Customer service is one of the key aspects, which when done right, will take your company right to the top. Excellent customer service is all the more important for entrepreneurs who are just starting off, and are looking to take their business to more people.
Before embarking on a viral marketing campaign that gives you excellent visibility, make sure you understand your customers and their expectations. Service them in the best way possible, and you are half-way there.
Here are five important lessons on customer service that every entrepreneur should know:
1. Build strong systems
Let’s say you offer top-notch service to one customer – is that enough? No!
You need to offer the same top-notch quality of service to all customers every time, and for this, you need the right systems and processes in place. As an individual, you cannot always take care of the problems of all your customers, and this is why systems are needed to ensure that everything goes right all the time.
This is one of the key reasons companies are formed. Some essential of a business system are forming a company, hiring competent personnel, having standardized product development and delivery processes, and having strong financial accounting practices. These ensure the business can go on smoothly even in your absence.
2. Hire the best employees
A vital element of great customer service is the skills and abilities of employees who will be interacting with your customers constantly. This is why hiring the right employees with the right attitude and skills is essential when you want to create a positive impression in the minds of your current and prospective customers. These employees should be willing to go the extra mile to satisfy customers.
3. Take Responsibility
You are completely responsible to deliver your product or service to your customers, regardless of whether it is in your control or not. For example, an online retail company contracts the task of delivering a product to a third-party delivery company, which then fails to use the industry-standard lot number tracking, and thus fails to deliver. Still, it is your responsibility, and you do what you can to provide top customer service.
In the above situation, it was within the control of the online retailer to communicate to the customer about delivery problems, and they failed to do so. Had the online retailer done that, it would have helped to build a lasting relationship with the customer, but simply keeping quiet until the customer asks for it, is poor service. As an entrepreneur, you should take responsibility and do what you can to address all problems including those that are beyond your control.
4. Avoid fine prints
“Fine prints are seen by customers as something that a company hides to protect itself from a dissatisfied customer,” says a spokesperson of Excellent Maids Houston. “Such prints show the company in bad light, so it is best to eliminate them altogether. Be upfront on the terms and conditions, and fix anything that needs to be hidden.”
5. Aim for the best customer service
According to Micah Solomon of Forbes, Apple Inc wanted to imbibe the customer service practice of Ritz-Carlton hotel when they decided to open their own Apple stores. Though it may sound surprising, the truth is Apple did not just want to be better than its competitors, it wanted to be the leader in the electronic retailing industry. To achieve such lofty goals, it is important to learn from the best companies, regardless of whether they operate in the same industry or not.
You can do this irrespective of your industry. For instance, if you’re into digital or social media marketing, one way to aim for the best possible customer service is to tailor your offerings towards the specific needs of each client. Don’t optimize a client’s business site for local or national SEO when he’s targeting an international audience. Doing so will mean pushing them into leaving a lot of money on the table, and they’ll fire you and give your bad press on social media when they discover this.
In short, great customer service begins with you as an entrepreneur because you not only show the way for your employees, but also select and groom them for the job. The above suggestions are sure to help you offer the best service and experience to your customers.