Hints and tips, Small Business
Improve your customer service in 4 easy steps
Posted on by Cindy Yip
Estimated read time: 4 mins
Every business provides a form of customer service. Whether you have a dedicated support team or not, any one that has interaction with customers provides customer service. But why is it so vital?
Think about when you are shopping. In the first shop, you see a vase. You ask a staff member whether they have a new one in the stock room. Without looking, they answer ‘no’ grumpily and carry on with what they are doing. In the second shop, you ask the same question. Except this time, you are greeted with a smile. They tell you this is the last one in stock and recommend a similar item that you may be interested in. It’s a no brainer which experience you would want to encounter again.
Are you looking to gain a gold star for the service you give? Below are four easy steps your business can follow.
1. Say cheese
Smiling makes the world a better place. It makes you appear more approachable, trustworthy and it is contagious. A happy customer is more likely to buy from you than a grumpy one. This applies if you are speaking to them on the phone as well. You can always tell the difference between someone who is enjoying their job and someone who isn’t.
People form an opinion in the first three seconds of meeting you. Friendly and welcoming body language will invite customers to speak to you and suggest you are ready to listen. Be pro-active and invite them to start a conversation with you with an open ended question.
2. Make every touch point count
In many cases, especially a B2B environment, it takes more than one touch point for a successful sale. It may take several phone calls or visits to warm them up. Even after they have become a customer, you need to ensure they are happy with your service for repeat business.
How many touch points do you have with customers and prospects? Is every single one meaningful and worthwhile to them? Be careful to not make every contact a sales call. Have light touch points such as welcome emails, or keeping them up to date with the latest industry news.
3. Thank you effect
Research suggests that a simple ‘thank you’ can enhance a customer’s experience 1. This in turn provokes motivation and more helpful behaviours – a cost free way to entice customers.
It shows appreciation for the customers that are interested in purchasing from you, whether the sale has been successful or not. This small but meaningful gesture can encourage a customer’s interest in purchasing and re-purchasing with you.
To take your customer service skills and business from strength to strength, you need feedback. Have you heard the phrase of ‘unhappy customers are your best source of insight’?
Following up on an interaction with a customer can make them feel valued. Send an online questionnaire if you’ve interacted with them online. Alternatively, ask them to fill out a quick survey whilst they are physically in front of you.
Gain insight into what customers think your strengths and weaknesses are. Their perception could be one of the most important factors in gaining you future business.
Source: 1. Dr Ken Hudson
Updated September 2018