It goes without saying that customers are considered to be the lifeblood of any business. 3C Contact Services, the leading provider of third-party contact center solutions, tells its partners that maintaining a good relationship with their customers must be their top priority.
However, if you find that customer service has been slipping, here are a few tips on how you can improve customer service and ensure that your customers stay with you for a lifetime. With all the changing technology in today’s marketplace, offering your customers the best service is something that remains timeless.
1. Get to Know Your Customers: Even if you’re an online-only business, offer an address so your customers will know that you aren’t someone operating out of a home office. And even if you are, jus listing the city you’re based in will be sufficient. Find ways to contact your customers aside from e-mail, such as a courtesy call, once a month or so.
2. Be Available: Situations that require your involvement rarely happen during regular nine-to-five hours, so find a way to be available to your customers during off hours, such as running extended hours, or adding an afternoon shift if it’s in your budget. Offer your customers other ways to reach you, such as Skype, and a toll-free number if they are calling from out of state or province.
3. Special Offers: Make your regular customers feel special by offering VIP packages. Make it an incentive for other customers as well; for example, if they make you their supplier, they’ll receive discounts or a special rate. Customers may even be willing to pay extra for these “perks”. And as an added bonus, this special treatment will make your customers feel taken care of.
4. Offer Knowledge: Whether it’s trade shows, seminars, or even blog posts on your web site, making your customers feel as though they are privy to insider knowledge will go a long way towards building your relationship with them.
5. Interactivity: Social media is an excellent way to do this. Create a Facebook page or Twitter feed for your business and encourage your customers to “Like” or “follow” you. Also respond to any posts or “@” mentions in a timely manner. And if you find any positive tweets, retweet and favorite them!
6. View Complaints as Feedback: Carefully look at any complaints your customers have and use them as a way to improve your business.
7. Make Employees Feel Wanted: Your employees are the frontline workers and if they don’t feel appreciated, customer service may start to slip. Always make your employees feel as though they are a valued part of the organization. This can include regular appreciation events or weekly meetings where the best efforts are praised; even a weekly pizza party can go a long way to improving morale.
8. Stay Positive: Finally, 3C Contact Services recommends you lead by example. If your employees see you handling customers in a positive way, this will prove to be infectious.