Standing out as a business means making sure your customer service is outstanding. Smart managers are realizing that this is an area that they cannot afford to neglect – indeed, it is a constantly shifting landscape in which your core values need to be expressed through ever-changing modes of communication.
Customer service is not about efficiency, it is about relationships. While you need to respond quickly and effectively to complaints, cultivating a meaningful relationship with your clients over a period of time will give you a chance to foresee issues before they arise – and clear them up with less fuss when they’re unavoidable.
But if you’re accustomed to working at the ‘office’ end of things, how can you ensure you’re reaching out to your customers in the most effective way? Well, in the first place, if you really feel it’s not your strong point then you should consider employing someone who knows customer service inside-out. A new team member is a significant cost – but so is the $83bn/year bill that American companies pay for business lost by poor customer service.
There’s no reason to worry if you need to take customer service into your own hands, though. There’s no magic spell to learn – it’s merely about treating your customers as valued human beings rather than numbers in a spreadsheet. It means opening up a conversation and being open to criticism, and to new ideas. And it means going that extra mile to ensure that your existing customers develop loyalty towards your brand – and they spread the good word to their friends and family.
The infographic below from Headway Capital sets out nine simple ways you can engage with your customers and strengthen that bond. Make these techniques part of the fabric of how your business works, and your customers will remember your name for all the right reasons.