Have you thought about your customer service lately?
Well, I haven’t written in a few days because I am on a wonderful business retreat in Naples, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton. I have been greeted, pleased, and thank-you’d so much that I feel like I am on another planet. Okay, I know I’m a Northern girl and customer service is sketchy sometimes in my part of the country, but the service that I’ve experienced at this hotel in particular has been wonderfully refreshing (and I’ve been on this retreat which has been hosted at different locations for several years). This one is by far the best.
So my point is that I have found that many companies and solopreneurs online often do just enough to make the sale and offer little to zero customer service. You know the ones that you contact and never hear from again. Or you hear 5 days later? For example, I ordered some software recommended by a friend via his affiliate link. The site was great. I heard a bit of buzz about it across the web. So I ordered. It didn’t do what it said it could do, so I wanted a refund. I had to hound this company and basically threaten that I would write a bad review of their product to get a response.
Now they took care of my refund but have left a very bad taste in my mouth. I will never order from them again and probably won’t trust any of my friend’s recommendations again either. Was there anything customer service related that they could have done to save me as a client for future products — I think so. There are many times that I have returned something that didn’t work for me but later ordered something that I was very happy with. This goes for big companies all the way down to us solopreneurs.
Good customer service is actually a practice that will strengthen our brand.
It will help us stand out among the hoards of competitors in our given niches. Think about big brands like Nordstrom’s or Starbucks. A lot of their success is based on the customer’s customer service experience. Or how about solopreneurs — one that sticks out in my mind is Marlon Sanders. I have always had a great customer service experience with him.
My retreat has reminded me that while I am focused on writing, products, social media, etc. that it’s also just as or even more important for me to worry about the customers who have already bought from me — because they will buy again if I treat them right. And that is an easier sale to make — easier then a new one. So make sure that you provide:
1. Service with a smile
2. Follow up with the customer
3. Ask if there is anything else they may need
4. Just ask how they are doing. No sales pitch.
5. Follow up with customer service requests quickly
6. You don’t have to get fancy – email works great or a quick contact form on your site.
7. Over deliver – don’t just give what the customer was expecting. Give them more. They will remember.
8. If your business is growing by leaps and bounds, then outsource your customer service as much as you can. Don’t skimp in that area.
9. Make it easy to contact you. I have a site dedicated to support at AskLisaAngelettie.com
10. Build a relationship. Don’t let things stop at the transaction. Get to know your customers and they will pass the word on.
Do you have any good customer service tips to add to this list? Please submit them in the comments below.