A business needs customers. It doesn’t matter whether your business is in the trade and you deal trade to trade or whether your customers are the general public. You need sales, you need business, and your customers are the ones that give that to you and your business.
It makes them very important aspects of your business model, and one of the ways of ensuring that you keep customers coming back is to delivery excellent customer service from the start of the customer journey with you until the end. So here are some points to consider to help you ensure that you make customer service a priority for your business.
The start of the customer journey
There is nothing that can be more exciting when it comes to your business than the start of a new customer journey. This is the chance where you get to ensure that you make the most difference and the area in which that you can make the most significant impression. So here are some of the ways that the customer journey will begin and how you can make the most of them within your business.
Prospects and calls
Many businesses begin a customer journey by actually prospecting a customer. This is potentially someone that has expressed interest in using your business, and perhaps hasn’t continued on to make a purchase. It might be someone who has requested more information and left contact details for you to do that.
Often, people can be put off by spam looking numbers and may not even answer the phone, so companies like Call Cowboy could help you use a localized phone number that feels less intrusive and cold calling. This could help ease you into a conversation about your business and may ultimately lead you on to the next element of the customer journey. Many people still prefer to call customer service instead of emailing or messaging, even in our increasingly digital and tech-driven world.
Sometimes customers ask for information to be emailed instead, and while this can feel like an easier way to get in touch with the customer, you still need to ensure that professionalism and the correct information is given. Ensure that you give detail,but perhaps leave it open for a response or further questions. Always try and seek permission to have a conversation, either over the phone or face to face, as this is another step towards obtaining that sale. Lastly sign off your email professionally and with contact details .
Making sure your website is informative and up to date
Your website is often the first port of call for any potential customer when it comes to dealing with your business. So much is done online these days so your website needs to stand out from the crowd and be visible as well as informative and correct. It is essential to make sure that any ecommerce element of your website is up to date with stock levels and pricing, as this shows professionalism within your business.
Easy to order or use the service you provide
The last thing to consider at the beginning of the customer journey is the ensure that your service or product is easy to order and use. This might be done over the phone, or potentially it could be done online. So making sure all lines into the business when it comes to making sales is up to scratch.
The middle of the customer journey
Once you have your order, it can be easy to take your foot off the gas when it comes to the customer journey and delivering excellent customer service. You have the sale or order, so what’s the point? You still need to deliver good customer service through this, as now you are using this chance to gain repeat business or referrals. Word of mouth advertising is something that money cannot buy.
Keeping customers up to date
Once a sale is complete you need to ensure that you keep customers up to date with the progress. It could be simple things such as an email confirmation and a date in which they can expect their product to be delivered. It’s the small things such as this, that helps to keep the positive and momentum high with your business.
Adhering to deadlines and promises made
It may sound like the simplest thing to do, but if you agree to a delivery time or day then it is important for you to be able to stick to that. One of the main upsets customers have is that businesses fail to deliver on the promises that they have made. This might not even be specific to deadlines but even to promises of products or things to do with the sales process. Extra incentives to gain the sale, for example. Ensure that you deliver, and if you can’t come up with a reasonable solution.
Delivering the goods
The delivery can often be a highlight for some customers, especially if this is a sought after product that you deliver. So ensure things like the packaging is up to scratch or the way things look can be a great way to ensure that you deliver an excellent customer service. It may sound like the easiest part of the customer journey to adhere to, but often this is where the most disappointment can come in when someone receives something. Make sure you do all that you can to ensure that the delivery of things is on point and up to the customers expectations.
The end of the customer journey
Finally, we reach the end of the customer journey, and while this may seem like you have reached the end goal and delivered as you said you would, the job is not over yet. This is the crucial element to your customer service and at this stage, this is when you will want to feel assured that the customer will want to come back to you in the future, if repeat purchases and orders are appropriate. Or at the every least they will be happy to recommend you to others. Here are some of the ways that you can do it and find out if you did a good job.
Thanking customers for their business
The two words that can mean an awful lot to customers is “thank you” and it should be done with sincerity. Thanking someone for their business could be done through a phone call, face to face with a handshake and a gesture or even via email if that is appropriate. We all like to feel valued, and this is one of the easiest ways that you can make a customer feel like they have added value to your business.
Making the experience memorable
The experience of purchasing and taking delivery of something could be special to your customer, so try and make the experience memorable in any way that you can. As long as it is appropriate to your business. You could do social media updates,or show a picture of the customer with their product or using your service. It could be something special like a bunch of flowers or incentives to use your business in the future.
Asking for feedback
Feedback is an essential part of your business, and one of the ways that your can get valuable information. Feedback can help you improve, make positive changes or genuinely use the words and comments left as testimonials to encourage others to use your business, buy your products or services.
The feedback could be generated in two ways. You could ask for it through emails, and surveys where customers can fill in their comments and rate you through a scoring system. Or you could simply phone and talk to the customer directly. As long as you gain permission, you could share these views and comments online via your website or social media platforms.
Let’s hope these tips help you to make customer service a priority for your business.