Sales and Service Success by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
As you move into the New Year, you’re likely looking for ways to make your business even more successful in 2016. You may be considering elaborate marketing plans or increasing your advertising budget for the next year. But, before you start spending loads of cash to increase business, remember to give some attention to how you treat the customers you already have.
In today’s fast paced world, exceptional customer service is a rare luxury instead of the basic expectation it was in years past. You may be able to put your business head and shoulders above your competition just by making a few simple changes to your customer service strategies. Going the extra mile is far less expensive than a bigger marketing budget or new advertising strategy and it can yield even better results. Exceptional customer service yields repeat customers, which costs you far less than having to win new customers over and over due to attrition. Here are some simple ways to improve your customer service.
• Anticipate the customer’s desires. Think about the product or service you provide and consider what you would require from a business like yours in order for you to consider it exceptional service. Would you want shorter lines or telephone hold times? How about proactive calling before letters come in the mail? Would you like to be offered coffee while you wait for your appointment? All of these things are simple, but make customers feel special.
• Keep your promises. Did you tell the customer you would have their answer today? If so, it’s important to call that customer today even if you don’t have the answer. Let them know you didn’t forget, and give them a new estimation of when you can give them the answer they’re waiting for. When a customer knows you’re a person of your word, they will be loyal to your business.
• Thank your customers for their business. Many businesses fail to let their customers know they appreciate the business. When a customer knows you really value their business, they are loyal. Send holiday cards, and offer rewards to your customers. But, most of all, thank them for their patronage in person as often as you can.
All of these items are simple, yet all can have a big impact on how your customers view you. When they know that you value their business and will go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction, you have the opportunity to create a lifelong customer.