If your business relies on customer interactions (and which ones don’t?), customer service should be a cornerstone. Good customer service can overcome marginal products, but the best products and services in the world can’t overcome marginal customer service. Here are three easy-to-do, no-cost customer service tips that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Customer service counts!
Quality customer services starts with your staff. If you own a business and have employees, one of the most critical events occurs when you hire someone. Hiring the right person makes all the difference in the world. Hiring the wrong person is guaranteed to end badly for just about everybody involved.
Before you begin the hiring process, spend some time thinking about the qualities you want to have in your employees. Take applicants and conduct interviews until you find the right person for the job. When it comes to skills, keep in mind that you can train someone to do a task or follow a procedure, but you can’t teach the personal qualities that differentiate the right kind of person from the wrong one. This doesn’t mean that skills and experience are unimportant. It just means that you can’t expect a leopard to change its spots.
Your staff reflects you. Your staff will treat your customers the way you treat your staff. You might think that all you really need to do is model the kind of customer service you want to deliver, and your staff will pick up on the riff. Not exactly. If you’re harsh with your staff, your staff will transmit that to your customers accordingly.
Your lowest-paid staff members often have the most contact with the customers. If your lowest-paid employees are unhappy, your customers will be, too. While the customers might not say anything to you, they do notice when their favorite cashier is struggling to smile.
On the other hand, if you genuinely “walk the talk,” your staff will have the confidence to treat your customers the way you treat the staff. Your staff is more than “hired help.” If you have them, you’ve already acknowledged to them and everyone else that you can’t run your business without them. It makes sense to treat them as well as possible at all times. After all, your business depends upon them.
Know your customers and let them know you. When a customer walks into your business (or calls you on the phone), do you know who they are? Do you know their name, or what they like, or why they do business with you? Do they know who you are, or are they more likely to know your staff?
Knowing your customer is not only good for you, it’s good for the staff and it’s good for the customers. Customers want to know that they matter, and when you make the effort to “know” them, they’re more likely to come back with repeat business and referrals, and they’re less likely to be wooed by a competitor with a lower price or a newer model in stock.
Grantstreet Creative is Dover, Ohio’s premier graphic design and marketing support center for businesses of all sizes. If you would like to discuss small business marketing, graphic design or any other facet of promoting your business, please call our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
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