Business Tips 4: Focus on Customer Service

New Business Tips series aimed at helping sales operations.

Customer Service

Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it?  However, I have seen too many times company’s systems adjusted to make it easier for the company to operate while causing grief to the customer. We need to identify what your customers consider important.

Here are two examples;

a) What is going to make the customer happy and want to tell people how good you are?

b) What would really tick off a customer, lose them and have them tell all their friends how bad you are?

It is a good exercise to go through.

Rank & Improve

It is not going to be just the one good or bad thing, list them and rank them for importance: your score and your urgency to fix the problem will help you identify an improvement or potential problem.

I had a great example with my internet service provider recently – they called me – yes a phone call – to let me know their monitoring has shown that my service was operating below par and that it is likely to be an issue in the street and they are sending out a tech!! Wow, I just thought some of the websites I was visiting were slow.

A company I helped put together a streamlined quoting mechanism had customers raving about the quick response time and was clearly bringing in more business.

Opposite to this I asked a company for a quote for some work at my house and they wondered why I had picked someone else when it took them 3 working days to respond!

Quoting is just one of the key elements of customer service – you need to get it right and be prompt.

Here is a link to an example review sheet.

Set Expectations

So, what is it that your customers like and don’t like?

Setting expectations and meeting those expectations would have to be one really important area – over promising and under delivering just makes for unhappy customers.

In another example in one of my previous business’s, our customers wanted overnight delivery and we thought we had that covered so promoted the new level of service – what customer would not want overnight delivery?

It quickly became obvious that we could not provide overnight delivery as the courier often took an extra day.

We changed to quoting 1 to 3 day delivery depending on location, because we discovered an accurate delivery time was more important than overnight delivery. Consequently our customers indicated in a follow up survey that our delivery was very highly rated.  This is because we set the right expectations and delivered on them.

Measure and Analyse

Data is king.  Find those important aspects that can make a huge difference to your business – either way – measure and monitor them.  If the element is hard to specifically measure, do your best – an indicator is better than no idea!

Keep your Staff in the Loop

Get feedback and deliver KPI information back to your staff.  There are many examples of simple feedback systems – could be just clicking Happy or Sad or a simple survey.

Are you also calling your customers to see if they are happy with their purchase?  One simple thing we have done for several companies is to provide a follow up call – are you happy?

Customer service requires good training and good systems.  How are you tracking new enquiries and response times?  How do you record internal and external problems?

Take the customers view: if they don’t like the view, they will not engage or will move on.

If you would like a free review of how you are doing, just use the Information Request button to the left or click here.

Customer Service

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