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Did you know that 86% of customers will actually pay more for a better customer experience? Customer service statistics like this one from American Express should be even more incentive for business owners to provide the best customer experience possible for their clients.
In addition, a customer who has a positive experience with you is also a customer who will happily generate referrals for your business. According to customer communications firm Groove, 1 happy customer generates 9 positive referrals. On the flipside, 1 unhappy customer can generate 16 anti-referrals and add up to 26 unhappy customers in the end.
This just goes to show that while providing the best customer service is the right thing to do anyway, it is also the right thing to do for your business.
Here are 5 customer service tips for business owners and entrepreneurs:
1. Listen to your customers, provide personalized service and make it about them, not YOU! Find out exactly what your customers want and personalize the service they receive. In today’s world of automated technology and impersonal lines of communication, it’s never been easier stand out. Customers want to know how you can help or benefit them. Not how great you are, your skills or what you want to accomplish. Differentiate yourself by making the experience about your customer. When you are attuned to their needs and by personalizing the experience to provide a solution, great things will happen.
2. Keep your promises and do what you say you will do for your customers. The best way to provide a positive customer experience is to be honest with them and deliver on your promises. This will build credibility and trust with your customers and make them feel like that they can depend on you both now and in the future. It is very important to follow through and do what you say you will do, and to not make promises you can’t possibly keep.
3. Never deliver a finished product or service that you wouldn’t accept yourself. One of the worst things that can happen is for the customer to have a fantastic experience through the buying process only to be let down by the finished product. Most of the time it’s probably not your fault, whether it’s a supplier’s delivery time, another employee’s or even the customer’s mistake… but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Replace the order, re-run the job or start over. Do whatever you have to do to keep the customer happy. If you deliver subpar service or a poor job, you will most likely never see that customer again. Focus on the customer experience and building that relationship, not just completing a single transaction.
4. If something does go wrong, make it right! Be responsive and address a problem head on. It sounds simple but you can’t afford to have any unhappy customers. You should respond to a customer’s complaint or problem quickly. Show a little empathy. If you can make the customer aware of an issue even before they know about it and you’re doing all you can to fix it, that can be enough to keep them coming back.
Keep a calm demeanor and make sure to do everything you can to fix the issue and appease the client. Turning something like this around can still translate into an overall positive customer experience, especially if they are impressed with how you handled the situation and still received what they wanted at the end of the day.
5. Give them something extra it will make them feel important. At the end of the day, everyone likes to feel special, especially your paying customers. Whether you institute a customer loyalty rewards program, throw in something extra as a thank you for their business, deliver ahead of schedule or give them a discount on a future order, customers will enjoy the fact that you are going out of your way to show your appreciation for them.
Ultimately, if you listen to your customers, deliver on your promises, provide high quality products and services, proactively address any issues, and thank them for their business, you will be able to provide an overwhelmingly positive customer experience.
Remember, happy customers can be huge drivers of growth that help you expand your client base, and unhappy customers could potentially stifle that growth. Therefore, it is important to build a strong relationship with your customers that makes a positive impression, every step of the way.