Failing to get it right…
So many small businesses fail to get Customer Service right. Whether you are a sole trader, micro business or have a team around you, customer service is an important part of your business. In fact, it’s fundamental to your success.
The cost of poor customer service cannot be underestimated*:
- Roughly 61% of customers say they would switch to a new brand after one bad experience. (Zendesk)
- After more than one bad experience, around 76% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor. (Zendesk)
- 33% of consumers would consider switching companies immediately after poor customer service. (American Express)
Top 7 areas to concentrate on…
According to a recent HubSpot article* fulfilling the following seven needs are most important when it comes to customer service:
83% of consumers cite good customer service as the most important factor—outside of price and product—when deciding what to buy. (Khoros)
Customer service is make or break for any business. Get it wrong, people shout LOUDLY and now turn to social media to vent their anger, within minutes of something not going right for someone the whole world can know about it.
When I begin working with a client, I always talk about customer service – whether that be gaining first-time or repeat customers. As one of the fundamental elements, it could be causing problems elsewhere in the business without them even knowing there’s a problem.
It’s very important to gain an understanding of the customer journey from start to finish by mapping out the entire process. Thinking about all the steps from marketing and engagement to conclusion (service or product delivery) and finally feedback. We look at implementing ways to improve it.
One size fits all…
A simple starting point to this process is a standard enquiry response. How many times have you typed out the same email…
Thank you for your email.
Please see our website for further information about our product and how to order.
Email in. Type. Repeat…
If you have or need to type the same response more than once, set it up as a template. This can be typed within a Word document, saved to be copied and pasted, or you can use something like canned responses in your email. Templates can be used across the board too, e.g. within social media.
Another benefit of standard responses is consistency – you are ensuring that every single enquirer receives the same information, in the same way (using your brand voice) and nothing is forgotten. Work on these regularly, update, refresh and make them YOU.
Next… Service Level Agreement
You should set your boundaries for responding to enquiries, is it within 24 hours, 48 hours or an hour? Do your customers know this? Make it clear how long it will take to gain a reply. In the world we live in today, instant responses are expected, but in reality, is that going to happen?
Maybe you can meet them halfway…
Pop an auto responder onto your emails, Business What’s App or Facebook business page inbox
Great to hear from you! I’ll aim to get back to you within the next 24 hours, if it’s urgent call me or feel free to check out our website (link) (insert appropriate option) in the meantime – clear guidelines, clear call to action = happy customer.
Always overshoot your timeframe, giving yourself wiggle room for unexpected chaos and you will exceed expectations when you reply sooner than expected. Massive tip – never fail to reply or go massively beyond your time frame. This is a big no-no and will make you look bad.
Make things easy…
How many times do you do things at night? Pay bills, book a ticket, purchase new clothes…
Right, your potential customers may be doing the same thing.
Browsing your website at 11 pm because they want to improve their business, get help on a particular matter, purchase a service, book a discovery call…do you make it easy? How simple do you make it for people to buy from you?
One idea is that you can add an option to your website so people can book in a call with you. Using a scheduling app like Calendly saves you both time ping-ponging emails and most importantly they have instant gratification. Leaving it until the next day may result in not bothering or knocking it down the “to-do list”.
If you offer bookable services, use something like 10to8 to simplify the booking system. It sends text and email reminders so that you have fewer no-shows and it offers a professional service.
All these things can be embedded into your website, email signatures etc. for easy use.
Delivery of service…
This is all fantastic but another important point is the actual service you deliver. Mess this up and all that groundwork could be useless.
So many businesses lack this, even the big players.
Last week I received really bad service from a big company. I was left disappointed, frustrated, angry and made to feel like a liar.
Will I shout about this – yes (I won’t name and shame here – but most people do).
Will I continue my contract with them at renewal time – No, definitely not (it’s marked in my diary!)
Have they lost my trust and faith in them – Yes, wholeheartedly.
Moral of the story:
- Word of mouth is king and can ruin you in a flash
- Be friendly and authentic whilst remaining professional
- Give clear information and knowledge
- Offer the best solution for that particular customer
- ALWAYS put your customer’s feelings and rights first
- Deliver on your promises
- Rectify your mistakes quickly and effectively
- Go the extra mile, be different, make an impact
- Stand out for the right reasons
If you would like to find out how to improve your customer journey flow or customer service delivery then contact me for a chat 07900 958450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.