(5) Days Of Customer Service: This Is A Story About Customers. Your Customers.
Last week was National Customer Service Week.
Businesses all over the country turned their attention to their customer experience, sharing hints and tips on social media and shouting about their own personal commitments to excellent service.
Here at alldayPA, we understand the planning and commitment that goes into a marvellous customer experience. Great service takes planning, investment and excellent execution. This can be a daunting task and possibly time-consuming.
But, ultimately, it’s worth it.
A great customer experience basically does your marketing for you. If you have a reputation as the easiest company to do business with, the most reliable and professional company to do business with, or the friendliest company to do business with, your customers will just love to do business with you. Where else would they go?
So, in the spirit of Customer Service Week, we came up with five simple ways you can improve your customers’ experience this week and beyond. This is (5) Days Of Service: A Love Story About Customers. Your Customers.
Day (1) Stop Pushing Your Customers Away
They won’t thank you for it.
Your competitors will, however.
When your customers can’t reach you to speak to when they need you, can’t get hold of you to resolve problems, upgrade their memberships, query a new service feature, it’s frustrating. If your staff don’t have the time to answer customer calls, emails and social media enquiries, you will soon find that your customers will take their business elsewhere.
As in any relationship, being committed, honest and, ultimately, available makes a big difference to
Day (2) Before You Can Be Loved, You Must Learn To Love Yourself
As true in business as it is in life, this piece of good advice reminds us that before we demand love for our customers, we must first know we are worthy.
Your staff are an excellent indicator of how much love your company deserves. Unhappy employees will likely lead to unhappy customers. If your team are unhappy, ask yourself why? Do you show them you value their hard work on a daily basis? Do you celebrate their achievements with them, no matter how small, or do you tend to focus on the failures?
Is your office worth loving? Are the staff toilets as plush as the executive suite? Do your staff enjoy a lovely warm office in the winter and a cool, breezy one in the summer?
Failure to love your business, your office, your staff, says one thing to your customers: why should we love you when you don’t love yourself?
Day (3) Don’t Waste Time On Difficult Or Expensive Customers To The Cost Of Others
We have all been there. Had that friend who was obsessed with getting in with the cool crowd. They ran around after them, doing everything they said, desperate to please and to be accepted by them.
When you got older, you probably watched that friend behave the same way in their relationships. They would cancel long-standing plans with friends to spend time with their significant other when they became free, but would never enjoy the same preferential treatment in return. Eventually, your friends became sick of coming second all the time. They stopped inviting your friend out because they couldn’t stand being cancelled on again.
Your customers are no different. You should always make the effort to resolve complaints and be there for customers when they ask you to be. But you should never put one expensive, demanding, rude and self-entitled client above anyone else. Rewarding bad behaviour only reinforces it.
Do what you can to keep everyone happy, but if one customer is proving too time-consuming and demanding to the detriment of your other relationships, cut it off at the source. Your truly loyal customers will love you for it.
Day (4) Admit To The Mistakes You Have Made So You Can Move On Together
We all know that feeling of terror when you realise a mistake. A big mistake. When you tell a client they could expect their order in time for Christmas only to realise you shipped it to a different address. In Peru. And it was the last item in stock. And your suppliers can’t get you any more until after Christmas. And you start to panic about how this customer will react when they realise it hasn’t come.
You wait for the phone call.
This is absolutely the last way to handle this situation. You have realised your mistake. Do not wait for your customer to catch up.
Get proactive and call them.
Admit what you did. Explain what happened. Apologise. Be sorry. Offer them something to soften the blow. Maybe you have a similar product you think they will like just as much. Perhaps you can offer them something for free. Maybe discount everything they buy from you for the next year.
By going to them first with the problem, admitting your mistake, and being able to offer a solution is worthy of respect. It is even worthy of gratitude. Your customers will love that you spotted something before they had to complain. They will love that you tried to fix it. They will love that you are genuinely sorry for what happened and that it matters to you that they might be upset, inconvenienced or disappointed.
Admit to your mistakes and they will love you for it.
Day (5) Be There For Your Customers When They Need You
Last, but certainly not least, the key to providing great service is to actually be there for your customers when they ask for it.
If you have customers calling, emailing or sending smoke signals with their problems, if they can’t get hold of you, you can’t fix it. If you can’t fix it, why should they stay?
Your customers appreciate it when you are there to take care of them. If they know they can count on you, they will have no reason to look for your service anywhere else.