Customers are the backbone of every business – they need to be treated properly; fail to do this, and you’ll end up filling your competition’s pocket. Whatever kind of business you’re in, you can rest assured that there is more than one of you and excelling at customer service is a key factor in obtaining and retaining clientele.
It Breeds Loyalty
The most useful way of classifying customers is into first-timers and returning customers. While attracting new clients should always be among your primary objectives, so should keeping them coming back time and time again.
The main difference between a first-timer and a returning customer is the factor of loyalty. The former will be more squeamish about making large purchases the first time ‘round, while a loyal customer will know that they’ve come to the right place.
So, how do you turn a first-timer into a returning customer? Simply put, loyalty. And how do you inspire loyalty? With fantastic customer service!
Good Customer Service means Starting at the Top
For some reason, many entrepreneurs consider customer service something best left to their employees or for the customer support department. In truth, customer service should start with upper management and stretch throughout every part and level of your business, but more importantly, good customer service starts with you. Why you? Well, you are a business owner – your intent is to pitch something to the general public in hope that they’ll buy your product/service; your duty is to inspire your employees to be more like you, because the company with a shared agenda is the only proper company. Additionally, you can’t really treat your staff poorly and then expect them to excel at customer service.
Make sure that you spend time talking to your clients; seal some deals every now and then; this will give your company what it needs the most – a face.
Do not Avoid Technology
Whether you like it or not, if you want your business to thrive, you’ll have to make the most out of the modern technology. New ideas that can be used to improve customer service are blooming on an everyday basis.
Firstly, businesses can now seamlessly provide their website visitors with entire sections solely dedicated to customer service; instructional videos, inspirational videos, Q&A sections, live chat you name it!
Of course, the website isn’t the only part of your company that should feature customer support. There are many unique modern ideas out there; for example, Office HQ is a company that offers virtual receptionist service, which makes sure that someone is always there to answer your company’s phone, even when no one is in.
Don’t forget that there is no better way of learning what needs improvement than from customer surveys and the Internet has made this part very easy. Just send them a friendly survey on customer satisfaction and gather the necessary data.
Using Customer Service to Stand Out from Competition
Let’s face it, your product is probably neither the cheapest nor the highest in terms of quality – it is likely mid-range and solid and this is great; the majority of stuff sold is mid-range and solid or worse. Of course, exactly owing to the fact that the majority of stuff sold is mid-range and solid, you will be in a sea of similar peers and one of the best ways to stand out is to provide a top-of-the-line customer service. Of course, maintaining a quality product is without a doubt important, but it is the experience that your customers will remember.
An entrepreneur has a lot on their mind at every moment, but they should under no circumstances ignore customer service. It will breed loyalty among your clients and make you stand out from the competition, but keep in mind that quality customer service starts with you and that you should embrace the technological advancements!