Hey y’all! I am so excited that you have joined me for this new chapter and as promised I am going to be putting together lots and lots of information on each subject matter and sending it out weekly!
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Let’s get straight to business!
This is not an easy topic and it is probably going to be addressed and re-addressed OFTEN!
Each business has to sell and market what they do. You have to create your audience and once you have it you have to NURTURE it… with GREAT customer service!
Customer service is part of every single business NO MATTER WHAT. Let’s try a few not so obvious examples:
A Writer – LOTS of people do what you do, stand out with the way you LOVE you readers.
A Carpenter – Not only do you sell what you build but you sell trust in YOU (quality and efficiency)
A Restaurant – Your entire business is BUILT on customer service and for added complication you have to teach your standard of customer service to your entire staff to get the job done right!
You get the general idea. Customer service is key! Let’s start at the top. As the owner or manager of a business you are always going to have a drive to be better with customer service BUT it is important for you to display this drive and motivation to your EMPLOYEES! Do NOT Waver!
Fun Fact: On average, happy customers tell nine friends. Unhappy customers tell sixteen.
Here are my favorite tips for excellent customer service (best practices):
1. Treat and train your staff WELL!
Your employees are your brand ambassadors. They are NUMBER ONE in the quest for excellent service!
- Hire the right people (with the right soft skills) for the job
- Train them on your standards and expectations
- Arm them with the tools they need to perform well
- Reward them for a job well done
Fun Note: Create a bit of fun competition on a good day to increase performance and excellent service!
2. First Impressions are SUPER important
This is not just about your staff… this is also about your place of business. Customer Service is a BIG picture kind of thing!
- Is everyone smiling?
- Is the store/Restaurant clean?
- Is everything consistent?
- Music too loud?
3. Multi-task on Multi-PLATFORMS
You have to be available and visible and CONSISTENT across the board. Expectations seem high and they ARE, you gotta find a way to get in there and keep up…. and no you cannot do it all by yourself.
- Be on social media (learn how to do this or hire someone to do it for you and be consistent across platforms
- GOOGLE… claim that google page and manage it often
- Reviews are a BIG deal. People are watching for these and a smattering of bad or negative is good too. Make sure you reply and attempt to mend the break
4. Make it Personal
Take the time and encourage your employees to take the time to study your customers. A good number of them will become regulars and they will do that because of HOW you make them feel. Treat them like family. Get involved, ask questions and listen with GENUINE care!
5. Be True to your Business
It is super important to be genuine and real with your business. You created something wonderful and if you try to live up to the standards or the focus of some other business you will falter. Be true to your vision. If you find yourself or your business waiver make sure you step back and take a look at where you are off center. Re-align and move forward. AND don’t be afraid to ask for HELP!
Additional tips –
- Reduce Customer effort – In a 2007 survey by the Customer Contact Council it was found that the single most important factor to increasing customer loyalty is reducing the amount of work the customer has to do to get their problem solved.
- Say “Thank You” (for no reason) – The power of this simple phrase was tested in a 2010 study where participants were asked to give feedback on a fictional student’s cover letter. The results? 32% of the “no gratitude” group provided feedback on the second cover letter, while 66% of the “gratitude” group—more than double—ended up sending more feedback.
- DO NOT let an angry customer leave your business. 99% of the time that customer can be saved, and given the way word of mouth works you need to at least try.
These are some of the most common stumbling blocks I see with my clients when I do a Business Analysis.
Be sure to pay special attention to these:
- Making sure that your staff is not struggling to get their job done right. They may know how you want to final product to look but they need to know how to get there.
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency – this creates trust and attachment to your brand
- Visibility – you have to be visible on the right platforms