Most companies start with a passion for a certain product or service. Entrepreneurs dream of doing what they love all day, which usually means creating something or doing something. From homemade jewelry to car repair, marketing, and anything else you can imagine, starting a business starts with passion.
That passion probably doesn’t include customer service. It’s just something that comes with the territory.
Although you may not dream of answering customer questions and planning how you’re going to deal with refunds, these are important things to consider. After all, it’s your customers that are responsible for keeping you in business!
That means providing them with outstanding service, but how?
Offer the Right Deals at the Right Time
All customers and clients love getting a good deal. It’s commonplace for businesses to provide sales and coupons throughout the year, but knowing when to offer those sales is equally as important.
For example, the largest shopping day in history took place on Cyber Monday with carriers shipping items all over the country in record numbers. If you want to take advantage of the biggest shopping day of the year, it’s a good idea to make sure you send out coupons, sales, and inform customers of special deals before the big day arrives.
Don’t forget about your loyal customers! Not only do people like to think they’re getting a good deal, they also like to feel like they’re receiving special treatment. Send out special sales on birthdays, important anniversaries, and as a thank-you for their latest purchase.
Make It Easy for Customers to Get in Touch
You have to learn how to communicate better with your customers. That can be complicated. It’s better to start simple, which means making it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch with you.
Ways your customers should be able to get a hold of you include:
- On the phone
- Through email
- Through your website
- On social media
If you really want to go above and beyond, create a mobile app with a quick and easy way to get in touch with your team. Online chat is a good idea, as is text messaging.
Then, make sure you respond in a timely manner. Instant communication is best, but make sure you respond within at least 24 business hours.
Take Customer Feedback to Heart
Customer reviews and feedback are more than just a way for people to vent their frustrations or sing the praises of particular companies. They’re also a great way for companies to grow.
Customer feedback is crucial to your business because it’s an opportunity to show customers and clients that you care about what they have to say, and you’re willing to take their advice. Companies that are responsive and speak directly to customers about their concerns tend to develop a stronger following.
Not to mention, listening to customer feedback can ensure you design products and services that they actually want!
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Do you remember how you felt when your pizza was supposed to be there in 30 minutes, but it took 45 minutes instead? You probably weren’t too happy.
What if the pizza delivery man said he’d be there in an hour, but showed up in 45 minutes? Either way, he got there at the same time, but you probably felt better about him being early rather than late.
It’s a good idea to under promise and over deliver. That way, your customers are always pleasantly surprised, and never unpleasantly disappointed.
Never Outsource Customer Service
As your business grows, you’ll probably be tempted to outsource at least a portion of your customer service. There are pros and cons to outsourcing customer service, but the negatives far outweigh the benefits, especially if you have a small or medium-sized business.
Foreign call centers are especially bad, but domestic call centers can be just as horrible. The people answering the phone don’t have an in-depth knowledge about you or your business, which usually leads to a less than stellar customer service experience.
Instead, keep your customer service in-house. It may mean hiring a full-time customer service crew and spending more on extensive training, but your relationship with your customers will remain intact.
Don’t leave your customers’ happiness to chance. By making sure they’re happy, you can bank on them returning to your business time and time again. The tips on this list will ensure you have the kind of customer service your clients want to brag about!