What is good customer service?
Good customer service relates to the service your and your employees provide before, during and after a purchase. For example, it's how you interact with your customers. Improving your customer service skills can lead to greater customer satisfaction and a more enjoyable experience for them.
No matter the size of your business good customer service, needs be at the heart of your business model if you wish to be successful. It is important to provide good customer service; to all types of customers, including potential, new and existing customers.
Although it can take extra resources, time and money, good customer service leads to customer satisfaction which can generate positive word-of-mouth for your business, keep your customers happy and encourage them to purchase from your business again. Good customer service can help your business grow and prosper.
Why is customer service important?
It can help you:
- increase customer loyalty
- increase the amount of money each customer spends with your business
- increase how often a customer buys from you
- generate positive word-of-mouth and reputation
- decrease barriers to buying (for example, if your business has an excellent reputation of customer service for refunds, you're more likely to entice a hesitant buyer to purchase from you).
What good customer service skills look like?
Examples of excellent customer service skills include:
- treating your customers respectfully
- following up on feedback
- handling complaints and returns gracefully
- understanding your customers' needs and wants
- exceeding customer expectations
- going out of your way to help them.
Tips on good face-to-face customer service
It's a good idea to provide customer service training to new and existing staff training. Here are some simple things your staff can do to encourage customer satisfaction. If you have a physical, bricks and mortar business, here are some tips for developing good customer relationships:
- Greet your customers as they walk through the door. You can ask them how they are, or how you can help them.
- If your customers have to wait to be served (e.g. waiting for a table at a café, waiting to be seen in a doctors' office) it can be helpful to have someone, like a receptionist, greeting your customers and letting them know how long the wait is expected to be.
- Checking in on your customers while they're in your shop can also be helpful. Examples include asking them if they enjoyed their meal, or if they'd like you to help them find a different product. This can also give them a chance to ask any questions they might have.
- Knowing your product inside out is invaluable, particularly in a face-to-face business setting. Being able to immediately answer any tricky questions from your customers can help build trust and credibility.
What to do...
- Find out how to provide good customer service.
- Check out the Novel idea for a bookshop for a case study on addressing customer feedback.
- Get some tips on keeping loyal customers.