12 Ways to Keep the Customer Happy with Customer Service
Happy Customers = Web Success
Top Customer Service Tips
1. Start with your business plan.
If you wrote out your business plan on the back of a cocktail napkin, you’re almost certainly doomed from Day 1.
2. Your business plan should be detailed covering the who, what, where, when, why, and how of every aspect of business activity.
– including customer care. Know, from Day 1, who will handle it, what your customer policies are, where customer care takes place and so on. If you have blanks in your business plan, you’ll have problems when orders start to exceed your ability to fill them quickly, inexpensively and correctly.
3. Make customer care the central value of your web business.
Look what quality customer care did for Amazon, Overstock and LLBean. These companies are successful because they sell quality products (another topic altogether) and they provide unparalleled customer care.
4. State your policies clearly on your web site.
Many sites have return policies buried in the business’ terms of service (TOS) with tons of boilerplate to confuse the buyer. Keep is simple, sales-wise.
5. Provide guarantees and warranties on the products you sell.
This is the least expensive trust-builder the small business owner offers. Few buyers ever return products so provide an iron-clad guarantee of satisfaction and post that guarantee all over your web site.
6. Add client relation management (CRM) software.
First, check to see if the web host you’re considering offers CRM as part of the free basket of tools required for web success. If CRM ISN’T offered as a freebie, you’ll have to buy it and you’ll be working with a web host that’s cutting corners to your business success.
7. Track every order using CRM software.
This tool tells you where every order is in real time. When you start to see a back up in order delivery, jump in and start packing orders yourself. A happy customer is your most valuable business asset. Remember that. And a good website hosting firm will provide CRM software for free.
8. Provide lots of contact information.
Customers should be able to contact you in several ways. Be sure to provide: a toll-free telephone number, an email query module, a snail mail address, a returns address (your order fulfillment house, most likely) and even provide a order questions”” telephone number separate from tech support and other general queries. This prevents customers from hanging on the line for 10 minutes before talking to a human.
9. Provide customer service reps with a lot of latitude.
Some businesses develop ‘scripts’ for customer reps and reps are directed to stay on script, which means a lot of robotic responses to questions that could be resolved easily and quickly.
10. Teach your client reps to think on their feet.
Teach them that the client’s satisfaction is always top priority. And explain to them that they can go off script if it’s going to keep a customer satisfied – without fear of losing their jobs!
11. Avoid automated call systems.
We all hate them. “Press 1 if you want the status of an order.” “Press 3 to obtain your account status.” It’s what telephone service must be like in hell. Imagine how pleased a surprised a customer will be when a human voice answers the telephone on the second ring. Holy cow. A real human being.
12. Get involved.
Nothing says client care like a call from the business owner herself. Institute a process as part of your CRM that enables reps to kick a problem upstairs to your desk.
Set aside an hour a day to contact clients with problems and resolve those problems. Give them their money back. Send them a new one no charge. Help them with any problem they have. After all, you’re the boss.
Keeping customers happy is the one sure way to keep your business growing. It’s 100% hands-on, meaning it’s your job every day to make sure your customers are satisfied – even if it costs you a few bucks.
A satisfied customer is your best advertising, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to keep your customers satisfied, providing an ever-expanding sales force selling your web site through WOM.
Speaking of word-of-mouth, you might take a few minutes to explore green web hosting firms. They are not incredibly different or more expensive than traditional web hosting providers, except that they are powered by renewable energy.
Get the word out: you’re good. VERY good.