A happy customer is a repeat customer; a happy, repeat customer who will spread the word to his or her friends about why your service is the best. Similarly, and perhaps An unhappy customer will tell others too, you can count on it.
Do you need a good reason to focus on providing better customer service than your competitors? An American Express survey found that “Three in five Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.”
The best way to win a customer over is to deserve the honor.
Do You Care About Your Customers?
While it is true that some people are going to find fault with your product or service—no matter how hard you try to get it right—don’t use that as an excuse not to implement a strategy for customer service.
Define how your business treats customers and make sure every member of your team knows and practices your customer service vision. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Take it from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and “Look for ways to treat customers as you would like to be treated.”
Good customer relations begins with listening. In order to serve someone properly, you must first know what that person wants or needs. Craig Ross, an account executive for Apple Rubber, put it this way: “When customers have any question whatsoever, we have the answer.”
Do that and you will soon need to hire more people to keep up with orders.
Customer Service Statistics You Can Take to the Bank
Help Scout specializes in Customer Service. They compile statistics and report on best practices to thousands of small businesses—helping them grow by providing world-class service to their customers.
Consider these statistics, as reported on the Help Scout website:
- 78 percent of consumers have decided not to go through with a transaction because of poor customer service
- You will only hear from 4 percent of your dissatisfied customers. 96 percent will not voice the complaint and most of those simply will not come back.
- You are considerably more likely to make a sale to an existing customer than to a new prospect.
- It takes 12 good customer service experiences to make up for one bad experience.
- News about your great service gets told to only half as many people as does news about substandard service.
- You must invest six to seven times more to acquire a customer than to keep one.
Don’t Neglect This Location, Even if You Don’t Have a Store There
The internet has impacted the way customers interact with businesses. And don’t think your local business is immune. Even if you don’t have a website or look for business reviews online—your customers do.
It is vital for you to find and claim all of your online listings—and you don’t have to make them to have them. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp—all of them and plenty more catalog businesses and make it possible for customers to leave reviews.
Says Jason Wiser, in an On Track Tips interview with social media expert, Yifat Cohen:
Whether you have claimed your listing or not, people can still leave reviews, ratings and comments. The thing is, if you claim your listing, you can then respond to the reviewer and address the situation. It’s called reputation management,and the only way to do this is to be verified as the owner of your listing.
Many companies also set up listening posts online—via Google Alerts or by using a social media tool like Hootsuite—to monitor conversations about them or related to their business focus.
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