It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – technology, plumbing, building material distribution, marketing – the most important core principle of every business should be excellent customer service. This principle becomes even more important when you’re in a market where you’re evenly matched with your competition in both product and price. Here at Incentive Solutions, we know it takes more than a friendly smile (which should never be overlooked) to provide excellent customer service. In fact, our customers recently gave us a 95% excellent rating in regards to our service, so we know a thing or two about what it takes to satisfy clients. So to help, here are five tips you can use to boost your customer service efforts:
- Know Your Customers – This may sound silly, but each department and each team member needs to know their customers. If you run a warehouse, are the drivers customers? If you have a call center, is the caller or the company contracting the call center’s services the customer? This is a critical factor when it comes to determining how well your customers are serviced.
- Know The Demographic Of Customers – To add onto the previous bullet, ensure that your employees know who their customers could be. Say you have a sales staff that specializes in selling forklifts, but you also sell generators, your forklift sales team needs to know that they should also be on the lookout for customers whose businesses could benefit from the use of generators. It’s basically removing the blinders in order to increase your revenue, and to provide the customer with the solution that matches their needs best.
- Be A Shadow – If you think customer service is a possible issue at your business, schedule some time to shadow and watch your customer service representatives. This will give you the opportunity to observe exactly how you’re customer interactions are going. You can then offer training on the fly, teaching your CSR’s how to handle every situation better. This gives you the opportunity to help them grow.
- Schedule Time For Customers – If your employees work on tasks and customer service, then it might be beneficial to set time in stone that is specifically dedicated to providing customer service. If you have a sales team that also handles moderate administrative duties (first of all, you’re doing it wrong) then you need to make sure they know when to stop pushing paper, and when to start with the clients. It’s up to you as a manager to delegate these time frames, so review your reports to determine what times of day produce the heaviest flow of customers and base your schedules around that..
- Take Responsibility – Take responsibility for your actions. One thing that customers hate more than anything is when a company makes a mistake and then tries to blame it on them. Take responsibility for your teams’ actions, and teach your employees to do the same. If they make a mistake on a customer’s order, own up to it, apologize, and fix it. It’s as simple as that. Trying to sweep the mistake and then blame it on the customer will cost you thousands of dollars in lost business down the road, especially If this happens to more than one customer.
Here at Incentive Solutions we’ve been helping our partners improve customer retention and loyalty through our B2B customer loyalty programs for over 35 years. It’s what we do best. If you’d like more information regarding one of these programs, then call us today at 1-866-567-7432.