Customers are what drive your business’s success and good customer service is the key to turning a new customer into a profitable, long term business relationship. Good customer service isn’t hard, nor is it expensive. In fact, many of the best moves you can make to improve your customer service are free. Here are five ways to leave your customer feeling good about your service.
Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
There is a saying “you don’t have a business until you close a sale”. The pressure to close can lead salespeople to promise customers more than they can deliver and exaggerate their products value. Great companies recognize that business is a marathon not a sprint. A single sale based on dubious information will always be just that, a single sale. The customer won’t be satisfied and won’t come back. A sale based on a careful consideration of the customer’s needs and one that delivers more value than the customer expected can lead to them becoming a loyal, long term customer.
Never promise the customer more than you can deliver. You are setting them up to be disappointed and they won’t be impressed. In fact, promise them a little less. You are giving them realistic expectations about your service, not underselling yourself. When you do deliver, deliver a little more than they expected. Everyone appreciates getting extra value for money and it is a surefire way to make a good impression.
Respond to them promptly!
One of the main complaints customers have is poor communication. Nothing is more irritating than waiting on a reply about something that is important to you and feeling ignored. The flip side of this is that customers really appreciate a timely response and a genuine interest in their issue. Always respond promptly to a customer, even if you don’t have time to deal with their particular query just then. A simple message saying you’ve received their message and you will respond to them as soon as possible makes a great impression on customers. It only takes a few seconds, but lets them know you’re working on their request and that they are important enough to take the time to let them know.
Follow up with them
Customers get a lot of attention when you’re trying to make a sale. In many cases though, once the sale is closed, customers get very little or no attention. Always follow up with them to see if they are happy with your service and if there’s any issues that may need to be resolved. Showing that kind of interest in a customer’s needs when there isn’t an immediate financial benefit to you is great customer service. Your client will feel valued and you can stay ahead of any potential problems.
Be honest with them
It is easy to bend the truth when trying to make a sale, to exaggerate a little or to push a product or option that a customer really doesn’t need. Always be honest with your customer, even if that means telling them that your service doesn’t suit their needs. That may be difficult for any businessperson but that kind of shortsighted thinking is a recipe for disaster. Selling a customer something they don’t need or that doesn’t quite match the expectations you gave them is going to leave them very unhappy. It quickly puts an end to any future business and damages your reputation. Honesty, even if it means foregoing one sale, builds trust with your customers that will translate into a great reputation and future sales in time.
Say thank you 🙂
Always say a personal thank you. It’s easy to set up an automated email to do this for you but nothing beats a personalized message showing you appreciate a customer’s business. Even the act of writing and sending a thank you message opens a communication channel with the customer and that can mean a lot to someone who you have signed a long term contract with. Not only will you appear personable, you will appear accessible. In an era of automated call centers, this is priceless.
This advice can be applied whether your company is business to business, like cleaning companies or property management, or business to consumer, like retail or banking. These are all small, free steps that can be taken at all levels of your company to provide excellent customer service and build a loyal customer base that will guarantee you success in the years to come.