There are 2 basic schools of thought, when it comes to customer care: You’re either reactive—responding to customers only when there’s a problem; or, you’re proactive, in which case you provide service that exceeds customers’ expectations through a system that positively engages them. Exceptional customer care is an indispensable element of your business that you can enhance with just a little bit of effort.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
What do customers want? When you’re on the flipside, as a patron, you have certain needs and expectations. What are you looking for, as a consumer? You want to be treated like a VIP, right? (Come on, admit it). Ok, maybe you’re the modest, easy-to-please type, but you can bet that most of your customers want the royal treatment. You also want to be served with speed. One of the quickest ways to lose points with your customers is to make them wait for a response, or to ignore them completely. Without them, you don’t have a business; so, as high-maintenance as they may be, you have to give the people what they want.
The best way to improve your customers’ experience is to interface with them to show that you’re actively striving for their satisfaction. As a bonus, this will give them an incentive to come back. I’m not saying to be like the annoying friend everybody has, who’s constantly texting, “Hey.” with no real reason for contacting you. The point is to connect with your customer every once in awhile, to find out if there was anything you could’ve done to give them a better experience. This is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from competitors. All things being equal, a customer will choose a business with good customer service over one that barely attends to their needs, any day of the week.
9 times out of 10, a customer will seek your help online, rather than make a phone call. It’s important to have an infrastructure to give people a platform to get assistance from you, without picking up the phone. Our society is becoming more and more web-oriented, and as a symptom of that, people are more likely to avoid the confrontation of a meeting or even a phone conversation. Anyway, it makes it easier for you to serve customers because you can handle more than one at a time, and both parties can better communicate with the use of written messages.
Corny as it sounds, the best way to give stellar customer care is to think about the Golden Rule. What would you expect, if you were your customer? You can also get great ideas by looking at how your competitors provide service, or any business that is more proficient at it. This is one department where you can always be improving, so it makes sense that you should never stop looking for new ways to take care of your customers.
You don’t just want new customers; you want loyal customers. This bonus article gives you 11 ways to keep them coming back:
11 Sure Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.