Being There For Your Customers At All Times
No matter if you’re a business owner with a physical location and the beginnings of a big franchise, or you’re just starting out as a home business owner, customer service is one of the main keys to your success. Moreover, it needs to be good, and it needs to leave the people shopping with you feeling good about their time, and reflecting positively on your brand.
And when it comes to building up a customer friendly brand, you’re going to need your reputation to precede you. So, how do you even begin to build something like that? Well, when you know how to be there for your customers at all times, the customers are going to flock to you, and have plenty to say to others about the way they were treated.
But if you want to be there for your customers at all times, and increase your availability in general, you’re going to need to be everywhere at once, aren’t you? Yet in reality, there are some very useful workarounds that are going to help you push your customer service experience up to bigger and better heights. So, if you want to get to know a few of the methods to do just that, let’s go through a few of the main points below.
You don’t have to be on the phone 24/7 – customer service has a lot to back it up these days! (Pexels Image – CC0 Licence)
The first thing to do, in order to ensure you can provide a good customer service experience, is to record every single interaction you have over the customer service desk. Not only that, but if you can keep records, or even just simple notes, of every single conversation or chat window you’ve opened with a customer, you’re going to be able to target their needs much better.
You’ll be able to address their issues on a personal and careful level. You’ll be able to offer more relevant incentives to the specific person you’re talking to, and moreover, keeping good records within your company only works well for your data banks in the long run. Especially if you’re going to allow a more lenient returns or exchanges policy to impress your customers.
So this also works in your favor as well. As a company, you need to be able to keep track of what goes in and out of your business, as well as be able to keep your efforts on task at all times. And if you know exactly what a customer needs, even when passing an issue down the line to 4 or 5 different staff members, things will move much faster and much more smoothly. Far less angry interactions, and you’d be surprised at just how thankful a customer will be if they don’t have to explain themselves over and over again!
Being curious ensures you, as a company, go the extra mile to seek feedback from the people you’re serving. After all, when it comes to garnering feedback, usually you’ll have to reach out and ask for it, if you’re going to get any at all. The current shopping generation often don’t have much time to answer an email query, or leave a review on an Amazon page, but if you specifically reach out with short and snappy surveys on a regular basis, both you and your customer base get into the habit of giving and taking feedback.
However, you need to set your customers up with the right questions. Keep them closed, rather than open and non directional – people will usually have nothing to say if you just give them the floor, so be specific. At the same time, you’re going to want your questions to be short winded, so people can easily understand them and answer them. Try to throw in as many multiple choice questions if you can, as people are far more likely to be honest if they can just press a button about how much they liked or disliked a certain part of your service.
Overall, if you’re going to be curious with your customer base, be so on a regular basis, and make sure you’ve got a lot of questions they can answer in short formats that take little to no time at all. For a further advantage in ensuring you get something back from talking to your customer base, catch them when they’re not really doing anything, such as when they’re on break at work, or when they’re just sitting at home in the late evening.
Open Up Your Website
You may currently be wondering, ‘What does opening up your website mean?’ Well, it’s all about ensuring your customers have their own, personalised portals to make use of whenever they visit you. In more simple terms, this means it’ll be of most use to allow any visitors to create their own accounts to use with your website. It’ll feel much more secure to shop with you this way, and it comes with the added bonus of being able to make more money down the line.
If you’re going to open up your website by allowing customers to create accounts and/or take out memberships with your company, your website is going to need to be easy to use. Now, this sounds simple, but in reality, setting up a proper navigation system, as well as actually informative FAQs can take some real effort. You need to make use of proper accessibility rules, as well as get to know what your customer base really wants to know about you. For the latter option alone, it might finally be the time to get a bit more curious, and to create a survey for the entirety of your mailing list to take!
Automate Your Messaging
Furthering on from the point above, in a point that deserves a whole section of its own, you’re going to need to focus on the messaging portion of your website as well. In order to open up your website properly and make it available for all, automated messaging is key. Because you can’t be manning the live chat at all times, can you? You can’t even be answering emails that come in at all hours, and something needs to be done about this.
So, rather than try to maintain a constant online presence, instead form the illusion of one. And to do so, you’re going to want to rely on software such as a Chatbot for website; something like this will ensure there’s always an answer on the other end, even if they cannot take a customer’s issue all the way to a solution. They at least give you the chance to get back to your desk, within a lesser time frame than ever before, and get to answering each and every query that comes through your website.
Aside from this, you could also issue an automated emailing system as well. No reply emails have their pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide how to use one, but they do give you the chance to get back to your customers as soon as possible, without needing to be around 24/7. Systems such as these also ensure you get to every query without missing a beat, simply because you’re not rushed off of your feet.
Offer Some Incentives
Incentives are very useful for your company to make use of. After all, if a customer gets something in return for their participation, that’s exclusive to your company and secures them a good deal on products or services they’re already interested in, they’re going to offer a lot more than you’re used to getting from them in terms of feedback, and even a bit of repeat custom.
Money off coupons in the form of timed discounts, or free samples of an up and coming product, or even just the chance to be entered in to win a competition that has a considerable prize pot, are all good ways to bring more and more feedback in from your customers.
But who should you target? If they’ve been at the customer service desk at any point in the past year, you’re going to want to hear from them. They’ll have the most relevant stories for you to flip through, to help improve on what you can offer them.
Being there for your customers at all times can mean a lot of things, but most of all, it means offering them the best customer service experience possible. If you’ve got all of the above points, at the least, on hand to ensure you’re offering what your competitors don’t or can’t, you’re going to curate a very unique experience that you’ll become very in demand for.
If your small business has some work to do right now, to get back on your feet, make sure you’re prioritising what kind of atmosphere and services you’re providing. These are just as important as the products you sell overall.