Quality, consistent customer service can truly set you apart from your competitor. However, there are some who still don’t understand what customer service looks like and what you should avoid if you want to keep your lights on. The following are some examples of what can enhance customer loyalty.
1. Take ownership. If there’s a problem and your customer reaches out for you to make it right, please oh please do not shift the blame. Take ownership, see how you can fix it and leave your customer feeling like they matter. Remember, they don’t care what caused the problem (that’s your problem) they care about how you’re going to make it right.
2. Understand urgency. In our fast paced world (sometimes too fast) our customers expect timely responses. When I started here at the Chamber, I made sure that everyone adhered to a 24-hour response time. Nothing is more aggravating than having a simple question and no one answers. By that time, your customer has likely moved on and will not look back.
3. Sincerity. I have reached out to businesses to share a concern and it seems the customer service rep is reading a script in response to my concern. They likely are, but for goodness sake, read it like you mean it. Better yet, speak with sincerity. If I’m treated like customer #212 vs. Nicki Anderson, it’s a turn off. In our digital world, it’s pretty awesome when someone takes the time to listen and respond positively. Caring about your customer seals loyalty.
4. Get to know your customers. We have close to 1,200 Members at NACC. I can’t possibly know everyone, but I certainly try. It is vastly important to be able to approach a Member by name. I’m sure there is research out there that shows the impact calling someone by name has. Go the extra mile and your customer will remember.
5. Team continuity. Your business likely has a mission statement and core values. (If you don’t you should). Everyone on your team needs to understand and embrace your mission and core values, if they don’t, there will be a lack of continuity from team interaction to customer interaction. I know that our team works tirelessly on making sure that our Members are taken care of as it’s part of our value system. Is it part of yours?
I hope these tips serve as a reminder that no matter how far the world of online business goes, the one thing that online can’t replace is face-to-face interaction. Great customer service still matters to people, actually now more than ever. Take a look at your business, does your mission gel with your business strategy? Does your team embrace the organizations core values? If the answer is yes, here’s to your continued success! If the answer is no, give me a call, let’s see how the Chamber can help.
NACC President & CEO