Here are some easy ways to stop bad customer service from ruining your business.
1. Take charge of your online presence
Rather than waiting for negative comments or reviews to be posted online, take charge of your online presence. Taking charge of your presence involves filling out all of the details on your Google page listing and developing a business page on several key social channels.
2. Monitor online chatter about your company
There are several social monitoring and reputation management tools available; they are easy to use and automatically alert you about keywords you enter, including your company, your product, your name, etc.
3. Respond to complaints on social channels
The key here is showing that you care, acknowledging the problems, apologising for any error, and demonstrating to other potential customers that if they do business with you and they have a problem, it will be taken care of.
4. Deliver an excellent customer experience so that most customers will not be dissatisfied
Of course, the best answer and best takeaway is to deliver an excellent customer experience so that most customers will not be dissatisfied.
The added training and extra effort do not come without an expense for your business. However, studies show customers are willing to spend more for a higher level of customer service.
For example, an American Express survey shows that 3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.
Elements of good customer service
- Service with a smile and a friendly attitude.
- Ability for all employees to immediately resolve issues.
- Acknowledging customer loyalty.
- Being personable and ensuring that your customers never feel like “just another number.”
- Training all employees to prioritise and deliver an excellent customer service experience.
- The customer service culture must start from the top level of management, executives, or owners and trickle down throughout every single department and every single employee in your company.
Just because you do not interact with your customers face to face does not mean that they shouldn’t receive the same level of customer service
Online companies are not excluded from this high level of friendly customer service either.
Just because you do not interact with your customers face to face does not mean that they shouldn’t receive the same level of customer service.
Additional customer service tactics for online companies
- Return emails as soon as possible. During business hours, a one-hour window of time is an ideal goal for answering customer emails; they certainly should be answered before the end of the business day. Emails received after hours should be attended to within an hour after business hours next begin.
- Add personal touches whenever and wherever possible. Personalise emails, post handwritten thank you letters, include free gifts, give away promotional items, or offer a discount on a future purchase.
- When speaking on the phone, smile, because your customer will “hear” that smile when you speak.
- Think about your own experience and continually try to improve upon (and add personality) to your customers’ experiences.
The negative effects of bad customer service
- Losing a customer. Studies have shown that acquiring a new customer costs a business more than it costs to retain an existing customer. After all, existing customers are more likely to purchase from a company that they have already done business with.
- Customers tell their friends about bad experiences. In addition to telling their friends and social networks about a negative customer service experience, there are also online customer reviews to worry about.
With thanks to Richard Larson at GoPromotional.