Do your customer policies benefit you or the customer? What are your customer service objectives? Check out these tips to begin reimagining your business’ customer service experience.
Create a Customer Service Plan and Objectives.
Surveying your customers, vendors and employees is a good starting place for feedback on your customer service. Once you know customer expectations and perceptions, you can create customer standards for your business, document it, train your employees and commit to operating your business with exceptional service as its standard.
Review Your Customer Policies.
Collect all of your policies and cross check them with complaints as well as compliments to assess the role of the “problem policies” and either institute a better approach or remove the policy from your standards. For your most complimented policies, such as easy returns, find ways to promote them through your employees or on your marketing materials.
Ask, Listen, Be and Follow Up. Repeat.
When it comes to interacting with your customers, ask open-ended questions that provide you with information that will help you better assist the customer. Listen and provide solutions or alternatives if you cannot assist the customer. Be the expert – your team should be able to provide the client with the most information about your product/service, uses and alternatives. Follow up with your customers, personalize the experience and repeat the process.
Hire a Good Mix.
First, assess what is important to you and your business and then, refer back to your newly created/reviewed standards to help determine the right mix of employee strengths, personality, skills and experience appropriate for your business.
Train your employees to keep an eye out for experiences that help customers and encourage a culture of sharing that information with you and with other employees. Reward your employees for providing brilliant service with incentives and a “thank you.”
Evaluate Your Reach.
Are you meeting your customers “where they are?” Go to your customers and meet them where they’re searching, looking, reading and the like. Be sure your site is mobile friendly and includes basic information on location, hours and a click-to-call phone number.
Publish your Expertise.
As often as you can, try publishing your team’s expertise in your industry and products/services via newsletters, blogs or videos. This could include self-help guides, weekly or monthly tips and tricks, dialogues or interviews with other customers using your offerings, or publishing information on your site when new offerings are available.
Manage your Reputation.
The reputation of your business relies heavily on the service your team provides both in-store and online. Be sure to respond to appropriate feedback, both positive and negative, and address customer-related areas in your business.
Celebrate your Customers.
Show your customers you care by promoting special in-store events before or after hours to make your customers feel special and/or celebrate their life occasions. Thank your customers in person, send a note, or make a shout out via social media. Reward future customers by creating introductory promotions or free downloadable content.
For help creating your own customer service plan and reviewing your operations to provide your customers with the best experience, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County to schedule a no-charge appointment with a qualified business advisor. We’re here to help!
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