There are a lot of things you can do to attract more customers. You can invest in heavy branding campaigns. You can advertise heavily to get your brand name out there. There are a thousand ways to attract more customers but there is only one sure fire way you can keep them long term and that is through great, not just good, customer service.
Have you heard of the quote ?Go for the food, stay for the service? Now substitute your product or service for the word ?food? and that is how your customers should feel when they patronize your business.
As said above, there are thousands of ways to attract customers, but to be successful; you have to work on making them repeat customers. And by making their experience with your business a pleasant one, you can become the favored brand of your customers when it comes to your product or service. And who knows? They can even tell their friends about how great your company is. Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing tool.
With that said, here are some tips you can use to take your first step towards great customer service e:
Understand your customers
Who is your market? Try to find out what they like or dislike. You can start by doing a little survey that you can ask your current customers to answer either personally or by email. Though not everyone will answer, the ones who do can give you a good idea about who they are and what they think of your service.
You can also go to public review sites like Yelp, CitySearch, and Angie’s List to see what consumers are saying about your business. Just prepare yourself. Some people give nasty comments just because they have the protection of anonymity. Discern which comments to chalk up as constructive criticism and which to ignore.
Make it easy for the customers to reach you
The first step to great customer service is making your business accessible to your customers. A good way to do that is to invest in a toll free number and an advanced PBX system to manage customer calls. There are a number of VoIP service providers like RingCentral where you can get the toll free number and the phone system together.
Provide soft skills training
There is an art to providing customer service and that lies in your employee?s soft skills. Soft skills refer to personal attributes that enhance a person’s ability to interact as opposed to hard skills which refer to specific skills that help someone accomplish a task.
Provide soft skills training to help employees interact with other employees. Some points to emphasize are knowing when to empathize, when to be assertive and how to negotiate without offending.
Create customer service policies
Last, create definitive policies that will outline what can and cannot be done when interacting with customers and the consequences they can incur if they break those policies.
Customer service is a company effort. The culture of customer service starts with you as the owner serving as the example for the whole company to follow.
Sandi Will has been a Blogger and web enthusiast for almost 2 years as well as a fulltime English teacher to high school seniors for 4 years.