More ideas on customer service…

An ongoing challenge for any company is the retention of customers. It is well known that getting new customers costs much more than maintaining ones already doing business with you.
Here are just a few things you can do in the customer care arena to retain customers:

  1.  Be Responsive: respond quickly when a customer contacts you or your business through your employee.  Provide a way for customers to have easy access to any information they might need.  Be sure all employees recognize the value of each customer and then take the time to teach them to go after lost customers.  Also, you must empower the employee to make good decisions for the customer and not just for the company.

  2. Be Reliable:   This means consistent follow-through and execution.  UPS and FEDEX, are prime examples of this.    Reliability means repeat business.

  3. Be Empathetic: empathize with your customers and mirror their emotions.  If the customer is anxious, reassure them. 

  4. Be Credible: credibility is seen when you do exactly what you say you will do, each and every time. Don’t even attempt to imply that you are in business just for fun.  Customers know you are in business to make a profit.

  5. Train your staff: constantly train your employees.

  6. Make it Easy to do business with you. Search out the things that give customers difficulty and solve them.  Work at reducing a customer’s paperwork.  Their time is also valuable. Make it all a simple process.

  7. Hire Well: hire great employees.  This is the last one, but one of the most important.  Hire great people with great attitudes then teach them the skills needed.   I would actually steal an employee of another company if I felt they were exceptional.

I know I’ve listed quite a few things, but they will lead to a greater profit for your business.

Let me know what things you are doing to make it easier for your customer’s to do business with you.


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51 Responses to “More ideas on customer service…”

  1. Asa Cox says:

    I think many large companies have lost this special connection with customers; small companies can’t compete with the giants on price, but customer service can definitely be a key differentiator to win business.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Asa Cox,
    Asa, I agree. Customer service can usually give the small business an edge.

    [Reply]

  2. Michael says:

    It is sad that these points have to be made today. These points are obvious, yet so lacking. Except for #5 and #7 (since I am the only employee at this time, I strive to make this happen. At previous places I worked to guide the employees, but it came across as micro-managing (something I had to work on). Sad that we had to point to their pocket book as the incentive to do their best and to care.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Michael,
    Michael, I often find that we have to point to their pocket book as an incentive if we didn’t screen them well. If we screened them well for being a fit for the job in terms of personality, passion, talent, etc., and particularly for being service-oriented, things usually go more smoothly.

    [Reply]

  3. judi says:

    Customer service is ever so important these days. I find many challenges which require creative solutions to develop collateral material for clients; better management of time and services, and offering options to work within customer’s budgets.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @judi,
    Judi, there is so much competition, that even innovating in customer service is becoming important. A good example of innovating and integrating service into a company is Zappos.

    [Reply]

  4. Deborah says:

    Ken,

    Being empathetic is key in Short Sales. Most of my clients are going through a tough time, and to me Im not just there to take their listing. I am there to help them…I agree with the other 6 as well.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Deborah,
    Deborah, I’m sure that your attitude of being there to help makes a big difference to your clients, especially in a time like this.

    [Reply]

  5. John Gesa says:

    Thanks for sharing Ken. Great tips like usual. Sometimes we need to be reminded of these things. Listening to what your clients/customers are actually saying is a big one too.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @John Gesa,
    John, you are welcome! Yes, we all need reminding every once in a while.

    [Reply]

  6. Jackie says:

    Yes, these are great things that appear to be lost in a lot of businesses. Some tenured employees lose that “passion” and it’s hard to get them to grow and change. Thoughts on sparking them?
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Jackie,
    Jackie, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. In my personal experience, I find that people tend to lose their passion when they are not self-expressing and/or feel they don’t make a difference. So if we want to influence passion in others, we need to find ways to help them self-express and feel they are making a difference. That entails setting the workplace so that the employees can feel they matter and make a difference.

    [Reply]

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