Gone are the times when it didn’t matter so much if a few customers got upset or had issues.
There was always a queue behind them. Although bad news has always travelled faster than good news, it used to travel a lot slower and reach a lot less people than it does today.
Now there’s a constant hum of people spreading the word on the internet. Mostly, it’s the bad news and complaints that speed around the globe. Sure, good news travels too, but certainly not in the same quantity or with such relish.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that you provide exceptional customer service.
When do you start providing this exceptional service? Sometimes even before the sale, certainly during the sale, and equally important (but often neglected) after the sale.
You’ll want to make sure your customers are elated with the service or product you provided. The after-sales service is most likely what your customers will remember. This is what will bring them back again, and have them bringing their friends along too.
What are some of the things that make for great customer service?
1. Be accessible
Make sure you are available and accessible to your customers. As well as being someone who can listen, ensure you can also provide a solution. If there are gaps in your products or services, make sure you can refer your customers to someone who DOES have the solution.
2. Strive for consistency
If you want to keep your customers coming back make sure you’ve got systems in place to provide a consistent customer experience. This give will your team a track to follow so that everything is done with consistency. Your clients will know what to expect, they’ll come back for what they expect and know they’ll get.
3. Understand the value of your clients
Do you understand the difference between the value of a sale happening now, versus the life value of that customer? If you own the company and you don’t know, how can you expect your team to know? They won’t. And this can be costly. Be very careful you don’t compromise the lifetime value of your customer for a one-off fix.
4. Sort your database
Your database is your own personal goldmine. If you keep it up-to-date, alive and well, it will be one of the most valuable tools your business has. It will enable you to regularly be in contact with the people who’ve bought from you, and those you want to do business with. Fully utilized and with an effective communication strategy, you’ll be able to strengthen relationships with every name on the list.
(As the ultimate bonus … a business with a well-functioning and up-to-date database is infinitely more saleable than a business without one.)
5. Keep in touch
Just because you’ve made a sale doesn’t mean that’s the end of the line. Repeat business is the real winner. Here’s where your database comes into its own.
Make sure you’re consistently in touch with your customers. Keep your business top of their minds. This, in conjunction with great after sales service, can make raving advocates out of your customers.
And isn’t that what we really want?