Customer Service

So now you landed the customer or client … now what?

Did you know? Poor customer service is more expensive than we think and can equate to more than 7 times the expense needed to acquire new customers. Did your jaw just drop? If it did here are some must read ideas to help boost your retention and lesson your acquisition in 2016.

    • Let it be known the time frame you will be launching new products or services. It’s amazing that how many of your clients will start asking for updates on the launch opening lines of communication. 
    • Listen to your customers’ thoughts, ideas, and concerns then build from here. If you listen long enough you will have opened your business to new directions and increase profits. 
    • Give constant consistency for communicating with your customers. Often we start off strong with follow-up then we drift to monthly and eventually we only send out communications around the holidays. The message you are sending your clients is “Hey, I love your money and the holidays a giving time, so share it with me”. 
    • Show your appreciation for their business. Wait, do you think a thank you is the only way to show appreciation? Look at other ways to show how much you are thankful for them maybe send cookies, a hand written card, send a small gift card to really express yourself. 
    • Have a top client?  Give them your home phone. With everyone having cell phones, giving your home phone shows you care more about your customers. Surprised to hear this idea? Customers’ will only call you at home if it is a REAL emergency, because they understand the value of personal time. 
    • Have a free promotional appreciation page on your website for your customers. Highlight an article about their business. This gives them free advertising and reinforces your relationship. 
    • This one is two sided. Give your customers a little more than they ask. For instance, if you sell them 1,000 business cards, give them 100 notepads with their business name and logo. You don’t have to be fancy, nor have tons of sheets in the pads. The possible downside to this one though,  is you can run the risk of them expecting more. 
    • Attention online retailers, update your products. Nothing is worse than a customer clicking on an item to make a purchase only to get to the checkout and learn the product is sold out. Spend the time adding new products immediately. Virtual shopping needs to be easy, informational, fresh, and up-to-date. 
    • Do to the nature of some businesses this one can be difficult, however, it is effective.  Get your customer’s birth date and send them a birthday wish. If your customer or client sends you an email, respond as fast as you can. Out of the office messages are effective, gives the sender a timeline when to hear back from you, give them an alternate person to contact if they need immediate attention. Think about it, do you like to wait? 
    • Everyone wants a guarantee. Guarantees make people feel secure and when people feel secure they are more quickly to spend money. 
    • Can I say emailing is great, but has this cost us the act of humanism? Instead of sending an email, pick up the phone, swing by your customer’s location. Put a personal touch on doing business and you will stand apart. 
    • Christmas cards are great, but everyone gets saturated. Pick another holiday like Valentine’s Day or July 4th and you will be amazed the response you will receive. Hint, Valentine’s is great because not everyone has a Valentine in their life so you will definitely hit the high marks on this date! 
    • Educate your customers on technology lingo, trends, statistics, even their competitors. Not every business is up-to-date on what’s happening out there in the world. They are way too busy focusing on their products or services, so give them a  little knowledge. 
    • Old ways to work; under promise and over deliver.  You set their expectations low and when you come in high you give them a “WOW” factor. 
    • Product sometimes comes out poorly, offer a discount first rather than a new product.  People are more willing to save money than lose time in replacement. Make sure though to give both options. 
    • Communicate on social network sites. Give comments back, say thank you and give content for your social connections to share or tweet about. 
    • Brag about your peeps to other peeps. Clients and customers love recognition.  You are helping to generate them business through word of mouth, intern they will talk about your business, and the person you were bragging to wants on your  brag list as well. Everyone wins! 
    • Not every business can afford large rates so try focusing on smaller businesses or non-profits, but still give them high quality services. Often times you will find the smaller guys are more loyal. 
    • Okay, so you see where your customer or client could improve their business. Offer your opinion and back it up with support. All too often we fear the rejection of our customer’s and because of this we only give the customer what they want. Live a little, take the initiative. 
    • Sweeten the gatekeeper, assistant, and purchaser by keeping them supplied with candy. You will be first on their mind when someone in the office needs your kind of product or service. 
    • Put it out to Twitter.  Ask your followers their thoughts, opinions, or give thanks to specific customers or clients. 
    • Lastly, ask for feedback. You may not want to know the answer, but spin it around to show you are listening and making changes, then obviously it works. People want to be heard and know they have a voice to help make change.

 

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