Kudos for Customer Service

We all want our customer service to be considered excellent right?   I know when I shop on line, I notice the ease (or not) of the checkout process and appreciate the email with the order confirmation. Just as when shopping in a real store, I notice the interaction with the sales staff –  whether a boutique or the grocery store. A smile or a kind hello can make the difference in my experience……agree?

How can you make your Customer Service stand out from the crowd?

  1. Be sure your on-line shopping cart sends an automated “Thank you” email and confirmation of their order.
  2. Have an easy to understand FAQ
  3. Obviously respond quickly (within 24 hours) to voice mail and email inquiries.
  4. Create standard response templates so that anyone on your staff, including a VA, can respond appropriately to certain requests like returns or exchanges, or anything specific to your business. (Like sizes for example or how to use a product even if it is explained on your sales page)
  5. Consider a shopping cart that alerts the customer when the items ships with tracking info.
  6. You might set up an auto-responder that goes out 2-3 weeks after the item was ordered and asks how they are enjoying it and offer them a discount on their next order – perhaps you can suggest a few items for specific holidays coming up.
  7. If it is a store ordering for the first time, follow up with an email and then a phone call to see how it is selling.   You might want to send a list highlighting the selling points to help the sales staff sell better with their first order.
  8. Social proof is the best endorsement of your products.  Post a link where they can review products. **
    You can then use the reviews on your website or even post it to Facebook or Twitter.
  9. Remember the customer is always right and it’s your job to figure out how you can keep them happy and coming back.  Discounts and/or free shipping are always good options to offer when something goes wrong to bring the smiles back.

As my friend Matthew Goldfarb says, “ A satisfied customer will tell three people in their social circle about you. A dissatisfied one with tell thirty, and then post about it on Twitter and Facebook.”

** I have secured a 10% discount for you on Ratepoint in lieu of any affiliate fees for myself as I don’t participate in those, but instead, pass the savings on to you.  Check it out.

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    Written by Sarah Shaw

    There are 4 comments

  • Great article! I think too many businesses in this challenging economy are cutting corners when it comes to customer service. In MHO, this is the worst thing they can do. It’s going that extra mile that will keep customers coming back because you make them feel special. The only thing I would add, is the importance of differentiating between giving customers what they want, when you should be giving them what they need.

  • Many times business owners are so busy conducting business that they relegate customer service to the back burner or assume that everyone knows what to do. Truly outstanding customer service is rare and seldom seen in the workplace from my experience. Customer service is not passive; it is ACTION and requires vision, training, mindset and follow through on the part of owners, managers and employees. But the want vs need distinction does require careful thought. Give customers what they want and they will be happy, loyal and tell others. Giving them what they want is the service in customer service! Wanting is about abundance, giving and receiving more to give more. Customers don’t need anything from you. Needs can be found anywhere. Wants are specific. Customer service is about giving their wants to them from you!

  • This is a great article! I love all the tips you listed and think they are often overlooked in small business. Simple systems can make the customer feel appreciated and important and ensure future loyalty.

  • I really like #4 and #6. I often send thank you cards to my customers, but following up with an autoresponder a couple of weeks later, is a great way to show that you continue to care about them after the sale. And templates for your VA is fantastic way to show your VA how you expect your customers to be taken care of.

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