Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard both of these phrases many times during your business journey:
- “The customer comes first.”
- “The customer is always right.”
While cliche, they are both important phrases to take note of. Many businesses don’t though, which is only to their own detriment.
What is a customer services-orientated business?
Customer service-oriented businesses are those that put the customer first and do whatever they can to ensure that the customer’s needs are met. While this might not make sense to all business owners or managers, it’s a long-play that will pay the dividends in time. Trust us on this one.
In order for a business to be successful, it is essential to create a positive relationship with customers by providing excellent customer service. The first step is to develop policies that emphasize the importance of treating customers with respect and courtesy.
Doing so will result in repeat business and referrals. So what does it mean to be a customer service-oriented business? In this article, we take a look at this important subject.
Let’s first take a look at exactly what customer service means.
What customer service means
What does the official definition say? Well, according to the Cambridge Dictionary it’s “The way that an organization deals with customers before, during, and after a sale, and the activities involved in dealing with customers.”
Let’s pause here quickly to focus on one important area. What many businesses fail to realize is that customer service is not only about going out of your way leading up to and at the point of sale. What happens after that is equally as important. It is one of the reasons why a customer will come back to you again when they need your product or service, or not. So, when it comes to customer service it involves the entire customer journey.
In order to provide excellent customer service, businesses need to ensure that their employees are properly trained in how to deal with customers. They should also have systems in place to deal with complaints and problems.
It’s important to remember that customer service is not just about providing assistance when something goes wrong.
There are many different ways that businesses can provide excellent customer service. We’ll cover this a little later.
The benefits of providing excellent customer service
There are many benefits that businesses can enjoy by providing excellent customer service.
Some of the most important benefits include:
- Improved customer retention: If you provide excellent customer service, your customers will be more likely to stay with you and not take their business elsewhere. This means you’ll be getting a lifetime customer, who will buy from you again and again (provided you continue offering them excellent service)
- Word-of-mouth marketing: Happy customers are more likely to recommend your products or services to others. Would you go to a restaurant that someone you knew went to and was treated poorly? We wouldn’t. On the other hand, if your friend told you about this incredible coffee shop that managed to source the specific low-fat almond milk that only certain shops sell in the area, then you’d probably want to check it out.
- Reduced costs: It is often cheaper to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Think about the marketing costs to acquire new customers, as opposed to return customers coming back because of the great service you’ve offered them. Returning customers will most likely spend more with you as well, as they’ll trust the brand far more
- Improved staff morale: If your employees feel appreciated and valued by spending time with happy customers, those that are cared for, they will be more motivated to do a good job.
Now that we’ve looked at what it means to be a customer service-oriented business and the benefits of providing excellent customer service, let’s take a look at some ways that businesses can improve their customer service.
3 ways to improve customer service
There are many different ways that businesses can improve their customer service. Here are three important ones:
- Make it easy for customers to get in touch … If a customer wants to get in touch with your business, you need to make it as easy as possible for them. This means having multiple channels for them to reach you on, such as email, phone, social media, and live chat.
Are you answering your social media messages that you are receiving quickly? How quickly do you pick up the phone when it rings, and how friendly are you when you do so? What is the tone of your emails like?
It’s important that customers can not only easily get hold of you, but that the responses are quick and genuinely helpful.
- Train your employees properly … As we mentioned earlier, it is essential that businesses train their employees properly in how to deal with customers. This training should cover everything from handling complaints to going the extra mile.
Consider a customer service manual that sets out how staff members are to engage with staff. What should you say in certain circumstances, what shouldn’t you say, what is not acceptable, etc.
In this manual you can set out the policies for how customers are engaged with on the phone, online and in person.
- Get feedback and act on it … Feedback is essential for businesses to improve their customer service. After all, how can you know what needs to be improved if you don’t ask your customers? Once you’ve got feedback, it’s important to act on it and make the necessary changes. There are a few ways that you can get this customer feedback, some of which include surveys, customer service logs, and social media listening.
By following these tips, you can be sure to provide your customers with the excellent service they deserve.
Give the customer service that your customers deserve
If you would like to improve the level of service that your business gives day in and day out, then you need She Inc.
At She Inc, we are an experienced and passionate team that will manage all of your day-to-day customer support for you.If you’d like to find out how we can take your customer service from zero to hero, then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us your details here and we’ll handle the rest. You can also take a look at what we do here.