Customer service is often overlooked by small businesses and by startups. They have so much to get done that it becomes a challenge just to operate their business. Every small task becomes a juggling act and in some extreme cases just putting out fires. Sure, they try their best and ensure that they are responsive to enquirers over email and phone. But they may not be as focused as they need to be. They are not able to go above and beyond the basic customer experience to wow their customer.
Statistics tell us that it is a lot more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain a current one. Taking care of your current customers and keeping them happy is critical.
Here are 3 Tips to Provide Excellent Customer Service.
1. Use customer feedback to fix problems
Most customers contact customer service because they have a problem. They need to solve a problem and you need their feedback to help solve that problem. If you think about it, this particular problem should only happen once. As soon as you figure it out and fix it, it should not happen again, ever. That almost guarantees future customers will not experience this problem. Your customer experience gets better and better the more problems you fix.
The customer’s problem is helping you fix issues in your business. It is extremely valuable feedback and you should thank them for highlighting the issue and explain how it has been taken care of and will not be repeated.
2. Look out for potential problems
Businesses must be proactive and be on the lookout for potential problems. Try your best to fix issues before they happen. Waiting until a problem surfaces from a customer complaint and then fixing it is OK, but isn’t enough if you want to provide 5 star customer service. Continually ask your customers for feedback and ways to improve the customer experience. The engaged customer feels important and values the customer relationship more than just a transactional one way relationship.
Related: Shipping and Reverse Logistics
3. Build a long-term relationship with your loyal customers
Try to find ways to build a 5 star relationship with your loyal customers. Again, a current customer is easier to keep happy then to find a new customer. The value add of a loyal, happy customer is a lot more than of a new customer.
As your startup or small business grows, it can get easier as you can hire a customer experience manager who only handles customer feedback. He/she will be totally worth it. The constant outreach and follow up with customers will strengthen the relationship. Also, you will be able to cross reference sales data and find more loyal and happy customers when you have someone dedicated to this business function.
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