Good customer service is the cornerstone of any business; it helps create the right impression and encourages repeat business, helping your business to grow and prosper. Good customer service turns your customers into unpaid ambassadors for your business, and recommendations based on good customer service are worth more than any amount of paid advertising.
1. Always treat your customers as you would wish to be treated yourself.
They are spending money with you. That means you need to make them feel valued at every point of contact with your business: whether it be on-line, via verbal telecommunications, or face-to-face. Remaining polite, helpful, and friendly whilst also professional,will make your customers feel that you and your business care enough to serve them well and will therefore come back to you time and time again.
2. Know your subject, service or product thoroughly, so that when questions are asked about any aspect of it either you, or whoever is representing your business, can respond in an efficient and informed manner.
If you cannot answer a question find someone who can and refer it to them immediately and ensure that the answer reaches the customer as soon as possible. Double-check to see that it has been followed up. Such follow-up contact with a customer, ensuring they are happy, will go a long way to building your reputation as a caring business. Keeping in contact with your customers periodically through newsletters or phone calls,once a month can help build a good strong business relationship which help to will serve you well in the long run.
3. Ensure that customers can contact you easily in several ways.
Have your contact details clearly available on letter-headings, email footers, advertisements, fliers, and your website. Offer several methods of contact – remember that one type does not necessarily suit everyone, so offer a choice from telephone contact, email, live chat, forums, as well as a postal address for letters. Once your contact methods are in place, make sure they work. Ensure inquiries and complaints are dealt with in a swift and timely manner by people who are capable of dealing with them, and monitor the progress of ongoing issues. Dealing with something early on often prevents it becoming a bigger problem which has the potential to cause damage to your business’ reputation.
As your business grows you may find the need for an integrated system to manage contacts with your customers. Customer relationship management strategies can be developed to cover all aspects from initial contact to sales, support, troubleshooting, ongoing service, repeat sales and so on. There are many types of software that can handle this for you: the benefit to your business is that every contact with a given customer is recorded and cross-referenced, thus giving a complete picture of your current and historical business relationship with that customer. CRM systems can make your business more efficient and cost-effective, maintain good contacts and keep the standard of your customer service high, aid you in processing new business leads and opportunities, and help your business to grow and prosper.
This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.