Do you know people who have “a list”? This list may be one stored away in the back of their minds or for those who are more serious about their experiences, it’s written down. This list contains the places that they will never step foot in again.
You may even be thinking of a few places in your head, I know I can. So how did these places make it onto “the list”? Well, for the majority of the time it is because of poor customer service at said place.
Getting On “The List”.
Here are a few examples:
The restaurant who messed up your order after waiting for 45 minutes, with a waiter who seems not to notice or care about the table of people who are becoming hungrier and angrier by the minute.
The phone or internet service provider who transfers you to 8 different people over the course of a 2 hour phone call to which an hour and 45 of those minutes have been listening to elevator music while on hold.
These are the types of moments that make us see red.
The problem with these experiences is that we not only remember them, but we share them. We like to tell our friends and families about our displeasures with certain places or experiences.
This is why customer service is a crucial part of every business. You want your customers to not only enjoy the product they are receiving, but you want them to enjoy the process along the way.
The goal of a business is to gain repeat customers and clients, those who come back for more and tell others about their pleasant experience with your business.
So How Do You Avoid Being On “The List”?
- Set expectations high. Train your employees on how to practice excellent customer service. Whether they are on the phone or face to face, in that moment, they are the face (or voice) of your company. How will they handle an angry customer? Communicate high expectations and set standards up front of how you expect your employees to treat clients or potential clients.
- Be involved. As a business owner, you are still responsible for keeping tabs on customer service. Was there an issue that went array? It might take you, as the business owner, to pick up the phone or make the visit to the client and apologize on behalf of the company. It shows that you take ownership of your business and care about your customer service.
- Go the extra mile. What are some ways you and your team can go above and beyond to meet the customer’s needs? While you may not get instant feedback, this still speaks volumes to your customers. It shows you value your customers and their needs and will most likely turn them into repeat customers, if not, creating a referral source from a pleased client.
Those are just a few of many ways you can keep accountable for your customer service. I understand that no business or person is perfect, and there will be issues that arise, but as the business owner, you have an opportunity to take ownership of your customer service and make sure you are providing the best experience possible for your clients.
So, as the year comes to an end, and you are reflecting back on this past year and looking ahead and planning for a new one, I would encourage you to not brush over evaluating you and your team’s customer service performance. Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself as you evaluate on this past year:
- Is your website easy to navigate and provides clear direction for those who are navigating it?
- If you have an automated system to field calls or inquiries, does it pass the customer onto the next step in an efficient manner?
- How quickly do you or your team respond to general inquiries by customers or potential customers?
- How well did we respond to issues that came up? What can we do better next time when it comes to customer-related issues?
- What can we do to go above and beyond next year to meet the clients’ needs?
Quality customer service is a critical part of every business. We must evaluate our own performance as well as get feedback from clients or potential clients on how we can improve our customer service and meet the needs of our clients more efficiently. Don’t just sweep customer service under the rug, take ownership of it and make it a priority of your business.