Customer service is an integral part of any company. No matter if you are newly formed or have many years of experience under your belt. Working on delivering exceptional customer service should be something every business, and as such, an entrepreneur should strive for every single day.
Be definition; customer service is the assistance and advice provided by a company to its customers who wish to purchase its products or services.
But what pops into your head when you think about customer service and who do you think should deliver customer service? In reality, the answer is everyone should deliver exceptional customer service to every person who comes into contact with your company. This should be exhibited at every part of the journey, not just when payment is exchanged. In fact, if your company falls short of delivering a standard that is deemed less than sufficient by the customer, chances are, they will never reach the stage where they purchase what you are selling.
For this reason, making sure you are meeting expectations before the sale even begins is paramount to helping you deliver the best customer service possible.
Standard of Products and Services
If you are selling a physical product or a service, you should strive to ensure the item is fit for purpose before it reaches the market. Be it forming an idea to meet a gap in the market for a service or non-physical sale and committing to making it as complete and user friendly before you start to sell it. Or making sure any physical items you sell are designed with the highest possible quality and made using reliable parts and of high quality.
Consequently, selling products that are below quality or incomplete will not only result in returns and complaints but a loss of business too. People won’t return if they feel what you are selling isn’t giving them value for money. So while you need to make sure you are keeping costs in mind, you should aim to use products of the highest quality where possible.
Repairs and Maintenance
Making sure the back end of your company is running as it should have a huge impact on the level of customer service you deliver. If your team is constantly working with faulty or damaged equipment, then this will impact how well they do their job and how quickly they can deal with customers. The same goes for manufacturing, warehouse or direct customer-facing roles. Replacing parts such as butterfly valves or equipment when it can no longer be fixed will help you to meet expectations and demand without compromising on customer service.
Your company image will go a long way in helping you deliver good customer service. Take it back to the first place a customer will come into contact with your company. Be it via storefront, a website or via word of mouth. Next, look at how you can make the first impression a good one. What do you want your company image to say for you before you can say it yourself?
Think easy to navigate informative websites, detailed business cards, a glowing review from a previous customer or an eye-catching shop front and attentive staff. Make sure you implement everything you would expect from other companies in your own business to help you start as you mean to go on when it comes to delivering top-notch customer service.
Nothing puts a customer off quicker than staff who are lacking in vital company knowledge be it products, information or services provided. It can be tempting to skip over detailed training, especially if you are short-staffed, but nothing screams poor customer service like staff who have no idea what they are doing no matter how enthusiastic they are. Gaps in skills and knowledge is also one of the major factors in poor staff morale and people leaving their jobs. If your employees feel like you don’t care about them enough to train them properly, you can wave goodbye to good, hardworking staff and hello to a high turnover.
Taking the time to listen to feedback when it comes to staff training and performance will help you to identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses and work to resolve them on an individual level as opposed to retraining the whole team.
In conclusion, customer service is an integral part of your business and should always be treated as such. Neglecting the basics will have ramifications throughout your company on many different levels. Focusing on the customer experience as a whole at every contact point of their journey with you will help you to make sure you are securing your company’s future.