your way to give a customer something that they were not expecting or anticipating from you. Importantly, this will help to raise your credibility within local and online communities, through positive feedback and referrals.
Invest in customer service training
Choose a training provider who will really get to know your business and who can support your business strategy and service standards.
Set and communicate clear standards
Set standards and the example in terms of quality, accuracy, behaviour, appearance and good customer service. Crucially, let staff know what you expect from them. Then ensure that the service is consistently good – walk the talk!
Capture and share examples of great service in your organisation
This helps build best practice whilst giving recognition to the individual who delivered the exceptional service. In addition, it encourages more staff to go the extra mile.
Build your processes around the customer, not the organisation
Follow your customer’s journey, from finding you through to using your service and products, to billing and after sales.
However you execute your customer service strategy, be true to yourself and the business. This is not a box ticking exercise, but your brand values in aciton.
Nick Shrimpton is an ECX Member and Director of Sixth Senth Marketing