Every business owner will know it is much easier to keep existing customers than it is to win new ones.  In this blog I will share a number of Customer Service Tips which helps promote the retention of existing customers.

‘The Customer Is King’

A useful quotation to bear in mind is that of Henry Ford’s…

“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”    Henry Ford

Educating employees on the importance of treating customers with the respect they are due is the vital.  Customers who are recognized and called by name appreciate this and any extra effort which your staff go to in satisfying customer needs will be reflected in your bottom line.

Ask For Feedback

Customer feedback is a valuable source of information for any company.  Companies who look for feedback in a structured way will reap the benefits by taking appropriate action whether the result is positive or negative.  On exiting a shop recently I noticed that there was a stand inside the door with 3 buttons on it.  One was red, one was green and one was orange.  Customers were simply asked to press the appropriate button based on their valuation of the customer service experience.  However, there are lots of other ways to capture customer feedback such as Survey Monkey, a Customer Service helpline, Social Media channels etc.  Having received the feedback it is just as important to act on the information and to use the opportunity to connect in a positive way with your customers.

Answer The Phone

It might seem like a pretty obvious point but you need to make sure that someone is answering all calls to your business.  People who take the trouble to call your business want to speak to a person and not be directed through a series of voicemails.  Ensure that your staff who handle your calls are well equipped to represent your company in the best possible manner.  Your receptionist is the first point of contact for callers to your business and you need someone who is professional, friendly and competent.  If your receptionist is sick, on holidays or on lunch make sure that calls are forwarded to someone else in the business rather than leave calls go to voicemail.  Outsourced call answering is another solution to this short-term problem and these can be a cost effective solution for SME’s.

Go The Extra Mile

Good customer service is what your customer expects from you, but great customer service is when you do more than you are expected to do.  If you really want to wow your customer then go the extra mile and provide them with a little extra which is over and beyond their expectations.  Knowing your customers is the key to this customer service tip.  If you know your customer you will be very well placed to give them a little something which may not cost very much in monetary terms but will be hugely appreciated.  I think of my elderly and aunt who stayed for a week at a hotel in the West of Ireland and when they were leaving the Manager gave them a parting gift of a pot of locally made jam as he knew they particularly liked it.

Walk In Your Customers Shoes

Empathy is a trait which is invaluable in recognizing your customer’s needs.  Employees who are naturally empathetic will have no difficulty with engaging with customers but others may need some training in this area.  Role play can be a useful training tool in order to work through the usual customer scenarios and help employees identify the phrases used by clients which can be trigger points.  Some companies like to use a mystery shopper in order to continually assess the customer experience from an independent perspective and this can provide valuable feedback.

I hope you have found these 5 Customer Service Tips beneficial for your business. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or wish to enquire about our telephone answering or virtual office services.