Customer service is an area that small business owners can easily overlook when they’re trying to balance priorities. Aside from making sure their company is responsive to inquiries and helpful over the phone and chat, they’re often not focused on offering a truly remarkable customer service experience. But the importance can’t be understated. Common statistics tout that it’s actually around five times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain a current one. Taking care of the customers you currently have is critical for your business’ bottom line.
So, even if you think your business is performing adequately in the customer service department, there’s likely room for improvement. According to Salesforce statistics, 72 percent of customers will share their positive experience with others, so every company has significant potential for positive word-of-mouth marketing simply from a stellar customer service experience. Here are three small implementations that can get you there.
1. Incorporate customer feedback
Because many customers contact customer service with a concern, it’s important to take the moment to truly listen to what the customer is saying. They’re offering valuable feedback about your product or service and what can be approved. Thank the customer for bringing their feedback to your attention, then thoughtfully incorporate the feedback into your business.
When a customer’s feedback directly impacted you changing a policy or adding a new service, email or call them after the change has been integrated and thank them sincerely for bringing it to your attention.
2. Be proactive rather than reactive in serving customers
Waiting until a customer speaks up about an issue or idea isn’t enough. Be proactive in your customer service experience by continuously asking for feedback and ways to improve. The customer feels taken care of and like their opinion matters, and you can nip any evolving issue in the bud.
A company that does this well is Rent the Runway. In their unlimited option, customers can rent four clothing items at a time. The moment the item is returned, the customer is asked online or in their app to provide easy feedback — if they “loved it,” “liked it,” or “it was just okay.” Choosing one of these options leads to the opportunity to share more, which makes the user feel like their experience is important.
3. Build a long-term relationship with the customer
In the same vein of speaking with customers and integrating their feedback, find small ways that you can build a relationship with a customer as if they’re a friend you want to keep in contact with.
As your company scales, these relationships can seem hard to manage. Rely on data and see if you can recognize any customer trends. Another way to build a long-term relationship is to follow up a month or so after a customer service email or phone call to see how things are going, creating a more casual, conversational relationship with the customer rather than waiting for them to have a question or problem.
Over time, these three implementations can make a big difference in your company’s reputation and your customer base’s happiness. They’re all worth trying and taking to heart.