Having repeat customers is essential to many businesses. The key to keep clients coming back is to provide them with great customer service. Here are five ideas to rate your business’s ingenuity when it comes to serving customers.
1. Make a great first impression.
When customers make a purchase from you, make them feel great about it by sending them a series of introduction emails. Congratulate them on the purchase, let them know how to get the most out of their new purchase, and encourage them to connect with you on social media and your mailing list.
2. Measure response time.
How fast do you answer prospect and customer questions? Social media has changed the game. Customers that reach out via social media platforms, their phones, chat, or messaging apps expect an immediate answer. Facebook even gives a badge to businesses who respond quickly and consistently.
Not only do businesses need to monitor messages coming in from a record number of places – email, phone, web forms, chat, social media, and more – they need to respond faster than ever.
Without measuring your response time, it’s hard to know how you’re doing, so putting measures in place is the first step to improving this customer service metric.
3. Publish clear policies.
Good customer service starts with setting clear expectations. Before a customer buys from you, they should be able to access your policies in case something goes wrong. Some of the policies that should be clearly published online and in customer-facing business locations include:
- Returns Policy: If the product or service is not as expected, can the customer obtain a refund? Is there a restocking fee? What about shipping? Cashback vs. store credit?
- Shipping Policy: Most people expect free shipping these days. They will want to know what it costs and how long will it take to get the item.
- Terms of Service: Are there any limitations to the product? Or legal items that need to be communicated?
4. Encourage feedback.
Your best ideas for new products and services can come from your customers. Ask for feedback by sending customer satisfaction surveys and requests for testimonials and reviews. Read what customers have to say about your service so you can make improvements as needed.
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5. Check your ego at the door.
As small business owners, sometimes we need to be humble, especially when things go wrong. Be generous with apologies to customers; it will go a long way toward improving customer relations. If you are at fault, admit it and make it right with the customer. Even if you’re “right,” find a way to explain to the customer so that they feel good about you and your business.
Delivering great customer service can be a competitive advantage for your business. How does your business stack up against these five tips? Try them, and watch your revenue grow. If you need help, your favorite Orange County bookkeeper at Team One Accounting is here to help.