In a recent article compiled through marketing surveys and statistics, columnist Steve Olenski outlined three tips to improving your overall customer service. (Customer Service 101, Marketingland.com, March 14th 2016) Can these tips be applied to any industry? I believe so. They are basic fundamental principles of integrity, genuineness, honesty and appreciation that if applied and portrayed correctly can have major impacts on customer retention and business development.
A recent survey found that nearly $41 billion dollars in revenue is lost in the U.S alone each year by companies not putting “their customers first”. Another interesting study showed that 97 percent of North American business’s list customer service as the foremost critical factor in deciding which company/service provider to choose and stay loyal to, the same study also noted that expectations in North America are increasing drastically about what define “GREAT” customer service. (Customer Service 101, Marketingland.com, March 14th 2016) I think we can all agree to that statement no matter what industry we are in.
With this in mind here are Steve Olenski’s three tips you can start doing today to win over your customers; whether meeting in person, speaking on the phone or engaging online. (Customer Service 101, Marketingland.com, March 14th 2016)
1 – Show your customers you value their time.
In an age of instantaneous information time is money so don’t waste your customers, value it.
This may mean implementing online user friendly web based services, customers want to click a button and receiver the information they need, not wait on hold or in a queue to talk live to someone.
2 – Be Responsive.
The biggest let down with customer service experiences is poor response time. Respond to customers right away, even if its just acknowledgement letting them know you received and are working on what they have requested. Don’t let hours go by without reaching out.
Rapid Response times mean customers can get their questions answered, needs fulfilled or problems solved so they can move on with their to-do list. Helping them cross something off that list goes along way, and when a response comes on a weekend or evening you have the opportunity to “wow” the customer unexpectedly.
3 – Be Friendly, personable and most importantly Genuine and Authentic.
Simple but truly affective! Surveys show that even when not getting the answers they want customers provide positive feedback toward customer service when the person they speak to is pleasant, helpful and genuine in their care and concern. This authentic approach builds trust to maintain long term relationships.
While these techniques’ may seem small, they really do make a big impression when applied genuinely. Along with addressing clients by name, sending a personal thank you and remembering and relaying small details about them personally will win them over and keep them as loyal long term customers. (Customer Service 101, Marketingland.com, March 14th 2016)