In this competitive business world, getting new customers and KEEPING them is important. We often hear of cases where customers will complain about an establishment they visited, either to other people or online, which can be bad for any business.
According to research done by Genesys, 71% of consumers terminated a relationship with a business because of poor customer service. The same research shows that younger people aged between 27-43 years are more willing to switch to a competitor.
Luckily, we’re here to help – here are some tips for successful customer interaction.
Be Friendly to Customers
Customers love to visit or deal with a business that makes them feel wanted and appreciated. It can never be emphasised enough the importance of ‘service with a smile’. From the support staff at the gate or door, they must be well trained to greet customers and usher them in.
The team at the front desk or, in the case of a restaurant, waiters need to address the customers in a polite manner and find out what they need. Regular customers love being addressed by name because it makes them feel appreciated at your establishment. In addition, it is easy for emotions to be felt through a phone call or an online message.
It is important to smile and be friendly when responding to customers over the phone or on social media.
Have Good Knowledge of Your Product or Service
As a business, it’s important to know the products and services offered in great detail. Customers prefer to deal with businesses that are confident in what they offer because being hesitant can imply to a customer that you may not be sure of what you sell.
Take staff through frequently asked questions that customers have as well as have frequent briefings on any changes or additions to stock or services the business offers.
Have a Loyalty Program in Place
When we hear the term ‘Loyalty Program’, we tend to think that it only means giving away freebies to customers. But there are many ways to acknowledge loyal customers.
To begin with, send ‘thank you’ messages or notes for any purchases or service they pick up with your business. You can also send out a special message and give a small discount or gift during customers’ birthdays or make great suggestions and offers for days such as anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and so on.
Businesses can have promos, discount vouchers and other goodies for regular customers to keep them coming. You can also offer discounts for any referrals they make to family and friends.
Ask for Feedback – And Act on It
A business will thrive as long as it keeps its client base happy and content. This is possible by allowing customers to offer feedback on products and services.
A business can have a physical feedback form, an online option like social media or even have a one-on-one chat with customers. Feedback can be positive or negative. If negative, be open to criticism and find out what suggestions the customer may have. If positive, be sure to give a hearty ‘Thank you’ and encourage them to visit again.
Make sure that all feedback is responded to quickly and effectively. There is nothing worse than a customer or client who feels that they have not been heard.
Once all this feedback is collected, business owners and their staff can check and see which suggestions can be implemented. A way to show a customer their feedback was taken up is to send them a message or even call them to inform them.
Train Your Staff and Make them Presentable
When hiring new staff, it’s important to take them through an orientation or probation period. It’s the time when they can learn about the company policies and how to interact with customers, whether live or on the phone and online. The business world changes constantly so this also means taking existing staff through frequent refresher training to learn of new technologies or changes to the business over time.
One of the ways that you can make your staff more appealing to customers is to give them presentable and eye-catching uniforms. This not only makes them look professional and approachable, but it also helps hygiene standards to be met.
Many businesses worry that buying uniforms is a costly affair, but that is now a thing of the past. You can contact Alsco for well-managed uniform rental services. Alsco offers quality uniforms for your staff and collects them for cleaning while delivering a new batch. Visit the Alsco website for an obligation-free quote.
Ensure Your Reputation is Intact
There are many ways that a business can keep its reputation intact. To begin with, ensure that the products or service offered is always available. Make sure that customers are aware of any products out of stock. You can provide a solution like contacting another company or store to make an order.
When customers order or buy something from your business, make sure that the correct amount, size or product has been packaged. In addition, make sure that it is well-packaged to minimise the damage – nobody wants to receive spilt food or a broken gift.
Finally, make sure that the feedback given to customers is quick and accurate. Falsified information or non-response to customers can hit your business once the word gets out there.
How Else Can A Business offer Great Customer Service?
There are a few other quick tips you can take advantage of to ensure you offer quality customer service to customers.
- Make sure that you deal with the customer in-store and don’t sideline them for a call-in customer. This may sound risky, but chances that the customer in front of you is more ready to buy than the one on the phone.
- Be visible at your business when possible. Customers are sometimes more comfortable knowing that the owner or manager is accessible in-house. Be present when possible to interact with customers on a product, complaint or general inquiry.
- Always remember that the customer is always right – mostly. This means that you or the team shouldn’t argue or disagree with the customer when aggrieved. Try and deal with the situation in a calm, diplomatic manner.
- Always keep your customer care avenues open. Make sure your social media pages are up to date and that a representative is available to respond to customers. You can also make sure phone or text message lines are working, and inform customers via social media or email when these systems are down.
- In summary, communication is key.