Boost your business and beat competition by following these simple customer service tips.
Good customer service can help you to:
- Increase customer loyalty.
- Increase how often a customer buys from you.
- Generate positive word-of-mouth and reputation.
- Increase number of new customers.
1. Greet Your Customers
Are your customers greeted when they walk in the door? One of the most common customer service fails is not acknowledging your customers and this is so easy to avoid. When entering a shop or restaurant, most customers want to see an employee make a genuine effort to acknowledge them. Even if you are busy with another customer, you can smile so your customer knows that they have been noticed or simply say that you will be with them soon. People will go elsewhere if they don’t have a positive experience in a restaurant or store, and this will result in lost sales.
2. Know Your Product/Service
You must know your product and business inside out. In order for you to provide good customer service, you must know what it is you're selling and how your product or service works. Being able to immediately answer any tricky questions from your customers can help build trust and credibility. However, there is no harm in “double checking” if you are not 100% sure about something. Customers appreciate this as it shows you are being thorough, whether you are checking if you can squeeze walk-in customers into your fully booked restaurant or finding out if an item is in stock in your shop.
3. Communication is Key
Your customers will appreciate being talked to clearly and concisely. It’s also important to go the extra mile for your customers. It’s a well-known customer service mantra, but not one that is always carried out. Although customers may not mention it when extra effort has been made, they will notice and will tell other people, and of course, if no effort is made, they’ll definitely notice and be more likely to tell others!
4. Be Consistent
It’s important that your service and product is consistent and you want to gain a reputation that mirrors this consistency. Word of mouth heavily affects people’s opinions and can prevent new customers from visiting you. The trouble is that there isn’t anything you can directly do to control what somebody says about your business, but you can try to make sure that what customers have to say is positive!
5. Respond to Customer Feedback
It is really important that businesses really listen and respond to their customers. This will help to improve customer relations and gathering customer feedback is a great tool for seeing what your customers are particularly happy or unhappy with. A great way of encouraging feedback is by composing feedback cards that can be left at the table if you are a restaurant or the till point. Additionally, some EPoS systems allow you to request feedback from your customer when you email a digital receipt. You can also offer some sort of incentive, like being entered in to a monthly prize draw to encourage customers to provide feedback. Keeping customers is just as important as gaining new customers.
6. Use the Feedback You Receive
You need to do something with the feedback you receive from customers in order to make it useful in your customer service process and to show your customers that you will take their suggestions on-board. Take the time to regularly review feedback, so you can identify areas for improvement, and make specific changes in your business. Good customer service often comes down to checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with your product and service. If they are not, there is almost always something that can be done to change this.
7. Empower your Employees for Peak Performance
A common interview question in the retail and hospitality industries is “What is good customer service?” You may think the answer is simple but surprisingly, many interviewees struggle to give a good answer to this question. Discuss what good customer service means with your employees early on so they know what is expected of them. Think creatively and strategically about what they need to do to provide service excellence and make sure all of your employees stick to this. This will also help to ensure that your service stays consistent.
8. Monitor Your Competition
Any business should be keeping a close eye on the competition. In terms of customer service, the quality of the service you are providing should be at least the same as your competition and in an ideal scenario, should be much better. This will allow you to have the edge over your competition and taking care of your customers will make sure you don’t lose them to your competition. Additionally, if you do mention competition to customers, you must remain respectful at all times. It will only de-value your own business and make you look unprofessional if you are unnecessarily negative.
9. Train Staff in How to Deal with Customer Complaints
Are your staff properly trained in how to handle a customer complaint? It is important that your staff members feel confident dealing with customers independently so that seeking help from management is a last resort. This will give your employees a sense of responsibility, build confidence and show customers that your staff members are competent dealing with these situations themselves. Guidelines for what to say and do in every case can be included in staff training so your whole team know what to do and say to make that customer’s experience a positive one. It's important that your whole team understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and problem solve for customers. You are responsible for providing your team with the tools they need to provide exceptional customer service and therefore a positive customer experience.
10. Build Trust
There are a number of ways in which you can build trust with your customers and providing consistent value is one of them. It is also important that you never misrepresent features or benefits of your product or service and don’t promise something you can’t deliver! When customers trust a business, they are very loyal. Never forget that having more customers, equals more profit. You will have more opportunities to increase your customer base if you put top notch customer service in place.