Did you know about the huge, untapped market right under your nose?
It’s your existing customers & great customer service
If you’d like to see more business coming in the door, look to your current client base. Are you doing everything you can to keep them happy? Do they have a high regard for your business? Do they refer friends and acquaintances to you? It might be time for you to work harder to please them.
Use this 7-part evaluation to investigate your company’s customer service:
1. Get ’em at the door!
- Does your front desk person greet every single person that walks in the door? They should!
- Even if you don’t have a receptionist or administrative assistant, whoever is positioned closest to the entrance should have the responsibility of greeting clients who come in.
- Work out a greeting script that is easy to memorize: “Hello! Welcome to Acme Products. I’m Katie – how can I help you today?”
2. Put value on personality
- Hiring managers are often impressed by technical skills more than personality – but personality is everything!
- A customer responds more positively to someone who makes them feel good and can deliver a product/service as promised.
- Evaluate all the employees in your company. Place as much importance on customer service skills as you do on job performance. If someone is falling short in the people-to-people category, switch them to an area that requires less customer interaction.
3. Remember your phone manners.
- People don’t like waiting for help! Always pick up by the 3rd ring, and don’t keep anyone on hold for more than 30 seconds.
- Use polite and professional language. It might help to come up with a list of words/phrases that are acceptable or unacceptable (“Of course, I’ll get right on that” is better than “Yeah, I’ll do it”).
4. Engage your employees.
- Great customer service means doing the right thing, then doing it again. Involve your employees in this process!
- Have a morning “pep talk” and focus on a different area of service each day.
- Allow employees to make suggestions and be creative – they need the freedom to improve their customer relations.
5. Know your stats.
- Track and analyze customer feedback – you’ll be able to spot areas that need improvement and track your progress.
- Surveys are a great tool. Start with a satisfaction rating (“on a scale of 1 to 5…”), then ask specific questions or include a portion for comments.
6. Take care of unhappy clients.
- Customer complaints or issues must be resolved immediately. Don’t skim over a response: lengthy apologies work the best.
- If one of your big fish is dissatisfied, consider sending them a thoughtful present or offer to comp a service. They’ll appreciate your consideration.
7. Get ’em at the door (again)!
- Before a customer leaves your office/store/restaurant/etc., be sure someone is there to ask them how they enjoyed their meeting/visit/meal/etc.
- Their last interaction at your place of business shouldn’t be a checkout – turn their exit into a conversation and an invitation to return soon.
If you notice a deficiency in any of these areas, take some time to address your customer service issues. Communicate with your staff, track down your mistakes, and fix the problems. You’ll end up with happy, repeat customers who refer others and spread the word about your business.
Positive word-of-mouth? That’s the best free advertising you can get!