Top 3 Tips for ensuring Top Quality Customer Service
As businesses, we all know the value of great customer service and customer care. Steve and I have been reminded of this frequently during the recent office move.
Moving our office location was a huge upheaval and we needed to deal with numerous companies such as the landlord, furniture, IT, phones etc. Coordinating everything to avoid any interruption in our service delivery was a bit of a challenge! We had to rely on all the companies we were dealing with to give us the service we needed. With the exception of a large telecommunications company who shall remain nameless (because the mere mention makes the big vein in Steve’s head throb), we received excellent service.
The rewards for being able to deliver great customer service are fundamental to how a business grows.
- Loyalty – Being able to deliver a good and reliable service or product buys you customer loyalty.
- Recommendations – A satisfied customer will be more likely to recommend you to others.
- Competition – Excellent customer service and the ability to ‘go the extra mile’ for your customers makes them feel valued and can set you apart from the competition.
How to make your Customer Service Tip-Top
Here at Bubble Towers we apply three fundamental rules to our customer service which ensures that we have a high percentage of return business, our customers frequently recommend us to others and our service delivery gives us the edge over the competition (dust off the trumpet Steve – I’m showing off again!):
One of the most underrated skills in the customer service toolkit! We know how to represent our products or services and be clear about how our systems work. However, the ability to truly listen to our customers and find out more about them and their needs really can pay dividends.
At Data Bubble, we take the statement ‘How does what they need fit into our service?’ and change it to ‘How can our service fit in to their needs?’ Turning the statement around helps to get to the bottom of what could make our service exceptional for the customer. This statement could be applied to anything from free delivery to invoice arrangements, but if you listen and respond to your customers they will quickly trust your brand.
This is a broad term covering a broad subject from how many times the phone rings before you pick up, service delivery times, to how you answer a customer’s query. Responsiveness serves to personalise your brand to your customers – even an automated email, if correctly written, can have this effect. The responsiveness of your brand in all areas makes your customers feel individually valued. When your customers are valued they will become return customers and be happy to recommend you to others. Even if things go wrong, if you are proactive in your response it is possible to convert an unhappy customer into a loyal one!
Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers about their thoughts on your service – they may make valuable suggestions that you can implement to keep you ahead of the rest. We actively pursue feedback and always state in our communications that no matter whether good or bad, we see client feedback as being invaluable to our continued development as a business.
Going that extra mile
Have a look at the areas of your business where you could do that little extra something to be of help for your customers, maybe roll out the red carpet for them. As I write, Steve is outputting some data for a long-standing client of ours. This particular client likes the data to be in a specific way – certain fields in a certain order. Steve does this manually, amalgamating the fields and it takes anything up to an hour.
Another client likes to receive the data in .csv as well as in Excel format. Many data providers would not do this and would expect the customer to sort for themselves the way they like their data to appear! To us though, it is easy to achieve and going the extra mile means we have earned our customer’s loyalty as well as being able to stay ahead of the competition on service delivery.
Customer Service is part of your Marketing Strategy
It really is! How you deal with your customers and clients all the way through your sales process and beyond is how your brand is perceived. It’s harder to measure customer service than it is to measure how effective your last direct marketing email was. However, every successful brand has excellent customer service at the forefront of why they have such a large and loyal customer base.
As I final thought; it is my belief that people don’t necessarily want the cheapest and fastest – what they want is value for money – the way there are treated from the first interaction with you goes a long way in how they rate your value for money.