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How to Show Your Customers Love
We hear about the importance of customer service all the time. As a business owner, you probably tell your employees that you aim to deliver “great customer service!” But have you stopped to think about what that really means or how you’re going to achieve it?
The bad news is that few companies truly think through their customer service strategy. Or if the owner does have a plan, it rarely trickles down into thorough training for the company’s customer service representatives (CSRs). So how can you deliver great customer service? In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s discuss how you can show your customers some love and why it’s important.
Why Is Customer Service Essential?
I know—this seems like a no-brainer. Good customer service can increase leads and sales. It makes sense that if someone has a good initial impression of your business, they might purchase a product or service from you. But do you realize customer service is about more than just quick sales?
Think about it. Say you’re an HVAC company and a potential customer calls asking if you can install a Trane furnace at her home, but your company only installs Carrier brand furnaces. Many CSRs would simply tell the caller the company can’t perform the job and that she’ll have to find another company to do the work. Then they hang up.
But what if, instead of dismissing the caller’s needs, the CSR said something like this:
“Unfortunately, we do not install Trane products. However, we do offer a full range of HVAC services and we perform maintenance on all furnaces. Is there some other way I can assist you today?”
Even if that customer is dead set on having a Trane furnace installed and goes to another company for that particular job, she’ll remember the friendly service she received from your company and might call back for another job in the future or recommend your company to friends and family.
Tips for Great Customer Service
Now you understand the value of customer service, but how can you improve your company’s customer service delivery? Let’s talk through a few basic tips.
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
We’ve all been a customer before. Most of us are customers every day—maybe you stop by a coffee shop in the morning, run to the grocery store after work, or order a product online. So, think about experiences you’ve had as a customer, and whether they’ve been bad, good, or great.
How do you feel when you call a business to ask a question and the person on the other end is short with you? And how often did you return to that business for service (probably not much, if you could help it) or tell your family and friends about your poor experience? Remembering how it feels to be a customer, and adjusting your strategy accordingly, can solve a great number of customer service problems.
Have you ever called a business with a problem or complaint and the representative you speak to is obviously distracted or uninterested in the issue? Or he makes an assumption about what he thinks your problem is, without actually listening to the details? Think about how frustrating that is for someone who calls your business with a problem they hope you can solve. They’re already upset, and then inattentive customer service adds insult to injury. If you and your CSRs simply listen to your customers, you’re more likely to be able to effectively help them.
- Don’t just meet expectations. Exceed them.
How do you feel when you contact a company with a basic request, and someone provides you with an additional relevant service, piece of information, or resource that you didn’t even ask for? In his book, Hug Your Customers (which we at Blue Corona believe is literally life-changing), Jack Mitchell tells the story of being in the middle of talking to an IBM representative who was trying to sell him computers when Mitchell mentioned that he needed to get from Connecticut to New Hampshire for his son’s sports event. He was shocked when the IBM salesman told him he’d recently received his pilot’s license and would fly him up to New Hampshire himself. Did he have to do that? Of course not—giving a customer a ride in your private plane isn’t part of many job descriptions. But what an impression it makes when you go above and beyond for your customers.
A Final Anecdote
So, maybe you don’t have a private plane to offer up, but small gestures can make big impacts. One of Blue Corona’s clients is a fire protection company based in Houston, Texas that has invested in search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, and social media marketing services in addition to letting us build them a beautiful website. When they were featured on the cover of the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s quarterly magazine, we had it nicely framed and sent over to their office so they could celebrate their success and recognition within the industry. It was a simple gesture—one that took us very little time, money, or effort—but it helped cement our relationship with the client and show them that we cared. That’s all customers really want from you at the end of the day—care.
Need Help With Your Customer Service Strategy?
Blue Corona offers a full range of services to help you diagnosis any issues with your company’s customer service and formulate a strategy for combatting them, including call intelligence reporting and CSR training through our exclusive Smart Selling curriculum. If you want to learn how to get more out of your phone calls and leads, contact us today!
About The Author: Becca is a Content Marketing Specialist at Blue Corona. When she’s not helping small business owners grow their companies, she enjoys listening to podcasts, re-reading Harry Potter, and exploring the city.
View more blogs by Becca Starkes