There’s no doubt—customers who are wowed when you exceed their expectations will know you genuinely care about helping them. Delivering excellent customer service can also significantly boost your revenue. A totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a somewhat satisfied customer, and 14 times more revenue than a somewhat dissatisfied customer.
If you’re wondering how you can deliver top-notch customer service that gets people raving about your company, take a look at these five ideas.
1. Focus on relationships
Train your staff to view each interaction with a customer as an opportunity to invest in a relationship. It’s not so much about handling their one-time issue—it’s about how the customer feels and their relationship with you. Treating each customer as a valuable relationship can help bring in extra business—84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
Giving personalized service is one way to focus on the relationship you have with your customers. To do this, send them annual customer appreciation gifts, like a portable pocket phone charger or a large tin of popcorn, on their birthday.
2. Respond to inquiries quickly
Fast responses are important to customers. In one survey, 31% of people say they expect a response to social media questions or complaints within 24 hours. When you provide a quick response, it makes a positive impression because your customers know you’re paying attention to them. Even if you don’t yet have the answer, let your customer know you’re working on a response and give them an estimated time for a reply.
3. Maintain positivity and respect
Especially when handling difficult situations, keep a positive attitude. How your customer feels after interacting with you can make a world of difference in whether they will do business with you in the future. If your staff always have a smile in their voice and a mindset of “How can I best serve this customer,” you can win many loyal customers over to your brand.
4. Look for ways to go above and beyond
Helping your customers in areas they don’t expect is one of the best ways you can start delivering excellent customer service. For example, the shoe company Zappos® once received a call from a customer who forgot to pack the shoes she’d bought from them for a trip. Zappos no longer sold the shoes. Putting the customer first, the support team purchased the shoes from a competitor and hand-delivered them—for free. Even though this story happened almost 10 years ago, it’s still considered an amazing example of stellar customer service.
To apply this concept to your business, ask yourself how you can pleasantly surprise customers with your service. Can you send them a welcome gift when they sign on with you? Can you give them a handwritten thank-you card at the end of the year? How about sending them a special discount?
5. Take responsibility for mistakes
You and your staff members are human, and humans make mistakes. When you or a team member makes a mistake that affects a customer, take responsibility and apologize for it. Be honest with your customer about what went wrong; then make it right. Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you’ll lose the customer—many times, customers understand you’re only human, and they are willing to forgive.
In addition to resolving the issue, a gift may help mitigate the situation. If you have their mailing address, send them customer appreciation gifts, like a small box of chocolates or an infuser bottle. If you have their email, consider sending them a digital gift card for coffee or a restaurant in their area.
Give customers the best service
When delivering excellent customer service, go out of your way to solve your customers’ problems, stay positive and admit your mistakes. Stellar customer service not only helps you establish a good reputation, it can help you generate more revenue.