Customer Service Still Matters
There was a time when customer service was king, and everybody recognized that providing an amazing experience was key to attracting and retaining customers. The idea of “the customer is always right” comes from this era, but things shifted from experience to convenience and cost in the nineties.This new era didn’t care much about the customer’s experience, only about providing a quick experience for the customer and a reduction in employee cost for the company. You’ll remember this time period due to the introduction of self-checkout stands.
Now we seem to have come full circle and recognized that cost and convenience matters, but so does the experience. Modern consumers expect to have it all, and those companies that provide it are the ones that are winning the game. With brick and mortar stores fighting against both local and non-local companies online, customer service can be a defining part of their overall business strategy.
But why does customer service matter?
Customer service is as important to your company’s success as is your ability to budget and drive sales. It is also a peripheral function of marketing because no matter how many people you bring in, you’re losing marketing dollars if you can’t retain them. Getting the most of your marketing investment relies on your ability to make the customers you attract happy and turn them into repeat customers.
So how can you make your customers happy enough to keep coming back to you instead of your competitors? Here are some easy tips to get you started on the path to customer service excellence.
- Greet people who come in your store with a friendly welcome, but don’t hover over them.
- Make sure that everyone is answering your phone promptly with a standardized, friendly greeting.
- Work to avoid situations that create long lines, long waits, and other inconvenient situations.
- Review your return policy to make sure that it is customer friendly without hurting your profits. Remember, you’re up against companies that have extreme flexibility in this area.
- When possible, great people with their name as they check out.
- Look for ways to encourage repeat business. A customer loyalty program or a returning customer coupon are simple ways to say “thanks” while getting people to return.
- Look for ways to stand out among your competition by offering extras. Could you offer tea or water in your waiting area or retail space? Could you provide curb-side delivery of items bought online or over the phone?
Remember, you’re not only competing against the company across town, but with companies online. This means you’ll need to be creative to provide an elevated customer experience. The good news is that not only is this just the right thing to do, but it will also help you retain the customers you’re fighting so hard to win over in the first place!
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