Service First: Top 5 Customer Service Tips

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customer service tipsOne of the most important things that you can promise your customers is their contentment with the job you’ve done.

Everyone has seen the slogans and ads that guarantee a customer’s satisfaction or proclaim that customer service is a #1 priority, but keeping these promises is far more important than simply making them visible.

Because these promises and slogans are so common, customers expect excellent customer service and are quick to make a negative judgment about a company if their experience is not 100% positive. By taking the extra time and care to make sure that your customers are happy, you’re also helping your business to grow and prosper.

Excellent customer service is a great way to keep your customers coming back for more when the need arises. Research has shown that it costs six to eight times more to get a new customer than it does to keep existing customers. Additionally, companies that keep the business of existing customers have a higher profit margin with those existing customers and also have a higher company growth rate. Each happy customer has the potential to spread the word about your company to an unlimited amount of people through word of mouth or over the internet.

Good customer service starts at the top of the company and should extend to every employee. If you don’t have the resources for customer service training, there are still easy ways to improve customer satisfaction and reduce complaints. Follow these five easy tips:

1. Improve Employee Relations:
If your employees are happy, they will project that feeling towards customers. Talk to your employees often and keep them in-the-loop on company changes and progress. Make employees feel like they are part of a team and that their actions in all aspects of the company and customer relations are important and valued. If employees have a complaint, address it quickly to avoid having bad company morale that is evident to customers.

2. Make Changes:
Listen to what your employees are saying customers want and need and make changes accordingly. For example, if a top customer complaint is that dirt was tracked into their home, purchase disposable boot covers for employees to wear if entering a home. Also, study your competition and see what business practices they use. Learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. Just because you’ve done something one way for ten years doesn’t mean it’s the best way! There is always room for improvement.

3. Value Current Customers: Make current customers feel important by doing simple things like thanking them personally for their business and making every interaction pleasant and professional. Their repeat business brings you continued revenue, and also more opportunities for referrals. Reward customers for referring others by giving them special discounts or price cuts to show your appreciation.

4. Keep Your Promises:
Reliability is a key word in any business’ success. If you schedule an appointment for a certain time, make sure that an employee is at the job on time. Set reasonable deadlines for large jobs so that you’ll be sure to finish on time. Stay true to any price guarantees you make as well so it doesn’t look like you are someone that goes back on his word.

5. Answer Your Phone Correctly:
This may seem like an obvious point, but there is a right and a wrong way to answer customer calls. Always welcome a call by indentifying yourself and your business. A customer should not have to ask if they’ve reached a certain person or business. Enunciate clearly using professional language and take any necessary notes of the conversation for follow-up purposes.

Following these tips to enhance your customer service and improve your business. Remember that your customers are the lifeline of your business and deserve to be treated as such. Take time to talk to customers personally and at the end of the conversation ask if there is anything else you can do for them. Taking these extra steps helps keep existing customers happy while getting their repeat business and excellent referrals.