I’ve had several requests lately to speak on customer service and how it impacts a business. Having coached, trained, and consulted with sales teams for years, customer service has always been a focus of mine. Today, I share with you some brief tips that I like to incorporate into anything I do around customer service. Most times you only get one shot at proving yourself. Use my “Five B’s of Customer Service” and I’ll almost guarantee you’ll get very high scores in customer service.
1. Be the customer! This is first and foremost. What I have always tried to do is put myself in the customer’s shoes and see things from their elevation. Unfortunately, most salespeople and organizations see things from a much higher elevation. I get them to come down and “smell the roses.” How can you satisfy someone’s needs if you can’t understand what the needs are?
2. Be easy to get in touch with! If you’re in sales are you easy to get in touch with? If you are part of the operations or administrative teams, are you available and pleasant to customers? Are you offering several methods for customers to contact you? Do you ask the customer what their preferred method of communication is, or do you just assume they enjoy email, as much as you? If you can, offer them email, phone, and fax contacts. Be sure all email signature lines have hyperlinks to your email addresses.
3. Be website friendly for your customers! Make sure your website is easy to navigate and include a “Frequently Asked Questions” page so they can find answers to their questions easily. Then make sure there are email links on the site that can connect them to people for answers to questions that aren’t so frequently asked. Make sure you have “calls to action” on the first page of your website. I’m amazed at the number of companies that don’t ask for business on the first page.
4. Be in contact with your customers….often! If you are the direct link between them and your product or service, my first piece of advice is to ask them how often they want to see or speak to you. Then ask them how they would like to be communicated with? Would they like to subscribe to your e-newsletter? Then after every order/purchase they make from your company, make sure you follow-up with them.
5. Be the business relationship they want you to be! Make sure you relate well with your customers, make sure you are frequently establishing their needs, and make sure you show them you honestly care about the relationship you have with them. Make them feel important and special by doing little things for them, like inviting them to lunch or one of my seminars.
There is one thing I’d like to add to the above tips. If you practice these on a regular basis and actually execute them, not only will you score high in customer service, you’ll most likely also grow your business. Then you’ll “Be” happy! Have a great week.