Customer service is crucial in every industry. From small to big businesses, if you get a bad reputation, it will have a negative impact on your future success.
As a businessperson, you must ask yourself what good customer service looks like. It should mean going the extra mile to make sure every client is satisfied with your products or services. You must always be pleasant to clients and deal with their requests in a timely manner: treat people how you would like them to treat you.
Having superb problem-solving and communication skills is a must to ensure client needs are met in a way that reflects positively on your business. There can be no half measures. You must not only meet their needs and expectations but rather exceed them wherever possible.
Why is customer service so important?
In a nutshell, it impacts every aspect of your business, in terms of your reputation, finances and future success. If a someone feels they’ve received poor service, they’re likely to tell others.
Customer service defines your business
It has always been a big factor in a business’s competitiveness, but research shows customer service has become even more important in the past decade, since the recession of 2008. Companies who haven’t offered their clients the best experience have struggled.
A vital part of growing your business is by upselling. It’s a lot easier to retain existing clients than it is to acquire new ones. When your existing clients are happy and you have products and services that can be expanded, this is where you should maintain your focus.
Impact on your culture
For your business to develop a culture of excellent customer service, this starts at the top with sound leadership. If clients don’t like your approach, they will become frustrated, and you might find your company going through a lean patch. This can unnerve your team and lead to an unhappy workforce.
Be a good listener, so you can provide a quick response during a call or live chat conversation. The length of time it takes for the call to be answered by an advisor is important: no-one likes waiting on the telephone.
The manner in which the advisor talks with the caller, the accuracy of the information they relay and the length of time they are on the call all have an impact. While no client wants to be rushed off, as this makes them feel unimportant, nor do they want to be tied up for 30 minutes while the advisor deals with the issue.
Tone of voice
Even if you’re busy when a call comes in, remember people can hear when you’re feeling stressed – they can even “hear” whether you’re smiling! Anyone who calls, for whatever reason, is important, so don’t have a hassled or rushed tone of voice.
However busy you are, stop what you’re doing and listen to everyone’s concerns calmly and professionally to achieve a better result. Never hang up without a positive outcome. Good customer service turns 86% of first-time client into brand champions.
Poor customer service can lose you clients: only 20% say they will return after an unresolved customer service issue. The remainder say they would rather do business with a competitor.
If your voice on the end of the telephone is unhelpful, lacks empathy, or doesn’t have the required knowledge, this could be costing your company business. If you work in a busy open-plan office, find a private room to deal with complex customer service calls, so you can give them your full attention.
Stand out from the crowd!
While poor customer service can kill your brand, excellent customer service can elevate it, so you stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re a lone entrepreneur, a small or medium business, or a major company; always have the time and resources to handle customer services properly. Your future depends on it.
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