Customer service is a term that we hear constantly and is so overused, but it implies that you’re only serving customers, nothing more. Yet there are loads of opportunities to change a one-time buyer into a long-term customer by creating an environment that eats, sleeps and breathes service. To do this, you must go the extra mile – beyond expectations.
Those two key words – “beyond expectations” dictate true customer service. You need to create situations that wow your customers with the level of service you provide, going way over their expectations. If you’re good at this, chances are they’re going to tell other people. Growth by word of mouth is good, isn’t it?
The good news for you is that there are so many companies that only really do the basic customer service. This means that you don’t have to come up with a life-altering plan, you just need to provide a much better service than your competitors, and maybe even get a little bit creative.
Start simply with customer communication
One of the most impactful ways to provide wowing customer service is to respond to emails and phone calls from your customers at lightning speed as much as you can. If you can’t personally respond, you must find a way to make the response feel personal.
Start with a plan to respond to all emails and phone calls within two hours of receiving them, during normal business hours (and even respond outside of normal hours… Gasp!). If this won’t work in your business, set a different goal but make it quite unreasonable – you will need to push yourself if you want to truly dazzle your customers.
Make employees feel like owners
In the beginning of business, it can be easy to keep a high level of customer service going because you control it. The difficulty comes when you bring on outside members of staff from people who may not have the personal or financial incentive in the success of the company.
As a leader, you need to create an environment that allows them responsibilities and the ability to make decisions with respect to their roles. Let them own their decisions so they’ll actually care about them, and this will result in your customers being wowed with the service they receive.
Under promise and over deliver
One of my greatest pet hates is when people or companies say they’re going to do something and then simply don’t. This is a common customer service error that I think most would agree with. As a business, you’re at a really good advantage where you can control the customer’s interaction with your company and brand, so use the opportunity to be modest with your guarantees while continuing to blow their expectations out of the water by over-delivering results.
You have to take a good look at your business and the pain points of your customers to find the diamonds in the rough. That’s where you’ll find opportunities that create long-lasting customers.