How to offer excellent customer service
Customer service is the backbone of any company, which is why it is extremely important that it is always of high quality. Bad customer service can severely contribute to the downfall of a business, but that being said, how can businesses offer excellent customer service that contributes to the quality of a business?
This piece will discuss some of the ways in which a business can offer excellent customer service to ensure happy and returning customers and why this is important!
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the transaction between a customer purchasing a product or service, and the business the product or service is from. Customer service is essentially the face of the brand and ideally operates under the ethos of a business.
That being said, customer service has taken on many new roles over the years, including dealing with customer queries, handling complaints, and also assisting customers in finding what they need, ensuring they have a satisfactory experience.
Why is Customer Service Important?
Great customer service is extremely important to businesses, as not only does customer service represent a whole brand, but it is also one of the main reasons customers return.
It has been suggested that loyal, returning customers are, on average, responsible 20 to 40% of total revenue amongst stable businesses, which means retaining customers can be vital to the success of a business.
Returning customers are also much more likely to tell others about the business, and essentially behave as a walking endorsement, which can do wonders for bringing in new customers. Interestingly, customers are also happy to pay as much as 17% more for a product or service from a company that has offered brilliant customer service.
So how do you do this?
Excellent Customer Service and Friendliness
Friendliness is one of the most important factors when it comes to customer service, as being friendly makes customers feel more comfortable. This can bode well for those who need to ask questions, need to ask for help, or just feel comfortable going around the store and, in turn, result in a sale. Sales staff are more likely to be chosen for their friendliness rather than their sales experience, so for those who work based on commission, everyone benefits from a warm smile!
Excellent Customer Service and Prompt Responses
Another important aspect of customer service is definitely the timing in which queries and contact is answered. Customers can be put off if the phone does not get answered, or they get a delayed message to their query, which could delay or even stop them from making a purchase.
This is more common for those inquiring about services and wanting to make the right choice. For businesses who often have the need for an on-site receptionist, when it comes to customer service, the switch to a virtual receptionist might be the more beneficial move.
The benefits of having a virtual receptionist can far outweigh an on-site one when it comes to customer service. Using an affordable answering service means the business can be assured that there will always be a capable, friendly, and knowledgeable person answering the phone at any time.
Virtual receptionists can be trained and briefed on how businesses would like calls to be answered, or queries handled so that no matter who answers the phone, the customer gets a seamless, on-brand experience every time.
Excellent Customer Service and Knowing What You Are Selling
When it comes to customer service, knowing your product or service inside out can go a long way to enhancing customer service. Customers rely on businesses to be experts in their field and to be able to guide them to make the right choices based on what they would like the outcome to be.
Knowing the products not only means staff are able to explain in great detail the key features and comparisons of different products so customers can make an informed choice, but it also means if customers have a technical issue or a fault with the product, staff will know how to advise them or will be able to troubleshoot the issue for them.
Excellent Customers Service and Listening to Customers
An often overlooked but critical part of customer service is listening to customers’ feedback.
Is there something that keeps cropping up that can be changed quickly? Is there something that can be implemented in the future to respond to customers? Customers are one of the main reasons a business stays open, so use the feedback to keep businesses relevant, stay up to date with the latest trends, what the people who actually use the products have to say about features, and what small (or big) improvements could really make a difference.
When customers feel heard, they feel valued, and valued customers become loyal, returning customers, ready to promote the business naturally.
Excellent Customer Service and Saying Thank You
Saying thank you to your customers can go a long way. Consumers are under no obligation to spend their money on your products or services, so when they do part with their hard-earned cash, a ‘thank you’ can be a sincere message.
There are a few ways businesses can say thank you, and depending on the size or time available, the more personal they can be, the better. A handwritten note is great at showing gratitude, and also reminding consumers there is a real person behind the business that they are helping.
Offering special discounts is another brilliant way to say thank you to returning customers as a token of the business’s appreciation. One of the best times to include a discount is immediately after a purchase, as this says both “thank you for this purchase, here is a token of our gratitude” to also encouraging another purchase in the future.
Including a little extra in the package to say thank you will be sure to brighten up someone’s day and takes minimal effort on the business’s part. These little extras do not have to cost much at all. Some candy or even branded pens and promotional goods that are useful can be a great way to say thank you and also further the brand. After all – who does not love a free pen!