5 Great Customer Service Tips
Poor customer service just doesn’t have a place in our modern business landscape. Your customer experience plays a huge part in your brand identity and positioning. No matter what your service or goods that you offer there are a plethora of other choices your customer has. Often times it comes down to the little things that sway who we buy from and whether we remain loyal to a company. We have all experienced both sides of the customer service spectrum. From the company that won’t email you back or worse when they do they have an attitude, to the company that blows you away and makes you feel that they truly value your business.
As a business owner, managing your customer service can be hard. If you are a brick-and-mortar location your customer service is realized through your employees. One employee with a bad day that loses their cool can have a domino effect that hurts your bottom line. This article is designed to explain the top 5 points for great customer service.
TIP 1: BE PROMPT
When someone has a question or problem you want to address it as fast as possible. In our digital age, there is no reason for a slow response. Even if you are a small operation you should add to your workflow a way to be aware of problems as soon as they arise. Monitor your Facebook page, your customer service email account, and any other avenues you use. When a customer has an issue, every hour or day that goes by without a response just makes the situation escalate and show the customer that you do not care. This leads to a worse situation than if you had addressed it immediately.
TIP 2: DON’T ARGUE
This is where having a trained customer service rep in the mix can really help. It can be hard to hear the negatives about your business. And even harder to resist the urge to defend yourself. Don’t. Maybe someone is nasty, so be it. Take the higher road. Don’t let the situation devolve into a pissing match as there is no way to win it. Even if you prove yourself right, you most likely just created a brand nemesis. You never know how much damage someone can do. If you anger someone enough they may take to giving you negative reviews online, telling everyone how bad you are or even worse. So don’t argue. Apologize and try to make the situation right.
TIP 3: TAKE RESPONSBILITY
If the person is venting just to vent without any real issue then just apologize. If there is an issue, firstly take responsibility. This will satisfy most people. The most frustrating bad customer service experiences I have had have been when the company doesn’t take responsibility. Either they avoid it, or they word it in a way that tries to place the blame on the customer. If you messed up, claim it. No good can come of avoiding the fact. Be honest and open. Apologize, work to remedy it, and make them happy.
TIP 4: OFFER SOMETHING
If you can avoid having to, of course, for business reasons do that. But if you were in the wrong or the person is still really upset, offer them something. Whether it is a replacement, coupon code, or free stuff.
Replacement: If the product was not up to par, broke, or was defective replace it immediately. Offer free return shipping and really expedite the exchange. Depending on the situation an additional coupon code will hopefully get them to shop with you again.
Coupon Code: This is a great customer service tool as it pushes them to spend more with you. This is best added to a replacement and for when someone’s complaint is not that it was defective but may be lower quality, a less than stellar batch, etc. A nice 20% plus coupon code can satiate an unhappy client and secure another chance for you to keep them as a customer.
Free Stuff: If someone is really angry giving them something for free can make them feel valued and listened to. And yes, there are some people out there that will cause a ruckus just to get free stuff, but honestly, they are few and far between. It is not good practice to avoid this tool just to avoid the few schemers out there.
TIP 5: FOLLOW UP
This is a crucial one that even some of the best companies can forget and is key to your marketing. Once you have done all of these other steps, be sure to follow up. This shows you really care and will go that extra step to check in. Drop them a short friendly email making sure they received the replacement and if it is up to their expectations. When you see they used the coupon code thank them for giving you another shot and if they have any issues you’re right here. The follow-up is what can really set you apart and is a great way to turn an angry customer into a brand ambassador.
As you can see, a situation handled poorly can be really bad for business, but taking that situation as an opportunity to impress can turn that negative into a real positive.