How to Provide Stellar Customer Service
No matter what business you are in, providing outstanding customer service is one of the most powerful keys to your success.
Just look at the stats.
About 70% of customers will pay more money for a product or service if the customer service is good. Given how expensive it is to acquire a new customer, that’s a big deal. And knowing that increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can result in a 25% to a 95% profit rise should have everyone focused on improving customer service.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of such great service that it makes you want to do business with them over and over again. If you are like me, you’ll tell anyone who will listen about those times where the company went far beyond your expectations. But that’s not just because I am in the business of promotional products and hyper-focus on customer service. 87% of people who have a good customer service experience will share their experience with others.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true, too.
Where the customer service is poor, you vow never to purchase from that company again – and you tell even more people about your bad experience. And that’s not just me. 95% of those customers who have a bad experience will tell others about it.
But it’s not just about what customers are sharing. More than 50% of people who receive less than stellar customer service complete a purchase. And it takes just one negative experience for more than half of customers to switch to a competitor.
So, just how do you ensure your customer service stands head and shoulders above the rest?
Here are 6 key factors to providing exceptional customer service:
- Expertise. Today’s buyers are more knowledgeable than ever before. Before making a decision to buy a product or service, chances are they’ve already done their homework. That means that when they contact your business, they’re more likely to have some very specific questions in mind that will help them make that final decision. The last thing they need is to call and talk to someone who knows less about the product or service than they do. Ensuring your staff knows your products and services inside and out will not only help your clients make a decision – it will also reassure them that you know what you are doing.
- Listen. Customer service is all about treating your clients as the integral part of your business that they are. Being able to do that also involves actively listening to your client and understanding what they need before offering a solution. Listening involves not only hearing the words that are being said but also the tone in which it is said. Where possible, it includes watching for non-verbal cues that often speak volumes. Sometimes, a client just needs to feel like they’ve been heard and acknowledged – you may not be able to resolve their issue, but because you listened they will appreciate whatever effort you put in.
- Respect. One of the easiest things in the world is to be courteous and respectful to others. There will be times when a customer is unhappy and may take it out on you or your staff. Don’t let your emotions overpower you as you try to resolve the issue – your composure and courtesy will go a long way to how they feel about the overall situation whether or not you are able to find a solution. Understand that often, clients who provide negative feedback actually care – after all, that’s why they’re providing the feedback. Turning their experience around can not only increase profits but lead to a ton of good will.
- Responsive. Whether your client walks into your store, sends an email or calls you on the phone, they are expecting to be acknowledged in a timely manner. Many customer service complaints revolve around how long it takes to get a response back or tales of their requests going into a black hole. Establish guidelines as to how quickly emails or calls should be returned, what is your escalation process, etc. The clock is ticking in your client’s mind – don’t let it go too long or they will take their business elsewhere.
- Appreciation. Saying “thank you for your business” is becoming a lost art form. If you want to be known for your exceptional customer service, take time to thank your clients on a regular basis. When we support those words with a physical representation of our thanks, our expression of gratitude will go a long way. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should be in a way that makes them feel special. At Wearable Imaging, this is something that we do really well – helping our clients find the best ways to thank their clients not just in words but through something more memorable and impactful – promotional products.
- Feedback. Feedback is an important way to help you understand what your clients think of your products or services. Don’t just ask for feedback – use it to affirm what your client has experienced. Then take it to improve that customer experience and take your business to the next level.
Exceptional customer service is key to building a successful business. I’d love to help you create a plan to do just that. Give us a call at 949-888-7837 or email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to set up a complimentary strategy session with you.
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