Remember that time you had a truly amazing customer service experience that you just felt the need to tell the world? Trust me, that wasn’t by accident. In a report by American Express, 86% of customers were happy to pay higher prices when guaranteed exceptional customer service, whereas in a report by RightNow, 82% of customers were willing to leave a brand due to bad service.
In today’s competitive market, the rise of digital technology and customers having more choice than ever at a click of a button, it is easy enough for a consumer to spend their money elsewhere if their expectations are not met. Customer service should be the backbone of any company, with strong customer orientation being highlighted and extra steps being taken to deliver an unforgettable service.
As a leader in creating an unforgettable customer experience, seen throughout the many stores throughout the region, Below’s what you can do to go above and beyond to ensure customers not only buy from you once, but become loyal for years to come.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoe
If you were a customer, how would you like to be treated? Try to recall the time you were frustrated and outraged by rudeness or negligence due to unhelpful service. How did you feel? Satisfied? Happy? I think not. Customers are usually delighted by even the smallest of gestures offered to accommodate their needs. Offering samples, having friendly staff greet them at the door, or even simply replying promptly to their emails or messages are all minor efforts but effective in creating a pleasant customer experience. By putting yourself in their shoes and the expectations you would have if you were to interact with your brand, it will provide you with a strong customer insight and a good place to start.
Research how your competitors treat their customers
Taking the time to understand what customers want from you is important in creating the ideal experience for them. Observe how your customers are treated by other brands and even visit a wide range of businesses that your customers are likely to frequent. Be keen to know how your customers are served and get an idea on what seem to be important to them during the process. Once you find what works and what doesn’t, you will be able to adopt those elements that will be best for your own business.
Do not ignore mistakes
If you or one of your team makes a mistake, do not just ignore it. Avoiding responsibility for mistakes is a sure way of earning a bad reputation and losing customers. Apologize for your mistakes and rectify it as quickly as possible. That doesn’t mean offering discount codes or free gifts every time but taking the time to acknowledge fault and providing the customer with a feeling that they have been heard. All complaints are a good way to see where your business may need improvement and gives you the opportunity to fix things to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Develop a reputation for reliability and make sure to never promise anything you cannot keep.
Make an effort
Effortless customer experiences require work. Typically, you can start by collecting customer feedback via a survey and once you have built a foundation, work towards asking the customer for further information. Make it short and sweet at first and simply asking them how easy they found their first experience with you. In the future, give them the chance to expand on their feedback. Customer comments are what helps enhance your customer service experience. Always remember, no matter how well you’re doing, there’s always room to grow.
Know your customer
Imagine the last time you walked into your favorite place to be greeted by the staff with a smile and a personalized hello with your name. Everyone loves to feel special and through personalized experience this is how you create a long term relationship with you customers. Knowing your customer through observation and, of course, a detailed database, will not only build the relationship with customers but they are also likely to become your strongest advocates. Start with great interaction from the beginning, memorizing their name, preferred tastes and styles and provide this personalized experience every time. They’ll cherish it and, more importantly, the brand.
Train your personnel
Many companies disappoint when it comes to customer service because they are not taking the time to train their employees properly. While the basics of customer service are the same, you should invest in providing proper training for your particular industry. Use a hands-on approach through the use of role-playing scenarios to see how your personnel would solve different problems. Afterwards, you can have them discuss the exercise and decide what worked and what didn’t. Mystery callers or shoppers are also a great way to see how employees interact with customers to ensure quality is provided at all times. You are only as good as your last review so make sure you are nailing it every time!
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