Customer service is one of a company’s greatest assets, yet it is often overlooked when budgets are being allocated. But when you have frustrated customers experiencing problems, they can quickly become ex-customers if their concerns aren’t listened to and resolved well. Then, they spread the word with bad reviews and complaints to friends and family. These situations can easily be avoided by investing in your customer service department. Follow these steps to make sure your customer service is on point (whether you have a company or are in business on your own)!
1. Caring comes first
That doesn’t just mean lip service like saying “I care about your problem.” It means actually caring, and hiring people who care. Customers should always feel like you truly want to solve their problem and aren’t just dismissing them or rushing through the interaction.
2. Don’t make them wait too long
Maybe that means hiring extra support staff, but it’s worth it if customers don’t have to listen to hold music for 10 minutes.
3. Deliver high-quality products that don’t cause problems in the first place
Obviously there will always be misunderstandings, mistakes, and concerns, but if people are complaining about fundamental problems in your product, take that feedback and use it to innovate and improve.
4. Emphasize helpfulness when the customer is right, and calmness when they’re wrong
The phrase “The customer is always right” is simply untrue, but either way, understanding is key. Explaining their issue in a patient and rational way that doesn’t make them feel stupid will go a long way.
5. Problems happen
Don’t charge extra fees when they do. If a customer has received a broken or malfunctioning product, fix it or replace it. If you want the product returned, provide return shipping labels. If you have a local business like computer or appliance sales, provide a technician to diagnose and fix the issue free of charge. Make it easy for the customer to get their issue resolved and have a great opinion of your business.
6. Focus on retaining customers, not just acquiring them
Current customers should be valued just as much (or more) than potential new ones. Repeat business results in loyal customers who give you free marketing!
Need a business loan as you expand your customer service team? Contact IRC Commercial Lending today!