It's not as hard as you might think to make your business stand out in the crowded world of commerce. And you don't have to slash your prices to ridiculously low levels to do it.
A study done a few years ago revealed that only 7 percent of consumers report having customer service experiences with companies that have exceeded their expectations. 7 percent!
That means there aren't many businesses out there going above and beyond for their customers. So if you can improve customer service, you can easily gain an advantage over other businesses.
Do you want to improve customer service within your business? Check out 10 tips for improving your company's customer service skills below.
1. Answer the Phone When Your Customers Call
Unfortunately, there are tons of businesses these days who are greeting their customers with an automated recording when they call.
This frustrates those who just want to speak with a real person, especially if a business makes it difficult to track down someone through their phone system.
When you pick up the phone during business hours and greet your customers, it'll go a long way towards making them feel like they're important. It'll also allow them to address problems or ask questions more easily.
Discover more about how answering the phone can help a business to see the benefits of doing it.
2. Learn to Listen to the Needs of Your Customers Better
When someone calls your business and starts to tell you about a problem they're having, you should steer clear of immediately trying to fix whatever issue they're experiencing.
Rather than jumping right in and saying what you think might be wrong, you should allow the customer to talk and express themselves before you respond. You should take that time to really hear what they're saying to you.
This will show the customer that you care enough to hear what they have to say.
3. Avoid Responding to Complaints About Your Business Negatively
Many business owners get very defensive with customers who have complaints. They end up arguing with customers rather than helping them fix the problem they're having.
Avoid negativity at all costs when conversing with a customer. Instead, take a positive and proactive approach to dealing with complaints.
A customer might be angry at first when they call you. But once they see you're genuinely interested in trying to assist them, they'll be more likely to forgive you for whatever went wrong with your product or service in the first place.
It'll increase the chances of them coming back to you again in the future.
4. Make the Complaints From Your Customers a Priority
If a customer does have a complaint about a product or service you provided for them, don't put off dealing with it.
You should spring into action right away and make them feel like their business is important to you. By making them a priority and pushing them to the top of the list, you'll show them that you care about whatever complaint they had.
The longer you put off dealing with a customer's complaint, the less chance you have of earning their trust back.
5. Keep Any Promises You Make to Your Customers
If you tell a customer you're going to do something, make sure you do it.
Breaking a promise is probably the easiest way to lose a customer. You can improve customer service simply by sticking to your word and not breaking it for any reason.
6. Be Nice to People Even When It Won't Benefit You Immediately
Far too often, a person will pop into a business to ask for directions or use the bathroom and get turned away.
On the surface, you might not think anything of this. They weren't coming to you to buy a product or service anyway, so who cares how you treated them?
Don't look at it like that. Instead, looking at a random pop-in like this as an opportunity to be nice to someone and potentially earn their business in the future.
You might be surprised to see that same person pop back into your business in a week or two to repay you for your act of kindness.
7. Tell Your Customers How Much You Appreciate Their Business
Every single time you speak with a customer, whether on the phone or in your business, you should tell them how much you appreciate them calling on your company.
You can't say 'thank youâ€ enough to your customers. So make it a point to say 'thank youâ€ and 'we appreciate your businessâ€ any chance you get.
8. Give Customers Free Promotional Products
People enjoy getting things for free. It makes them feel like they're important.
If you don't have promotional products already, you should order some now and start handing them out to your most loyal customers.
From pens and sticky notes to T-shirts and hats, there are so many promo products available. They'll allow you to say thanks to customers and help you brand your business at the same time.
9. Always Ask Your Customers If There's Any Other Way You Can Help Them
'Is there anything else I can do for you?â€ is a question you should ask to your customers early and often.
This will let your customers know that you're there for them if they need anything else.
Even if they don't need anything at the moment, they'll feel more comfortable coming back to you later for assistance if they need it.
10. Provide Customer Service Training for Your Employees
In addition to making every effort to improve customer service on your own, you should also bring your employees into the mix.
They might not feel quite as compelled to be nice to customers as a business owner does. But with the right customer service training courses, you can show them how you expect them to treat customers.
Your employees are usually your first line of defense when it comes to dealing with customers. Make sure they do their part to improve customer service.
Improve Customer Service and See Real Results Today
When you improve customer service in your business, you will see more and more customers return to you in the future. It'll lead to more sales and give your business a better reputation in your community.
Improving customer service is also just one of the many ways you can go about building up your business.