As the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in our everyday lives, customer service should be top-of-mind in every transaction. Brick and mortar stores continue to thrive exactly because they offer personal customer service. Just because humans are interacting more than ever from behind their computers does not mean that companies should give up the intimacy of live customer support representatives. Never underestimate the importance of a personal touch when dealing with your customers—from simply calling them by name to offering a birthday greeting, there’s nothing more essential than making your customers feel important. If your customer service is lacking, here are some tips on how to expand your business through excellent customer service:
1. Empower your employees with the resources they need to provide excellent customer service and support. Push decision-making down to every level of the organization and allow your team to do what it feels is necessary to meet and exceed customer expectations.
2. Don’t let your customers get stuck in the voice mail vortex. There’s nothing more reassuring than hearing a real voice at the other end of the line … the voice of someone who is empathetic and well-trained, who has an intimate understanding of the product or service you offer, and who can offer real solutions to the caller’s problems.
3. Give your customers a voice and involve them in the decision-making process through user groups, surveys, and suggestion boxes to ensure you’re constantly providing products and services that will have a positive impact on their experience. Before you make important decisions that could affect your customers, ask yourself, "Will this enhance the customer experience?"
4. Stand tall when you make mistakes and never misjudge the power of an apology. This could save you from potentially losing a customer.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.