Customer service is not a department; it’s how we do business.
Every few weeks I hear of new startups emerging in different niches. Funnily enough, most of them forget to focus on the people they made this business for i.e. customers! How could you let that focal detail slip from the entire business plan?
Unfortunately this fatal sin is committed by numerous entrepreneurs every passing day. Apart from funding, lack of customer care is another significant factor that makes companies collapse.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your business and gain loyal customers that could possibly become brand advocates, then you must adopt a consistency of good customer service. I will discuss a few tips here that are promising ways to practice and implement good customer service.
Remember this; good customer service will get you a long way ahead in the business and could set you ahead of other competitors in the market. No worries because to help you better understand this whole concept, I’ll make sure to include relevant examples too.
Beginning till forever: Follow up
Do you think customer service is limited to when they stumble upon features like Live Chat, or when they called up the customer helpline? No, customer service is diverse and never ending. This is what many entrepreneurs forget quite often and then they suffer the wrath of forgotten and unforgiving customers.
Keep in mind that customer service is an ongoing process that will probably never reach completion. It means that you need to be constantly vigilant and careful with how you speak, react, interact and follow up on customers.
Whether you’re consistent or not with customers, this will speak volumes about the business itself. Once you put your startup out there, you CANNOT and SHOULDNOT ignore, dismiss or wave off customers at any point even if they behave like whiny monkeys hanging on a tree branch.
It’s important to remember that your connection with customers should be continuous and caring. They might reach out to you at your shop, or branch office, social media or through phone calls. No matter which mode of communication they choose, you need to keep track of their complaints, feedback and problems.
You must be an attentive listener throughout all the follow ups and should exhibit a tone of care and understanding. It’s almost like being in a relationship and being there for your partner in a time of need or concern. If a customer has a complaint, it’s your job to follow up with it and resolve it.
Even after it has been resolved, it is recommended higher authority get in touch with the customer to confirm their satisfaction. Maybe during the holidays, you could even post or email a greetings notecard. You need to remember and stay in touch with customers consistently.
Customer rants: Listen up
Hey there, it’s the age of social media and guess what? Every customer has a problem with one thing or another. In an evolved market like ours, every niche has customers whining about one thing or the other. But a lot of their feedback and complaints make sense and could be used as constructive criticism to help improve your business and understand their needs.
This will determine what people like and dislike, and might even give your business an edge over competitors in the market. Customers might complain about quality, delivery or other things.
Listen to them and don’t react negatively, instead pay attention to details and use them as pointers to detect any possible flaws in your startup. Are you making a mistake somewhere? Could you improve something for more profits and customers?
These questions have answers lying within customer complaints and suggestions. Give the customers your time and lend them your ears, you won’t regret it.
Social media: Connect and communicate
With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you have so many ways to promote your business brand. Moreover it’s much easier to communicate and connect with customers. Make your online presence known and engage with customers informing them about any updates or products coming up.
If they have questions, answer them! If they seem unhappy, try to forward their issue to customer care and follow up. This will create a connective platform between your business and the customers. Communication will become easier and once again you could use their feedback or suggestions as potential improvements in your business.
If you stay constantly connected with your customers, they will know that you care for them and will probably develop a loyalty towards you. In the long run from a market perspective they could help you gain more customers and possibly become brand advocates. Talk about your brand product and its features, share details and gauge into the mind of a customer!
Think about the A-team, they were united and driven altogether. That’s what you need in order to practice effective customer service, you need A TEAM! Your team must be well-led, driven, and passionate and focused. With all these attributes, they will be more attentive and vigilant about customer reactions, complaints and their concerns.
They’ll be on top of their game and will prioritize the customer. But if you have a team of lazy and demotivated people, then there’s a possibility they could snap back at the customer. One unhappy or disgruntled customer could write a viral review online and create backlash where you could lose existing customers too.
If you want to see how customers can get enraged and ruin brand names, do check out this link. It will surely put you on red alert when it comes to serving customers the right way. Make sure you choose your team members carefully so they’d be a treat rather than a threat to your customer base.
Customer Service Tools:
These tools help you stay connected and close with customers. You can interact and exchange ideas thoughts and reactions through these web-based applications or software. I’d say they’ve been a turning point in the online entrepreneurial community. These tools are ways to make your business faster and customers more relatable.
Live 2 Chat: Website plugin that allow you to communicate with customers.
ClickDesk: Another Live Chat tool with added features like helpdesk, Voice and Video Chat and more.
Sales Force: Customer Success Platform
Desk.com: HelpDesk tool.
There are more but these tools are vital for the growth and maintenance of your business because nobody tells it better than the customers! This blogpost clearly showcase of how you can express care and concern towards your customers.
In conclusion, you can practice good customer service if you pay attention, listen, engage on social media and ask your team to make use of tools! Do you have any other tips about good customer service? What have your personal experiences been like? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
By Moosa Hemani