It’s time to assess your business’s customer service. Is your business doing all it can for your customers and is your business customer friendly? These are hard questions to answer objectively, and honestly. The challenge is that many business owners are doing the best they can with the resources they have at their disposal and the task of meeting customer demands is a huge cost that’s non-negotiable. Customers will go somewhere else if they’re unhappy with the service they’re getting and this puts many business owners in a no-win situation.
As this year winds down, and another year is looming now is a good time to reassess your customer service initiatives.
Review Your Customer Service Efforts
Here are some tips to point you in the right direction in 2017:
• Customer needs – Keep in mind that many customers today are living paycheck to paycheck. As a result, offering specials, especially for long-time customers etc. is a good way to keep their business for years to come. While you do not have to rob yourself of pending sales and revenue, adding initiatives like rewards programs and the like can go a long way with customers;
• Customer convenience – How many times have you been out and about looking to purchase an item, only to find that credit cards or checks were not accepted? Yes, while many people still pay for merchandise these days with cash, many others want the convenience of using credit and debit cards, checks etc. When it comes to accepting customer payments, go out of your way to make convenience a top priority. Remember, customers have a platitude of choices available to them in 2016, so make it easy for them choose you;
• Customer expectations – Whether you have been in business for a number of years or are just starting out in the business world, customer expectations are always a challenge. Service is really the most important thing you can give them. Yes, deals are important, especially in today’s challenging economy. That said it is the level of service provided that determines whether they stay or go elsewhere.
The best way to understand the level of service your customers require is to put yourself in your customers shoes. How do you like to be treated as a customer? Do the businesses you deal with treat you with first-class service? Do you get upset at times that your needs are not being met? Would you like to change the way some businesses you work with operate? By meeting customer expectations, you give your business a much better chance of being successful.
Stay on Top of Technology
Although you personally might be a little green when it comes to technology, make sure your business is up to speed with it. Why might you ask is this important? Keep in mind that more and more customers are turning to their mobile devices to browse goods and services, and ultimately make purchases with them. As a result, your business needs to be where customers are at and mobile commerce is it. If you have been slow to come up with a company app, and proceed with mobile marketing etc. you should definitely change that thinking in the New Year. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing a potential batch of customers, many of whom will simply go elsewhere for their goods and services.
Lastly, always be looking at how your business can push the envelope. What are some ways technology can further bolster your business? How can you make the customer experience even better? What ideas do your employees have that would help these areas of concern? For the business man or woman in today’s business world, meeting customer needs and expectations is critical. If you don’t, you will find your competition more than likely doing so.