Have you ever had a horrible experience at a big box store? You’d love to leave a bad review but know that it probably won’t change anything. Luckily you’re not a big box store, so here are 9 tips for providing excellent customer service.
At the End of The Day, It’s All About Your Customer Service
The sad fact of the business world today is that businesses are failing when it comes to good customer service. One of the reasons smaller, more exclusive businesses do well today is that they are able to provide specialized customer care on a more one-on-one basis.The sad fact of the business world today is that businesses are failing when it comes to good customer service.
The good news for you as a small business owner, is that this makes it easier for you to stand out by providing top notch customer service. After all, it truly is all about your customers at the end of the day.
Tip 1 – Keeping a Customer is Cheaper Than Acquiring a New One
Do you know how much is costs to acquire a new customer? It can be quite expensive. You have to first attract them via ads, social media, freebies, and other methods, none of which are cheap. Then you have to educate them on your services and authority. Once you have drawn the customer in, it is much cheaper just to keep them happy vs constantly looking for new ones.
Interaction is Your Connection to the Customer
You have a vital connection point with your customers while providing customer service, be sure to use it to your advantage. You have to consider them in everything you do, from designing your main products or services, to your return policy, even when you design a FAQ. Just by cultivating a connection to your customer even on a transactional basis, you can gain amazing insight into the rest of your target audience.
Great Customer Service Equals Happy Customers
If you are able to hire customer service professionals, be sure to give them a lot of leeway to get the job done. When your goal is honestly to make customers happy, let them make customers happy and don’t hold them back. Remember that you cannot please everyone every single time, but that you can try to please your customers.
Tip 2 – Happy Customers Make for Responsive Referrals
Are you looking to grow your business? Acquiring more customers is how it is done. If you want more customers, one of the best ways to get them is by having your happy customers tell their friends and family about you. Word of mouth marketing is so powerful now that we gave it a whole new name – influencer marketing. This is the whole premise around the success of Instagram.
Customers Value Good Customer Care
All customers want to be treated fairly. Your real customers who value the service or product you offer will not actually want more than is fair from you. That is often a concern with business owners, but if you have a very generous return policy and assistance policy, you will find that you don’t have to use it often. When you have designed products and services with the customer in mind, this is easier than you might think.
Customers Come First
If you put your customers first in all aspects of your business from the most mundane to the specific, you’ll create better products and services, and you’ll develop a more exclusive high-priced brand.
This develops loyal customers who are happy to share their experiences with their friends and family. After all, at the end of the day, it really is all about the customer. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.
All Good Customer Relationships Start With Good Communication
Yes it’s true, communication is key, in your personal life as well as business. Without excellent communication, any relationship will suffer, so your relationship with your customers is no different. However, how you chose to communicate with your customers is different than how you would communicate with a friend, but should it be really? Let’s look at the different ways you can communicate better with your customers.
Tip 3 – Your First Impression Counts
In many ways, great customer service is your first line of defense. Even if your customers never encounter people and only order online, your automated transactional emails, the way your website looks, and how the checkout works is all part of the overall customer service your customer’s experience. If you can make the first impression feel good, that’ll stick with them.
Keep Your Mouth Shut and Listen More Than You Talk
You have two ears and only one mouth; listen twice as much as you talk. Also, ask good questions that provide the right answers to help you make better choices. Often, a customer who is complaining about something will tell you how to resolve it themselves if you just listen carefully. Then you can literally give them what they want and make them happy once more.
KISS: Keep It Simple Sweetie
Don’t frustrate your customers by making things hard. Whether the need help, want to contact you, or have a question, it should be simple for them to find the answers they seek. If you put too many requirements on the transactions, reading the convoluted information will cause them to have a bad view of your customer service – even if they didn’t need it.
Provide an Online Searchable FAQ
Leveraging content like this to provide information to your customers and would-be customers is another way to provide excellent customer service, a great experience, and boost search engine optimization all at the same time. One of the best types of content is user-generated content so you can even open the FAQ to comments if you desire. When formulating your FAQ section, go through customer’s commonly asked questions, or ask them on social media.
Tip 4 – Create an Open-Door Policy
Make sure that your customers know from your transactional emails, social media posts, blog posts, FAQs and any means you use to communicate with them that you are always there to resolve problems. They need to know that you are there to help make the product or service work better for them.
Allow Personal Escalation for Issues
Even if you have hired someone for customer service, make it very easy for your customers to get in touch with you or a manager directly. Most phone systems or ticketing systems have an option for customers to escalate an issue to a manager or someone higher. Just by giving them the power to do that when they want to is going to make them feel powerful – even if they never use it.
Be Happy, Use Positive Words
When you are dealing with customers, the words you use, whether spoken or in writing, should always be positive. Instead of telling them no, find a way to say the same thing while saying yes. When you do that, they won’t get as defensive – even if you are ultimately not giving them exactly what they want. Thus letting them down easier with less rejection.
Tip 5 – Always Study Your Ideal Customer
Learning about your ideal customer and what keeps them up at night regarding your niche and their life is a good way to ensure that you always stay one step ahead of your customers. By always studying your ideal customer, you can provide great customer service that puts your company over the edge automatically.
Using the right words for the right audience to convey just the right message in the right place at the right time can take practice.
Has your business grown?
If you are not sure how to go about providing the best possible customer care for your size of business, you may want to consider contracting with a customer service virtual assistant to do it for you. Not only will this lighten your workload, but you know that your customers will be in good hands.
Stand Out Among A Crowd – Why Having Excellent Customer Service is No Longer Enough
Things have changed. One thing we’ve learned in the last few years about customers is that if they are not satisfied, they will find an alternative. This is especially true of any business that deals in commodities.
You may not think that your service or product is a commodity, but your customers just might. If that is the case, you need to find a way to stand out. One way to do that today is by providing superior top-notch, customer-centric customer service.
Tip 6 – To Create Raving Fans, You Just Need More You
There is a lot of competition out there. Most consumers don’t have any loyalty to a company that they spend money with. They are loyal to people though, so if you can humanize yourself, you’ll go beyond customer retention toward fan making.
Show What Differentiates You from the Competition
If you want to stand out from the competition, get your customers to take a picture of something you did for them that was nice and stood out. For example, Chewy.com is well known for providing amazing customer care if someone’s pet passes away or gets sick. It’s these extra touches that are appreciated, and it shows in how it’s shared and can even go viral.
Everyone, and We Mean Everyone is Looking for a Better Deal
Let’s face it, life is expensive these days. Even the people making good salaries cannot afford to pay for the basics due to high rent and medical insurance costs. Therefore, if two products are relatively the same, but the customer service is outstanding for one business and not the other, customers will always choose the one who treats them well. There is no reason for them not to now.
Tip 7 – Give Your Customers an Experience to Talk About
Many people today talk about having more experiences over stuff. If you can make the stuff you sell an experience for your customers, you’re going to blast past good customer service and into greatness fast.
For all these reasons, just good customer service is not enough anymore to have a successful business.
Your Business Need Social Media Moments
When you provide outstanding customer service that wows customers enough to talk about it on social media, it can go viral. This can provide the all-important social media moments for your business that gets attention and helps calm the fears of new customers. Some brick and mortar businesses are setting up “Social Media Corners” just for picture taking. Everyone want their perfect Instagram picture.
Shine Like a Star Among the Big Boys
I would love to say that every business out there is providing amazing customer care and that is the reason you must step up your game. Sadly, as you know, big corporations often don’t seem to care at all about their customers or their experiences. Happily, this gives you as a small business owner a way to stand out and show that you can provide your customers with a truly special experience.
Discover the Benefits of Having Raving Fans
What is your follower count? When you are actively trying to get more followers on any of the social media platforms or on your email lists, it pays to consider the benefits of surrounding yourself with happy raving fan, followers, and subscribers. This is much more beneficial than only looking for new followers and fans. When you have happy fans, your benefits will become clear very quickly.
Tip 8 – Fans Spread the Word Energetically
Your happy fans will wait with excitement for your newest offers, tell everyone about it, share your services and write great reviews. They love being part of the in crowd and will volunteer their time and social media space freely to help new people in your groups. They love telling people how great you (and your products or services) are and feel really good about spreading the word.
This is the perfect time to ask them to give you a review. Download our FREE report on how to earn a 5 star reputation online here.
Fans Provide Social Proof Authentically
The more fans you have commenting and engaging with you on social media as well as following you, the more “social proof” you have to show new customers. Social proof just means that if others like you, the new perspective customer might like you too.
For example, if I see that my cousin Jennifer likes that new local hair salon, it’s going to provide a lot more proof than anything a stranger can say – but say 5,000 strangers giving the salon a thumbs up, that will make a difference.The more fans you have commenting and engaging with you on social media as well as following you, the more “social proof” you have to show new customers.
Fans Become Repeat Buyers
People who are fans of something are more likely to buy everything that that you come out with. Think about a famous book series, movie series, or games – people wait for days in line to get the newest hot thing. If you are able to create something amazing and your customers love you so much that they’ll wait in line to get the next level, you’ve done great creating fans.
Tip 9 – Fans Tell Your Story for You
When you have fans following you, they will tell your brand story for you by telling their story. They’ll tell people who come to your Facebook groups and pages how great your products or services are and you won’t even have to say much at all. They do the work for you, often for free. And as a business owner we always like free.
Fans Help Your Other Customers for Free
Online groups and forums are a good example of fans helping other customers. Even a good Twitter thread will demonstrate the group mind of a true fan today. When a true fan sees a customer have issues and you’ve not had time to answer, they’ll step up to help them out. This is going to make new customers walk away happier and as new fans, too. And the cycle continues.
Fans Helps Build Your Credibility
How would you like to go to your Facebook page or group and see nothing but happy fans conversing, sharing stories about your brand, and anticipating your next offer?
The more loyal fans that you and your business have, the more others will see you as credible place to do business with. Your trustworthiness goes up as more people interact positively with you in a public setting. When you provide such amazing results that you generate fan-like behavior, it’ll get even better for your business.
More Happy Fans Translates to More Website Traffic
Naturally, when your content, services and/or products are focused on your customers, you’ll automatically end up generating more traffic to your website. But your fans will generate traffic too, due to the user-generated content they’ll leave as comments. These comments, reviews, and praise will be picked up by search engines and help you get even more traffic. Currently, this is one of the best ways to boost your website SEO.
Your Product Looks More Exciting Through Your Fan’s Eyes
How long have you been in business? At some point all business owners build up a tolerance to their own awesomeness. You are talking about and building your products and services every day. You may be too close to it to see what an amazing thing you’re providing to your customers.
Lucky for you, your happy dedicated fans are not going to be shy about stating it. When you see what they say, you can use that in your sales pages to reach more people who will become raving fans.
The best way to get more raving fans is to provide better customer care, create the best products and most useful services for them. Then those fans can talk about everything openly. And don’t forget to encourage your customers to talk about you.
Encourage everyone to be open, and go out of your way to give your customers what they want and need. In fact, when you always make it all about them, you and your business will discover the benefits of having raving happy fans. So our tips for providing excellent customer service will go a long way.
Bonus Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service: 3 Easy Ways to Exceed Your Customer Service Expectations
One way to make your customers loyal to you is to work on exceeding their expectations in all that you do. Consider for one moment that your customer service, at least good customer service, is an expectation that you must meet to stay in business. However, to really have a successful business, you need to take your customer service experiences up a notch and really wow them. Let’s look at three fun ways to exceed your customer’s expectations that you can easily put into effect.
1. Create An Effective Follow-Up Autoresponder Email Sequence That Thrills Your Customers
This idea can work for many different types of products or services. Set up the after-purchase autoresponder to go out after enough time has passed for your customer to use the product. Then send tips and suggestions during that time to make it work better for them. This will help ensure they are using the product to its fullest.
For example, on day two after a customer gets their hair dyed, you might send them an email with links to your blog about caring for dyed hair. Next you might mention some products that extend the life of their color. Last you could send a reminder when it’s time to recolor their hair.
2. Provide Your Customers with An Unannounced Bonus
When you create an amazing product of some kind, it’s exciting just to tell everyone everything about it right away. You want customers to share in your excitement. However, you can really thrill your customers more if you keep some things a secret. Saving something for only those who have purchased your product leads to exclusivity and promotes social sharing.
This can be easy for your business if you have a consumable business. For example, you can provide free samples or discounts for future orders. But what can you do if you have created a digital product? One idea it to provide more content that helps them use the original product for free. Point it out in the folder, but don’t point it out on the sales page so that it is not expected.
3. Don’t Forget That Special Personal Touch
We all like to feel special. Something as simple as packaging can send some customers right over the edge in their appreciation. For example, if you’re a book author, what if you included a special bookmark for every single order from your website?
If you are a gift store, offering to gift wrap special purchase can make them feel appreciated. Everyone likes unwrapping a present, even if they bought it themselves. If you’re a coach, you might sneak in an extra monthly group call or do a surprise live event in the middle of a six-week coaching program.
You just need to use your imagination to come up with something that fits the product or service you have just sold them, and will make them feel super special getting it.
In Closing, Excellent Customer Service is a Must
So whether you have a new business, or have been in business since he use if yellow pages, your customers are important. These tips providing excellent customer service can certain help grow your business.
Honestly it doesn’t take much to stand out just a little bit. All you must do is put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and think about what would make you feel special. If you can think about your customer avatar and feel empathy for them, you can likely come up with a few ways to exceed their expectations, too.
Once you are able to consistently exceed their expectations, your super fans will start to emerge. Try to use these super fans to cultivate good word of mouth marketing and you will watch your business grow.
If you are providing stellar customer service, a great online reputation should follow. At P3 Marketing Strategies we are experts in marketing your great reputation. To get help with marketing your great 5 star reputation, give us a call.