Customer Service: It Ain’t Pretty…But It Can Be
In another blog, we briefly addressed the issue of how unimpressed the average consumer is of the companies they buy from. If you’ve been in business for over a month or two, you know that “how you do customer service” will either send you to the top, like tasty butter cream or tank you like so much sour milk.is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.
Consumers have a nearly limitless number of choices for the products or services you provide. So although they also have a pitiful expectation for good customer service–from anyone–there’s really no reason for them to not drop you like a hot rock if you fail to meet their low expectations. Even wireless phone providers have wised up to this reality. Major carriers in the US now routinely offer to pay the penalty of “breaking up” from the other guy’s contractual barbs. Pretty smart tactic!
Race To The Bottom?
Rather than take comfort in the ridiculously low bar others have set for you, utterly reject it. Make it your professional ambition to raise the bar so high that your competitors will truly struggle to match your service model. Make it immensely easy for your buyers to do business with you. Employ simplicity, efficiency, and pleasantness everywhere you can, so their experience is memorable in all good ways. Imagine that!
Don’t you think they’ll come back, again and again? Even more impactful, they’ll promote you to everyone they know.
Three Secrets to Brilliant Customer Service:
You’ve heard this one before, but if you’re like nearly every owner we’ve worked with you haven’t done it either. It seems too simple. Or silly. Or beneath you, maybe. Well, it’s none of those things. It’s actually your North Star:
What’s your vision?
Don’t have one? Gently…if it’s your business and you don’t know where you’re going, how will anyone else follow you? Think of yourself as the captain of your ship called “Destiny.” Where are you sailing to? How do you plan on getting there? And how will you serve your clients during the voyage?
To answer these questions, consider:
- In what ways can you make it easy for your customers to do business with you? Are you inclined to provide discounts? Does your website make it simple to buy, or is it just a glorified billboard? Will you add a free app for your raving fans to download for free, so you can easily alert them to specials?
- Is it pleasant to work with you? Have you invested the time, focus and energy to confirm that your staff is approachable, warm, patient and knowledgeable? If they could be better, how will you remedy the deficit? Your customers will pay more for your products and services when they feel like they are getting great value
- How might you adapt your mindset away from “expenses” to investing in what makes for happy customers? Happy customers have no reason to look elsewhere or leave you.
Why not pick one of those questions to focus on for the next week? Think of the places you’ll go!
Don’t forget to share these with your team, if you have one because they need to own your vision, articulate it clearly and live it out every day. Share with them, early and often, your vision and plan, as well as any course corrections that need to be made.
If any of the themes above are vexing you, stop. Ask for help. Feel free to reach out to your support team at PDA. Schedule a chat. We come unarmed.