Treat your customers like gold to secure loyalty and repeat business
As marketers, we give loads of advice about acquiring new leads, but what happens when those leads become customers? Isn’t the best form of marketing the word-of-mouth recommendations of happy clients? And isn’t it easier to sell to someone who’s bought from you before?
This is why customer support and excellent customer service are crucial to your reputation and overall business strategy.
Today’s post is all about how you can easily improve your customer service. Because getting a client in the door is one thing, and keeping the client happy is another.
Why is improving your customer service so important?
Excellent customer service is essential to build good standing with your current and potential customers.
There are two major factors that some people easily overlook; however, they play an integral role in developing great relationships with your customers.
These two factors are the ability to establish trust and great customer service.
The American singer, poet, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou once said: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”
People will indeed never forget how you made them feel!
The same principle applies to your customers because poor customer service will often be remembered. And with the help of social media, an awful experience can quickly go viral and completely shatter a business’ reputation overnight.
Contrary to that, people will also remember stellar service.
Why build trust with your customers?
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. The best thing about existing customers is that they already have experience with your product and how you fulfil any promises that your marketing makes.
Treating existing customers excellently can create what we call “raving fans”. These are the people who are so enamoured by your business that they spread the word wherever they go (how’s that for free marketing!)
That being said, building trust is going to go a long way in establishing more sales and long-term business from these customers.
Trust allows the following:
- Creates loyalty to the brand
- Improves and increases sales
- It establishes credibility
Why great customer service?
You need to improve your customer service for the good of your business and future growth. Good customer service is essential because:
- It adds value to your business and your customers
- Great experiences can encourage repeat purchases or upsells
- It helps to keep your business doors open
Here are 10 no-fuss ways to improve your customer service
Receiving feedback from your customers is a sure-fire way to help you improve business strategy. Firstly, you want to know what’s working and more importantly, what needs to be improved.
Some businesses do this through a survey and others request customers to rate their service where 1 is the lowest rating and 5 the highest. Some also do so by simply asking the customer to check off the happy or sad face.
Ensure that customer complaint are dealt with quickly and effectively. One should consider complaints an opportunity to convert someone from angry to impressed.
And turning a tense situation around where you leave the customer smiling is one of the best ways to create fierce loyalty.
As part of an ongoing effort to improve your customer service, you can also start improving communication.
Do you know that frustrating feeling when you’ve called a place to sort a problem and the agent says they will get back to you but they never do? That’s exactly the type of thing you want to avoid.
Instead, improve communications by training your staff and setting deadlines to revert to customers about enquiries or complaints.
More ways to improve interaction and communications are by:
- Being a better listener
- Providing a hassle-free solution to a problem
- Doing follow-ups after the problem is solved
This is a common and very lucrative way to improve your customer support. If you under-promise what you can deliver to your customer but instead you deliver way ahead of time, then that’s going to please them.
We’re not saying that you should devalue your goods or services, but never make promises you cannot keep.
Example: You promise to have goods shipped and delivered by Thursday the following week, but instead, the goods are ready for delivery by Monday. Your customer will be pleased with the “faster” turn-around-time.
Customer service is undoubtedly a human function. Despite the invention of auto-bots and messaging auto-responders, at some point, the client wants to deal with a human being.
Keeping your team motivated is as important as keeping a good relationship with your customers. Notice when your staff members are doing well and excelling in improved customer service and reward them for this.
You can have an “employee of the month/quarter” wall, which could also be topped with a little gift to say thank you.
The more your staff members feel positive, appreciated, and motivated to do their best, the better they will represent your business.
Business isn’t always predictable. You will have your angry customers and those who need to raise their opinion as well as those who need their complaints heard. In every situation, you need to apply the correct approach.
You need to please your customers and like we’ve said before offering them a solution to their problem. Some businesses even go a step further by giving the customer a discount, or a free product for their troubles.
Everybody uses social media in some way or the other, most people do. To show that you’re human and to help build trust and solid relationships with customers, you need to start getting active online.
Whether reviews are bad or good, show your communication by interacting with reviews. You can also keep your customers informed through these social networks.
One of the worst things that can happen to an already upset client is having to repeat their story to several different people. To solve this, find a way to keep the same sales representatives to deal with the same customers until the problem is solved.
This strategy will also help sales personnel to familiarise themselves with the customer’s problem and be able to solve it better. In contrast to this, every time a new sales representative deals with a new customer, he/she has to become familiar with the situation and try to find a solution. This ultimately is very time-consuming and inefficient.
For some business owners, this list of policies may have been written many years ago and naturally could be forgotten. It’s always good to go back and check what the policies say and whether you and your team are keeping in line.
Another bad thing to happen is that a customer “preaches” your business policies to you and you have no idea what they mean. Also, review the policies to see if there is any way you could improve them for business.
We cannot stress it enough about how valuable a customer is to a business so try to do something nice for them. Reward them for their loyalty and support. Rewards for customers can come in the form of discounts, bonus items or something worthwhile. Who doesn’t like a freebie?
Be creative and think of ways to incentivise client without necessarily costing you money.
Training your staff is another important way to improve your customer service. It is annoying when staff members don’t know what they’re doing. A customer in a hurry may not be patient to wait until the staff member “gets it together” and works out how the system works.
Instead, train your staff before setting them off into the world of potential and current customers. You also want them to know these important points:
- How to approach the customer
- The best ways to solve problems
- How to deal with an angry customer
- Staff need to know the products and services like the back of their hand
Another excellent thing you want to instil into your team is how to close a sale, without being pushy.
Consider your customer’s feelings: Just as you would feel badly in a negative situation, consider the way they are feeling if they weren’t given a fair deal.
Be informed: The more you know about your customers, the more you can improve your customer support on all levels throughout your business.
Don’t resort to lies if you don’t know better: You should never be tempted to lie about something in business as a cover-up; this will be bad if the truth came out. Rather admit if you are unsure of something and get back to the client when you know better.
The takeaway on how to improve customer service
As digital marketers, we’re extremely passionate about helping business owners find and attract new clients to their business. We believe in the power that social media holds to help pretty much every business to grow and increase profits.
However, we have no control over how good your products and services are, nor how you treat your customers.
It remains clear that to run a successful business, you need to think beyond just attaining new customers. Instead, you need to think about the long run, how you can keep existing clients loyal to your brand.
In the same way, you must also think of how you can continue to grow your business through their support.
As we have already mentioned, the customer is the business’ biggest asset. Finding ways to improve your customer service will not only improve business, but it will also help to keep your customers happy.
Are you implementing these easy ways to improve your customer service? Tell us how it’s going.
Are you obsessed with using Social Media to grow your business?
Follow us on social media for FREE digital marketing advice to take your marketing to the next level.