What Makes For Good Customer Service?

What Makes For Good Customer Service?

In all walks of life, your reputation is important – and this goes double for the world of business.

If customers come to know your business as unhelpful, unfriendly, or otherwise associate you with poor customer service, you may find that they start to leave and look for better treatment elsewhere.

So what can you do to ensure that customers always feel well looked after when they deal with you? In this post, we’re going to look at some quick-fire tips to help you look after your loyal shoppers.

Get some feedback

If you want to know how well you’re doing with your customers, the simplest thing to do in the first instance is simply to ask them.

There are many ways to go about this, but one common strategy is to ask customers to fill out a quick survey or leave a review at the end of their transaction. 

As management expert Peter Drucker once said, you can’t optimise what you can’t measure – so getting some data on where you’re currently at is a great place to start.

And if customers are highlighting the same issues time and again in their responses, you’ll know what to work on right away. 

Build great relationships

Of course, it’s not just about the immediate experience you have with your customers.

Getting to know your customers and understanding their needs and preferences is a vital part of ensuring they return again and again – and you can start building those relationships right away.

And most people don’t like to spend a lot of energy shopping around if they already have a go-to retailer or provider. Most of us are pretty happy to just keep using the same services if we’re not put off by bad customer service. 

From simply thanking them for their business or following up with a quick ‘thank you’ email, the key is to remember the relationship that you’re building with your customers, and to always be doing your best to think about the customer not just in terms of today, but also tomorrow.

After all, if you treat them well you can potentially enjoy their patronage not just right now, but also next month, next year, and in ten years’ time. 

Set consistent policies

In some situations, it can be more important than anything else to have a consistent approach to dealing with your customers.

If your staff don’t have clear guidelines as to what they are and are not supposed to say and offer, your customers may become frustrated that they never know what to expect.

For example, what is your policy on refunds (beyond your legal obligations, that is)? What is the policy for dealing with complaints? If a customer makes a mistake that costs the business money, how do you handle it?

These things happen – and if you don’t take the time to spell out what your company policy is for x, y and z scenarios, your staff may just end up winging it when certain situations arise. And in that case, you can’t really blame them if you haven’t told them what to do. 

Invest in your customer service team

There is no doubt that a lot of customer service has become automated and outsourced. This can be a great way to save money and can even mean that you can save yourself the effort of having to do any follow-up yourself – but it does mean that your customers may not always get the best service, or feel as though you have their best interests at heart.

Everybody has had the experience of ringing a business to ask for special help with some matter or other, only to be given the runaround between different departments, left waiting listening to muzak, and finally put through to somebody thousands of miles away who couldn’t sound less interested in your query if they tried.

So what’s the takeaway? Simple – make sure you invest properly in well-trained and motivated customer service professionals, and don’t be tempted to cut costs. It may save you a few pennies right now, but it’ll cost you down the line when your customers get fed up of not being heard and take their business elsewhere.

If you really want to keep your customers happy, you’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is and invest in your customer service team. 

At the end of the day, providing customer service is an ongoing process that involves every public-facing member of your team.

Every single customer interaction is an opportunity to impress them with your diligence, your attention to their needs, and your care over small details. Customers certainly notice and appreciate it when you take them seriously – and they will reward you by returning with their business time and time again.

Blue Box Business