Use the 5 Keys to Customer Service to deliver great experiences and create repeat customers.
Customer Service is something that many of us expect as a customer so it is especially important that we deliver exceptional service when interacting with our clients.
In the past week, I have had a number of interactions with other companies and vendors – and the ones with truly exceptional service made an impact. As a customer, we are more likely to trust the information that we receive, believe in the quality of the product, and look forward to interacting with the company again in the future.
- Yes, repeat customers are happy customers.
- Yes, repeat customers are great ambassadors of our brand.
- Yes, repeat customers can be our greatest source of revenue.
So why do so many companies focus on delivering just on price alone? It is time to separate ourselves and deliver what our customers are truly lacking. Let’s take the 5 Key actions to deliver great customer service and make our first customers repeat customers!
5 Keys to Great Customer Service
#1 – Be Consistent
During the various phase of the sales, it is extremely important that the experience each customer receives is consistent across the process - regardless of which employee they interact with. When we think of a lot of small businesses, it is the owner who is the main person interacting with clients and potential sales opportunities. Extend the sales process to incorporate all staff and ensure that staff are trained and capable to deliver the company product knowledge and experience. This ensures that even if the primary sales person is unavailable, you are able to deliver your product or service to resolve a problem the customer has when they are ready to buy.
#2 – Deliver what you promise
When we set expectations it is very important that we deliver what was promised. Integrity in your words and actions will ensure that you can be trusted. You clients may not voice it, but when you actually keep your word, the action is registered and helps to continue to build a powerful relationship with them.
#3 – Keep the customer informed
Many of us take for granted that the sales process or service workflow of our business is proceeding as planned. This is a great opportunity to share this process with our customers and let them know what step has been completed and what they can expect next. If you are delivering a product, let them know when their product has been processed or sent for delivery. If you are providing a service, let them know what stage they are in and what will happen next. Give them something to look forward to. Also, if there is an issue or delay, let the customer know as soon as you have an expectation for when and how it will be resolved. None of us like waiting and not knowing what is going on – and neither does your customer. Take the opportunity to keep them informed.
#4 – Define what sets you apart
What makes your company special? For starters, using the 5 Keys to Great Customer Service defined here is a great start. There are so many companies that do not do these simple things. Sit down with a blank piece of paper and come up with some creative ways to be “different” from the other companies in your industry. Is it a special token or customer service follow-up after the transaction? Is it your openness and excellent communication? Is it your quick turn-around? Define what sets you apart and ensure that it is part of your training, processes and all interactions with your customers.
#5 – Love your customers
Sounds cheesy, I know. Yet looking at it very simply, if you truly care and want the best for your customers, your genuine attitude will be easily picked up by them. I’m not talking about those savvy salesmen out there (think of the stereotypical movie used car salesman), who will lie and manipulate the client for just getting the sale. I mean, understanding what your client needs and offering the products and solutions that will satisfy that need.
It may mean a smaller sale at the beginning, but with delivering excellent customer service, you’ll be able to offer them the larger ticket-priced items at a later opportunity. Through a positive sales experience the customer will be primed to buy again at a later date. Essentially, you’ve planted the branding seed…
5 Keys to Great Customer Service in Action
Just this past week I had the opportunity to observe these best practices with a few companies where I am a customer. Here are some examples of the 5 Keys to Great Customer Service in action:
a) At my local natural products store I recently put in a request for a product that was out of inventory. I actually forgot that I had done this. So when the store called me this week to say that the weekly order had come in, but my particular product was on backorder, they apologized and stated that they would ensure that my order was placed again for the next cycle.
They delivered what they promised (called me about my order). They kept me informed (on the status and next steps). And they were consistent in their approach and tone.
b) A SEO company that I have a business listing with called me right before I had a client meeting. I asked that they call me a specific time later that day when I would be available to take their call uninterrupted. …
They called at exactly that time (deliver what they promised). They were passionate about their company and how they could make my company better (love their customers).
So, when have you received great customer service? How can you apply these key steps to your business? Tell us an experience that you had…
To your success,