Today’s business world has gone beyond simply having a good product or service at a reasonable price. Social media has increased the importance of customer service, with 78% of online customers recommending the brand to a friend after having a great service experience. What is the consequence of bad customer service? Recent research suggests that it costs companies $338.5 Billion a year in lost revenues. 86% of customers quit doing business with a brand due to bad customer service. It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one. Add to this that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, and if customer service was not a priority before, it will be now!
This of course begs the question: How do I improve my customer service?
Create the Experience
The customer service experience starts from the moment they walk in the door. While rushing to greet them is not realistic, taking a moment to smile, wave, or say hello creates a warm welcoming environment that lets your customers know you are there to help them.
While you do not want to hover around customers, be attentive to their needs and offer help if it looks like it is needed. Use a positive spin on your conversation, saying things like “We do not have that model in stock, however I would recommend considering this model which is very similar” instead of “Sorry, we don’t have that”.
This becomes more challenging when something has gone wrong. Instinctually most people start explaining why it has gone wrong or how they understand what the customer is going through. Neither of these are a solution and often upset the client further. Clients want to be heard and for a solution to be offered, so deliver exactly that! Acknowledge the problem, apologize, then find a solution. Acknowledging the problem requires you to admit that you were wrong. A simple “You’re absolutely right, I’m sorry this has happened. How can I make this better?” will go a long way in not just addressing the immediate concern, but may also improve your product or service! What the solution is may be as small as listening to the problem right up to offering to replace the product. Ideally this will be done by the staff member who hears about the problem as having to explain the problem to multiple team members will upset the client further. For this to happen, you have to empower your staff.
The article continues on Witz Education, with how to empower your staff and lead by example in the