It is a proven fact that customers will continue to do business with companies that provide exceptional customer services. This is why many new businesses have resorted to focusing attention on customer service support as a viable means to gain instant recognition and to entice prospective buyers.
It is, therefore, important for businesses to know how to relate with their customers in terms of service delivery. Customers will simply pay more money for good service. And on the other hand, they will take their business elsewhere if they are not really satisfied with the way a company treats them.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose customers since their credibility and reputation depend on customers experience and feedback.
Entrepreneurs, therefore, must live up to expectation in every respect, as the success of one’s business largely depends on the number of loyal customers as well as potential clients one has. This is why I always tell people that exceptional customer service support is vital to the success of a company, and that is why an entrepreneur needs to maintain superior customer relations in whatever economic sector he operates.
Policies and procedures needed when dealing with customers
It is expedient to note that customer service policies and procedures help entrepreneurs to generate direction to best serve their clients. There are certain things entrepreneurs should do, can do and must do to create customer service policies, procedures and formulate best practices, ideas to serve them effectively.
A customer service policy is a written code of conduct for employees to utilise for serving customers. It could include how to respond to questions or deal with disgruntled customers who want refunds.
A policy can be short or it can be detailed with more than a page. The policy may state what is expected when certain situation occurs or appropriate steps to take. Typically, managers determine the policy and include it within the employees handbook.
Meanwhile, a customer service procedure is a way of doing a routine practice.
In customer service, there is a protocol that must be taken in order to remain competitive. Finding a better or faster way of doing something can be considered a customer service procedure.
A business owner is given the responsibility of completing job performance evaluations to see where weak links can be rectified. This leads to increased efficiency and better customer service.
Advice for small business owners without skills mentioned above
Such an entrepreneur can consult a professional to help him improve his customer service policies and procedures.
Employees and managers should look for new methods to help and serve customers. They should write new customer service policies and procedures every year, especially whenever there is a meaningful change to the objective of the job.
Entrepreneurs should gain input from external and internal customers. The external customers are the people who buy the product, while internal customers are employees of the company.
Feedback and surveys are fundamental to transferring policies and procedures. Once these are reviewed, proper steps can be taken to enhance customer service policies and procedures.
Tips to help entrepreneurs retain their customers
First, is when you under-promise and over-deliver. By this, I mean you should never promise more than what you can deliver. It is always better to exceed customer expectation than to disappoint them.
Also, try and remember their names. You should ensure that you always use your pleasant tone. As an entrepreneur, you should use hopeful and helpful words. If you are going to do something for your customer, then why not get extra credit by using words like: I would be happy to or It will be my pleasure to These hopeful and helpful words make the customer happy and make you look superb.
Always apply courtesy when dealing with them. Constantly thank the customer for calling, especially if it is a complaint call. If they had not called you would never have the opportunity to turn them into a productive interaction. Remember, action afterwards matters. You must follow through to ensure that both your internal and external customers commitments are honoured.
Pay attention to what the customer is saying and dont attempt to do something else at the same time. Introduce yourself in a positive manner right after answering the phone. Saying your name right away gives the customer confidence. Establish a more personal rapport with the customer.
Try and become your customer’s customer. When possible, take advantage of the products and services offered by your clients by showing your support of their business, as this will help build more trust in the relationship.
Ask your customer, every single time, if there is anything you can do better or differently to make them happier the next time. Sometimes, they give you priceless feedback that changes the way you do business. That question alone fixes issues always. They appreciate being asked.
When mistakes happen and it is frequent, empower your employees to apologise sincerely to the customer and give a little thing; it could be free facility, a gift or a discount to make amends. Never fail to keep your customers apprised of a situation.
Communicate with them, for most people tend to understand if they realise they are not being ignored and they are treated as if they matter. In these tough economic times, not only is price important, but good service is paramount.
How an entrepreneur can relate with an angry client
This is an area that needs some comforting skills. Entrepreneurs should learn to always answer angry e-mails with kindness and diplomacy. They should go the extra mile, for customers always recognise the extra effort. They will remember and tell others about your above and beyond attitude.
Put your money where your month is by guaranteeing 100 per cent customer satisfaction or give them their money back.
Customer service is becoming dynamic; customers have alternatives to choose from, and hence, entrepreneurs need to retain customers to remain in business.
In a depressed economy, customer experience is a high priority for clients, with 60 per cent often or always paying more for a better experience. So entrepreneurs must understand this.