Whether your business is booming or your business is struggling, business owners can all agree that customer service is the bread and butter of doing business. Here are just a few tips to ensure you’re engaging with customers to the best of your ability, and covering all your bases.
“If the customers ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Make sure you’re genuine with your customers and not just concerned about their money. Customers can tell when you don’t care about their experience in your store. Think of when you walk into a store and you are greeted as soon as you walk in, don’t you feel more welcome than when you walk into a store and you’re completely ignored by the sales associates? Customers feel more comfortable shopping in your store if you show them you are there to help them find what they need, not just get their money and never acknowledge them being there.
Use social media as a tool and not just a platform. Almost everyone is on social media these days. Out of 7+ billion people in the world, over 2 billion people are active social media users. Simply having social media accounts makes your business and/or goods readily accessible to the general public, but are you advertising new products or sales on your pages? Are you interacting with your customers on your account? Some of the most successful businesses take the feedback their customers give them online and use it to better their products and business. Responding to customers questions online humanizes your business, and lets the customer know they are heard and their opinion is valued.
Informing your customers about your new products, based on their needs. This is called in-product messaging. The clear definition for in-product messaging on Wikipedia is:
“Content and related media delivered directly to a user’s Internet-connected device or software application, with the purpose of informing, gathering feedback from, engaging with, or marketing to that specific user or segment of users at often-higher engagement rates than other digital marketing and online marketing channels.”
From this, you can gather that sending targeted messages to certain users gets better results. Just sending random emails to customers have horrible conversion rates. More than likely, most customers that receive the email won’t even look it over. They’ll see it is a promotional email and ignore it. Now, sending a certain email to a targeted or interested audience is when you actually begin to see results.
Be open to customer feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Host a “listening center” where you can get feedback from your customers. After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again, so opening communication between you and your customers can potentially save customers and boost your business. It’s also great for strengthening your relationship with customers, which is important for retention because increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
Have good, wholesome values that you and all of your employees make it a priority to uphold. You aren’t only selling your product, you’re selling yourselves and the experience at your store. For instance, ensuring you and your employee’s MAIN concern is customer service. Meaning, hiring people based on their values. Are your employee’s customer service oriented? They are the face of your business, ultimately. Your employees are the ones who are in constant contact with your customers. Poor customer service will cripple your business. When customer service becomes your no #1 priority, customers will trust you more, and refer new customers to your business. Drive this urgency into every of your team member. 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.
Always respond to customers in a timely manner. Customers are impatient, speed is critical. The majority (66%) of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience.
And last but not least…
Make it easy for your customers to contact you! In 2017, 35% reported reaching out in social channels, up from 23% in 2014 and 17% in 2012. Of those who have used social media for a customer service concern, 84% say they have received a response or resolution, up significantly from 65% in 2014. Your social media can be your greatest ally in this department, or you can do it the old-school way: answering the phones.