Nobody likes having to critique their own business and admit they may have issues with their Customer Service. Customer service is the most important aspect of your business, it either drives clients and customers to you or away from you. It is imperative to look at your business and be objective and if you note problems, you need to address them immediately. There are 5 steps all business owners should follow to ensure a great customer service experience.
Set your Standards – Your Company must have standards on how your phones are answered and how/when emails are responded too. When a customer or clients ring your office the first point of contact will be your receptionist. How your phones are answered is a direct reflection of you, the business owner. Phones must be answered by the 4th ring. If a client or customer makes the effort to call your business, you need to respect and extend the courtesy of answering the call in a timely manner. Allowing the phone to ring 5, 6, or 7 times is bad customer service. The prospective client or customer doesn’t care if you are busy, all they see is that you did not answer their call and because you didn’t, they will call your competitors. Taking a long time to answer your phone or not answering it at all is the only opportunity your competitors need to take your clients. A telephone greeting should always include a warm welcome, the company they have called and the name of the person they are speaking too. Emails should be responded to within the hour. If the email needs you to action a request that will take some time, acknowledge the email and advise your client or customer when you endeavour to get back to them.
Be the Example – You know the old saying “Monkey see, Monkey do” Be the example to your staff. When they call you, answer the phone how you want them answering it. When they email you, respond how you want them to respond. When you speak to them, use the language you would like them to use. Pay attention to everything you do because everyone in your office, who is representing your business is watching you. Be aware of your culture and the image you are portraying!
Offer a Solution – Once the situation has been properly assessed, always offer the most appealing solution to the client or customer and offer options whenever possible. When customers have difficult issues to resolve, they may feel they made a poor choice in trusting your business. Giving them options for better service (better deals, delivery service, etc.) will make them feel in charge again-and more likely to support your business in the future.
Deliver the Solutions – Now that you have the solution, you need to deliver it and it must be delivered as promised. When a client or customer actually takes the time to contact you over an issue, they are giving your business the opportunity to get it right. For this reason, you should always view these issues as opportunities to improve your service and show your clients or customers they are worthy of your trust and that you really do care.
Follow up with the customer – Once you have delivered the solution always follow up. Follow up is important because you need to understand how the client or customer felt about the resolution. This step shows your client or customer that you really care about them, their issue and their business were important to you! Never undervalue your customers. You won’t experience growth if you bring in new clients but cannot retain your existing ones.
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