Customer service isnвt just about being courteous to your customers в itвs a vital element of business operations that can impact your bottom line and affect how your company is viewed in the public eye. Several high-profile companies have been in the news of late, finding themselves in the spotlight because of poor customer service policies. The good news is, itвs relatively simple to implement a customer service improvement plan that keeps your business on top. What Is Customer Service? Customer service consists of a collective set of policies that govern every way you and your employees interact with your customers. It encompasses everything from how much parking you have available to how you greet customers, handle service complaints, and back up your product or service. At its core, quality customer service is about making sure your customers feel they are valued, treated fairly, and appreciated by your business. A lot of businesses just like yours are competing for customer dollars and customer loyalty. Chances are good that youвre investing in marketing and advertising efforts to bring consumers through your doors. The important part of customer service is in keeping the customers once you bring them in. It costs significantly more to attract new customers than it does to take care of the ones you already have. Good service starts with your attitude and employee training. After all, good service works from the top down, and employees who are specifically trained in the art of quality customer service are far more likely to represent your company in the way that ensures satisfaction and repeat business. Develop customer service policies: Implement service policies that address every conceivable aspect of the customer experience. This includes how quickly your phone is answered or your website or email questions responded to, how many cashiers you have on busy days, how generous your return or exchange policy is, and how you handle irate customers.
Put yourself in your customerвs shoes and brainstorm every potential scenario your specific business could encounter, and then develop customer-friendly ways to address them. Involve your staffers in the process в youвll get fresh ideas as well as buy-in to the customer service concept. Hire well: When you interview candidates, ask them what quality customer service means to them. Pose sticky customer scenarios and ask them how they would respond to the situation. This gives you an idea of whether the people you hire for your front lines will represent your business in a way you find acceptable. Provide customer service training: Train your employees on customer service policies. Role-playing works well with one staffer acting as the customer and another as the staffer. Moderate the session to offer your take on what the role-players did right and where they can improve. Make customer service training an ongoing part of your companyвs professional development program so that staffers are continually urged to up their games. Another way to gauge service levels is to invite customers to give you an honest assessment of the type of service you and your employees provide. Do this via surveys, focus groups, or by having an online or in-store comment box available. Carefully review compliments and complaints and look for common threads that can be addressed and improved upon. Ask your employees to keep you apprised of the most common complaints and compliments they receive and strive to do less of the former and more of the latter. Consider rewarding staffers for exceptional levels of service as well. This encourages not only compliance but also above-and-beyond efforts.
Why is Customer Service Important? Why is customer service important? Because unhappy customers will not buy from you.
What is good customer service? To define customer service for your business you need to first understand how to deliver what customers want. Understanding why is customer service important is the first step in delivering exceptional service. Providing excellent, and memorable, client support is important for client retention. Without exceptional support, your clients will not return. Average or mediocre support won\’t keep your customers either. And bad customer service will simply drive them away. As a business owner or manager, you need to ensure that your business is focused on understanding \”what is good customer service\” and how to define customer service. With that understanding in place, you can work on building and maintaining great customer service, and high customer satisfaction levels. Customer Service Tips #1: Provide support to your customers that is about them, not about you (for example, not \”we\’re too busy, we\’re short a person, Tom\’s on holidays, etc. \”). #2: Always try to put yourself in your client\’s point of view (for example, if they need a product delivered at a certain time (and you can\’t make that time) then try to provide alternatives for satisfying their requirement). #3: Listen to your customers. Build a strong program by to your customers. Define Customer Service: What Kind of Support and Satisfaction Do You Deliver? Do a grid on your \’best\’ and \’worst\’ customers: what they do right; what they do wrong; what they do on a repetitive basis. Consider charging a premium for the most difficult customers; only if you can\’t help educate them to become your best customers; and only if you think they can\’t get a lower price for the same level of service. Or consider providing an incentive (credit) to have them behave in a more acceptable way (in time, on time, as per layout, etc. ). Consider crediting a premium to the \’easiest\’ customers (that is, those clients who do it right the first time – provide the purchase order correctly, provide enough time to turn the order around, and more); only for specifically designated efforts within their control.
Bill, and then credit, extras when you want to build stronger client relationships (this is the opposite of \’nickel and dime-ing\’ customers); for example, you quoted a job at $36,000 and then discounted to $33,000 because you actually produced it more efficiently than planned. Mark the credit as a special credit per you (your name). Track credits and discounts by each client (use a special tracking code/number). At the end of the year (or on a quarterly basis), review the total credits with your client – showing them how much you\’ve saved them. If you don\’t have a customer relationship management (CRM) software program, then learn to use your MS Outlook Calendar (or other online agenda program) for reminders, updates, etc. What is Good Customer Service? Good customer service is directly related to client satisfaction. If your client is not satisfied, you haven\’t provided good services. In fact, customer service analysis during the last decade says that you need to actually delight customers, not just satisfy them. Just like product features and benefits can provide your business with a unique differentiation proposition, so can the delivery of exceptional client support. Make sure that you survey your customers on a regular basis to find out if they feel that your client support is exceptional and/or delightful. Understanding Why is customer service important? is important to building strong client relationships, and growing your business. You need customers to operate your business, and if you have highly satisfied customers they will often refer more business to you. Eliminate Return to Or Return from