Customer service relates to the service you and your employees provide to customers before, during and after a purchase of your goods and services. This can include things such as how you interact with your customer, and how you resolve any issues that may arise.
No matter the size of your business, good customer service should be at the heart of your business model if you wish to be successful. It's important to provide good customer service to all customers including new, existing, and potential customers.
Although, it may take extra resources, time and money, good customer service often leads to greater customer satisfaction. This in turn generates positive word-of-mouth for your business, keeps your customers happy, and encourages them to purchase from your business again.
Why is good customer service important
Providing good customer service can help you:
- increase customer loyalty to your business
- 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 a good reputation
- decrease barriers to buying (for example, if your business has an excellent customer service record dealing with refunds, you're more likely to entice a hesitant buyer to purchase from you)
What good customer service skills look like
Examples of good customer service skills include:
- treating your customers respectfully
- following up on any feedback you receive from your customers
- handling complaints and returns gracefully
- understanding your customers' needs and wants
- exceeding your customers' expectations
- going out of your way to help your customers
Tips on providing good face-to-face customer service
If you have a physical bricks-and-mortar business, here are some simple tips for developing good face-to-face 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 is required to wait to be served (e.g. waiting for a table at a café or waiting at a doctor's office), it can be helpful to have a staff member, such as a receptionist, greet your customers and let them know how long the wait is expected to be.
- Check in with your customers while they're in your shop. For example, ask them if they've enjoyed their meal, or if they'd like your help to locate different products in your shop. 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 questions they have on the products you sell can help build trust and credibility.
To make sure your business is delivering good customer service consistently, it's a good idea to provide customer service training to your new and existing staff so they know what is required.