Customer Service: Five Tips on Improving Customer Service.
In the world of business, the customer's satisfaction is crucial to success. Well at least that should be the ideology when providing a service or product to your customers, but unfortunately in far too many companies this is simply not the case. In fact, to some extent, the quality of the service given by some companies is far below an acceptable standard in our modern day society, and whilst this definitely isn't true for all companies, there is certainly vast room for improvement in some.
It is often the case that companies providing a poor quality service to their customer's just don't grasp the concept of 'word of mouth', which is a free advertising technique in itself. Utilise this technique well by satisfying customers to your utmost potential, and that one customer can bring several more back with them. Irritate or displease a customer, and quickly your client base will diminish, until you cease to have any customers at all!
But how do you maintain a focus on providing the best quality of service possible, whilst adapting efficiently to your company's budget?
Hire The Right Staff.
When your customer's visit your shop/business/warehouse the people who they are interacting with before making a purchase, need to get across the right message with the right tone. If your staff consists of people who are unmotivated, unhappy, lazy and incoherent, then your customer's will simply look elsewhere for what they need.
Remember, that in the tough economy that we are in, that there is so many competition for driving traffic to businesses, that you cannot afford to displease any customer you receive!
The best type of person to hire when looking after your customers is someone who cares about the product or service passionately, and someone who has good all-round communication skills with strangers. You don't want to employ someone who...
· Has bad hygiene.
· Doesn't care about the customer's well-being.
· Is shy when talking to new people.
· Is depressed.
· Does not think positively about the product or service you are trying to sell.
· Comes off as aggressive when talking.
· Is impatient.
Those factors make for a labour force crisis in any company or business, as these people have little or no motive to do a good job, or to provide the best quality of service possible to your customers.
Offer Premium/Top Tier Rewards.
The majority of supermarkets have caught onto the idea now that, to really succeed in any field of selling you must give your customer a real incentive to buy withyou, rather than the next best alternative. One of the most effective ways to go about this is to offer rewards or special offers to those who shop more than others, or to those who buy the more expensive items from your stock.
For instance, one tactic that many supermarkets use is "market points", in effect this is a cash-back feature, which enables the customer to get money back on their purchases when they reach a certain threshold of points. This means that whilst they are looking around your shop for what they originally wanted, by knowing that by purchasing more in your store, they'll be rewarded, they'll feel more inclined to purchase products that they don't even "necessarily" need.
You may see this as manipulating the customer or 'tricking them' into purchasing more than they really should be, yet this is one of the greatest methods of providing a better customer service. As it shows that your company has both extra availability for what they need, and that they can save money whilst simultaneously spending!
Use Your Money Effectively!
One of the most fundamental mistakes that most companies make is to hire an outside greeter to customers who are walking past their store. These 'greeters' are often dismissed, and more often than not considered a nuisance, rather than a prompt to go and purchase your products. Your best bet is to train your employees, so that they welcome incoming customers, and not those who are simply trying to get somewhere.
In the most basic terms, the reason this will be effective, is that it both saves money for you to further improve the customer service, and your store will not come across as needy, or a nuisance to potential customers! As a plus, your customers will actually enjoy the experience of going into your shop, rather than feeling as they were forced in through the door.
Create a Unique Website for Customers to Post Feedback.
A great way to receive feedback on your company, and see what customers like and dislike, is to host a website, which allows customers to post their opinions on what is good, and what definitely needs a little reshaping.
Remember that no company is absolutely perfect, and people (your customers) are going to have mixed views based around your products/company and staff. This means that to suit what the majority of customers want from your company, you are going to need to take their feedback on board, as well as eventually make a few rational changes.
In regards to your website, it would be a good idea if it was...
· Easy to access.
· Had a user friendly interface.
· Used visually attractive colours and themes.
· Included links to a FaceBook and Twitter page dedicated to your company.
· Had a section to the site dedicated to customer’s feedback.
By including these features to your website, you can almost guarantee a boost in the level of satisfaction from your customers, and possibly see where things need to be re-worked around your products/stores.
Accept that Sometimes Your Company Just Isn't What the Customer Was Looking for.
It may be hard for some business owners to admit, but one store can't fulfil every customer's wants (especially, with the limited resources that our current economy gives us!) So if a customer has reason to want to leave your store, the worst thing you can do is hassle them into staying, or training your staff to try and urge your customers to stay in the shop.
Not only would this decrease the chances of that customer returning if they need anything in the future, but it would also mean that the customer's friends and relatives will avoid your store, due to the fact that word has it that you 'harass' your customer's into staying.
Put yourself into your customer's shoes. If you couldn't find what you wanted in a store, would you want to be 'attacked' by numerous people to stay? No. If fact, it's only reasonable for you to absolutely hate it, because it is not only irritating, but just plain rude! So, be understanding that you don't have everything that a customer may need, and focus your efforts on providing the best service possible, to the other customers who are willing to make a purchase.
Some great books on improving customer service.
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