It is imperative that every business owner be aware of the importance of excellent customer service. You likely understand that building loyalty and winning customers will take time, but in the meantime, you need to be delivering uniform and consistent customer service to establish and maintain good relationships with customers who have already bought into your brand.
It is also essential to recognize just how delicate these customer relationships can be. Every customer you gain is a victory, but you can lose a customer much more easily, and in half the time it took to win them over.
Customers value uniformity from their product and service providers. Their expectations are always based on past, positive experiences that they want to repeat. So, it is not only vital to give excellent customer service at the beginning of your relationship, but throughout the customer journey. You must continue to deliver high-quality customer care. This means focusing your efforts on ensuring quality-based and consistent customer interactions.
How can your developing business effectively offer continuous, quality customer service across multiple channels?
Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind.
Make customers your priority
Always put your customers first. They are the reason you do what you do, and without them, you are entirely out of business. Make sure they are always satisfied by your product, your mission, and your customer service. Yes, this means that they need to be satisfied by the people that you choose to employ. Making customers your priority does not always mean delivering the best product out there or having 24/7 help available for issues.
Sometimes, making your customers your priority means taking the time evaluate every choice you make about your business, from who you are hiring to where your product is made to how you invest your profits, and more.
Customer service is more than someone at the end of a telephone or chat room. Creating the best customer experience possible starts from the day you decide to go into business.
Create a mission statement for customer experience
As you’ve likely been told since grade school, writing out goals can be an effective way to make sure you are keeping them in mind at all times. Put the mission statement of your business' customer service offering(s) into words, and circulate it amongst your staff. Get it made into a poster and hang it in the physical office if you have to.
There need to be constant reminders of what you expect from your employees, what is considered optimal performance, and what messages they should be getting through to your customers.
Just like placing your customers first, having company-wide alignment around your customer service ideals is crucial when it comes to supplying top-quality customer service. To make sure your customer experience mission statement functions, make sure it is measurable, trainable, and actionable, as well as realistic.
Always deliver on your promises
Having a customer service mission statement that is not actionable is useless. Consider the objectives of your own customer experiences with other companies, and create standards for your own organization for execution across various channels. Though each of these channels (website, various social media accounts, email, etc.) has its own set of best practices, each channel’s message must include the essential parts of your customer experience mission statement.
The phrasing may be a little modified from your actual mission statement depending on the channel and audience, but keep the message uniform and solid.
Your mission is your promise. It is what you hope to deliver at your absolute best, which you should strive for daily.
Customer service is largely about setting expectations, delivering services to meet those expectations, and having meaningful interactions with your customers. To successfully execute a uniform customer service experience, staying transparent with all of your customers during these interactions is very important.
State your customer service hours clearly, and make sure they know all of the ways that they can contact your company. Follow through with assistance by offering to track down answers you aren’t sure of, and always remember to go back and deliver those answers! Customers will be happy to know that you thought about them and their issues outside of a simple phone call.
Training is everything
As mentioned above, your mission statement, be it of your company as a whole or simply the customer service department, needs to be trainable. Invest in your employees. Take the time to train them on what they should, and need to, be doing. Anything less is simply setting them up for failure. Employees don’t want to fail - their jobs are at stake - and you don’t want your business to fail, not even in this single department.
If there is a breakdown of your customer service function, your customers are more likely to abandon your company out of frustration.
Train your employees. Be it through online courses, classroom sessions, or just a visible and ever-present reminder of the behaviors and quality they should be delivering on a daily basis, make sure you are training them. This cannot be stressed enough!
And to ensure that your employees are taking their training seriously, don’t be afraid to include some sort of assessment at the end. This is a regular practice, so don’t worry about seeming harsh.
It can be difficult to get everyone in your organization on the same page. People have different demeanors and communication styles from one another. Not only that, but they have different demeanors and communication styles from one business day to the next!
So set your expectations, and hold your staff to them. They have a responsibility to you and your company to set the best example and deliver the best results possible. But remember, if they are delivering anything less, they may not be the only ones at fault. Do everything you can to empower your employees, and they will gladly reciprocate the positive behavior.