Customer service really is everything. Studies have shown that people are willing to spend more at places where customers believe they are actually cared for. Yes, your business needs to make a profit, but if caring for your customers takes a backseat to making a buck, don’t be surprised if your customers decide to ride with someone else.
When it comes to delivering top-notch customer service, there are three key rules that you’ll want to stick to moving forward.
Listen to Your Customers, Don’t Just Hear Them
Part of good customer service is truly listening to what your customers are telling you. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product is, it’s not going to turn a casual shopper into a loyal customer if a person is dissatisfied from other aspects of your business.
A good example would be your hours of operations. Let’s say you’re a coffee shop that opens at 7:00 am, but you’re noticing a growing group of people that are wanting to purchase a hot brew from you at around 6:00 am. They’re waiting outside every morning, posting comments about it on your Facebook page regularly, and asking your staff what can be done.
You can hear what your customers are saying and apologize for the inconvenience, or you can listen to them and change your opening time.
That isn’t to say that you need to change your business model with every tip and suggestion from shoppers that visit your store. But if you’re refusing to make a change despite numerous requests from your clientele, are you sincerely listening to what your consumers are trying to tell you?
Smart Tip: Make sure you provide plenty of avenues for customers to voice their praise, comments, or concerns about your business. Online reviews are a great way for you to be able to see what your customers have to say about your store.
Automate for Your Customers, but Don’t forget About Them
Automated technology has made its mark as an important tool regarding customer service. Self-checkout lanes in supermarkets, electronic kiosks in eateries for customers to place and pay for orders, and chatbots for online shoppers are all ways that automation has cozied up next to customer service.
Even though there’s a growing trend of offering some form of self-service to your guests, it would be unwise to leave your customers without a human customer service backup.
What if an item isn’t being scanned in that self-checkout lane? What if a customer wants a specific request for a food order? Is that chatbot capable of answering every single question a customer might ask about your business? If you don’t have a human aspect of your customer service ready and waiting in case of those specific cases, then you’re not truly providing top-notch customer service.
Smart Tip: Automated email marketing is great for sending out useful content in large numbers, but it’s still another automation tool that needs a human touch to go along with it. Make sure your email marketing has a personal tone and is written in a way that doesn’t sound like it came off an email assembly line.
Acknowledge and Empathize with Unhappy Customers
This last point can’t be stressed enough. When those moments come (and they will come) where you experience an unhappy shopper, do not hide from them or put off solving their problem. Run to them! Embrace them with open arms and let them know you’re there to help the whole way while resolving their issue. Often, a customer will calm down as soon as their pain point has been acknowledged. Then, solving the issue becomes a matter of customer delight.
This rule isn’t just for the physical space, but also for the digital. As soon as that negative review pops up, or a complaint comes in into your messaging inbox, jump in with a speedy reply. Apologize for the misunderstanding and negative experience. Customers will in the future when their complaints are met with speedy replies.
Customer complaints are part of business life. Don’t waste time trying to figure whether or not you’re at fault for the situation. Empathize with unhappy consumers and find out if the matter can be resolved within reason.
Smart Tip: Make sure you encourage feedback from your guests at all times, not just when it shows up as an unhappy customer. Promoting feedback is one of the four key points to creating the ideal loyal customer.
Do you offer complimentary WiFi to your guests? Did you know you can upgrade that basic WiFi to work as an additional tool to boost your customer service? With GoZone WiFi’s Marketing4WiFi platform, you’ll gain access to automated tools you can use to better your customer service.