Doing any kind of business means to compete with rivals, provide an appropriate level of quality, manage the team of employees, and other relevant tasks. Though the formula for a successful activity seems quite simple, it has many hidden variables to be considered. It means that to sell a merchandise or service to a customer is not always a victory.
When your client is not satisfied, you will likely lose it and risk saying goodbye to another share of your clientage due to the negative feedback of one individual. It resembles an apple with a small spot of decay. It will come on the entire fruit until you remove it. On this account, customer service acts as a safety vest for your drowning business and a mean to become prosperous.
1. Why Should You Deliver Good Customer Service?
If the introduced analogy with the apple is vague or rather extreme, let’s review the essence of delivering great customer service. For example, a potential customer is looking for a certain merchandise. In our example, that will be a chair. As a rule, there is a limited budget for the purchase. Everything would be rather simple except for an enormous rate of competition on the chairs market. In other words, there are dozens of options for the established budget.
Having filtered the selection by preferences for color, texture, design and other subjective aspects, the customer has to choose from up to five contenders. These finalists have a similar level of versatile essential factors like quality, price, and the compliance with customer’s requirements. The problem of choice is what he or she has to overcome. Now, the ace can be taken out of a sleeve. It refers to providing the excellent customer service.
It is unlikely that a prospect would like to buy a chair from a company with a bit ignorant attitude to clientage and poor level of service. Meanwhile, the company that treats a lead with a decent level of respect and care will be the winner in the described competition for the chair sale.
The shown scenario is a plain showcase of a simple trading activity. At the same time, delivering good customer service can be much more beneficial for any kind of business.
2. How Does It Affect Your Business?
Figures are the best indicator of the importance of customer service within any commercial activity. According to Lireo Designs and a research by Groovv, you will continue a fruitful cooperation with 81% of happy clients. Besides, the increase of customer retention by 5% will result in almost a quarter rise in your profit.
Companies that neglect to keep the existing customers make a huge mistake because attracting new clientage costs up to seven times more. In addition, a frustrated client is a reputation menace. It is especially topical in recent times when a regular individual can be a prominent representative of some social network with thousands of subscribers. Just imagine that one dissatisfied customer can complain about your customer service on Instagram or even via YouTube channel. His or her subscribers will share the publication. Such avalanche of negative reviews may spread like wildfire through the web delivering tremendous consequences to the reputation of your business.
As you see, when a company strives to deliver quality customer service, it cares about not only customer satisfaction but also own reputation and prosperity.
3. Best Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service
I suppose that you are persuaded in the necessity to invest in customer satisfaction. Still, it is necessary to understand what should be done and what measures are useless in such endeavors. The following solutions recommended by Keshav Sridhar from Entrepreneur and Ben Wright from Today’s Local Media disclose how to deliver the excellent customer service.
1) Decent Recruitment
Personnel of your customer service plays a role of an intermediate between the company and the clientage. The higher the level of your staff, the more prosperous your company.
2) Smiles and Greetings
If your employees are not happy, so will be your clientage. Find the balance and make them smile.
3) Employees Equal Customers
Such simple formula explains the necessity to provide satisfaction to both frontline and back areas. If the staff is confident of the top quality of your products or services, they will be sincere with the clientage.
If you like something, you are ready to devote yourself to this activity. Passionate employees are a serious weapon to conquer customer satisfaction.
To get respect and retention from clients, you have to provide counter respect to them first. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
6) Body Language, Voice, and Intonation
In fact, the text to be provided to the customer is secondary since it is much more important the way it will be said. Even an absolute rubbish can seem gold if presented properly. This secret weapon works so take advantage of it.
7) Tea and Sympathy
The customer is always right. This simple idea drives the business further. It is not important to reveal the truth. All you need is to calm down a dissatisfied/frustrated client, make an apology and provide a resolution for some trouble.
8) Listening and Understanding
One of the most vital ways to deliver good customer service is to be attentive and careful to customer’s requirements. Such concepts as “interruption”, “ignorance” and “negligence” must be expelled from the mind of a customer service employee.
The essence of any fruitful servicing is not to find a guilty but to find a solution to the existing trouble. In addition, some alternatives are welcomed to achieve customer’s satisfaction and gain its loyalty.
10) Educating Instead of Hard Selling
An obvious imposing of merchandise or services can scare off prospects. However, if you choose the approach of educating and providing the required information, you will gain trust and, possibly, the customer. No trust means no sale.
11) Educating Staff
In addition to the previously mentioned point, it should be stated that your personnel must possess decent knowledge about products/services offered to clientage. A well-informed representative of the company is the driver of your business.
12) Exceeding Expectations
Is there anyone who would refuse to get a bonus for the purchased merchandise or services? Small presents, discounts, additional services and other small features are highly appreciated by the clientage. Besides, if you exceed customer’s expectations, you will contribute to the company’s reputation.
13) Personal Approach
Not every customer can boast of a VIP status. However, your company can ruin this misbelief. When you show the client’s importance to the company by treating him or her with a special attitude, you will make a step towards a prosperous future.
14) Balance Between Quality and Responsiveness
The company providing quality services fast is any client’s dream. Still, in most cases, something should be sacrificed. On this account, make sure to balance these two aspects not to make your clientage choose between time and quality.
15) Keep Up With The Times
Even the companies with a rather old-fashion attitude to doing business tend to utilize the latest technological advances. Time goes on and it is better to go along rather than lag behind.
16) Try On Customer’s Shoes
The process of customer service looks differently from inside and outside. Since you usually have a one-point perspective, why not to look at the process from the opposite side. Have a customer’s experience and reveal pros and cons of your servicing.
17) Error Correction
Mistakes are the part of any activity. Being impeccable is impossible. Hence, it is a good practice to confirm errors and correct them. Moreover, if you announce you clientage about your achievements of error correction, you may recommit a share of previously lost customers.
18) Long-Term Perspective
A lifelong perspective and rapport with clientage. In fact, the approach is rather good. Besides, the consequences of losing customers have already been mentioned above.
19) Mutual Interaction
A completely satisfied client is a top rate. However, this figure may descend to 80% or even 70%. It means that something in your business can be and should be optimized. Feel free to ask your clientage about their experience and offerings to improve your service.
20) Magic of “Thank You”
Being grateful means being polite. Even a half-satisfied client that hesitates about further rapport with your company can change his/her mind if the phrase “Thank You” sounds with a sincere expression. “If they value me, perhaps, this company deserves a second chance” – may come to mind of your almost lost customer. Do not miss the second chance.
4. Tips for Improving Customer Service
The above-mentioned ways to deliver excellent customer service can become a good foundation for your prosperous business. Meanwhile, something can be done right now. So, never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
A business is a business. Still, customers are regular people with delights, troubles, families, friends and other relevant circumstances that can be either enjoyable or not. A bit informal communication will not ruin your relations but strengthen them instead.
Some issues may require an immediate interaction. Perhaps, it is not convenient for you to do business tasks in your leisure time but customer’s gratitude is worth your efforts.
All your passion and efforts can be expressed in a simple desire to do the best for your client. Show your deepest involvement in the issues and you will gain respect and loyalty of your clientage.
Business is a separate world where the notions of white and black often change their places. Being flexible means to adjust to customer’s demands and find the best solution that would not be injurious to all parties.
5. Examples of Brands with Excellent Customer Service
Have you ever asked yourself how the most prominent brands had achieved such high status? Naturally, such companies as Apple, Hyundai, and John Lewis can boast of top quality products while Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and FishBrain possess thousands or millions of customers satisfied with the rendered services.
Yet, all famous brands are of one accord regarding the customer service. Let’s have a look at those who invest a lot in this notion.
According to The Telegraph, the top three companies for customer service include one retailer giant Amazon, the energy provider Utility Warehouse, and the internet-based retail bank First Direct. The difference of 5.9 ranking points covers 50 companies.
These data show the situation of 2016. At the same time, compared with 2015, First Direct is the only company proving its high and stable status.
To find a decent example of excellent customer service you do not need to review the global rating. Besides, various sources show different information. Still, the essence of the present article is to show the importance of such often-undervalued aspect as customer service. In fact, it can be the key to the next level of your business and successful progress.