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Customer Service, Awesome Service

Wednesday, May 16, 2012   By Mike Reddy


Don’t just talk about awesome customer service - create a system and take the steps to really mean it.

Start from the ground up and adequately train your team members. Invest time in customer service refresher courses, dedicating efforts to revisiting classic methods as well as constantly looking for fresh innovations. Systemise your service.

Consistency is the key - customers will come back when they feel like they are appreciated.

Nurturing your customers is low cost and effective. Make your customers feel valued. Excellent customer service is a competitive business differentiator.

Regular mailings (newsletters, articles of interest, thank you notes, etc.) and loyalty programmes are handy low cost ways to remain connected and to ensure your customers are being nurtured.

If you choose to make use of customer service strategies such as live chat options, social media outlets or email support, be sure to fully consider the ramifications.

Do you have the staff to support these options? Do these staff members have adequate time to devote to these channels?

Only offer services in which you can excel. It’s better to focus on the ‘less is more’ model when it comes to support- unavailability is frustrating to a customer.

Select Client Relationship Management (CRM) software that will allow you to track all correspondence. Refer back to the CRM constantly to see where things stand and take action to resolve customer issues.

Make “please” and “thank you” a company-wide mantra. Somewhat surprisingly studies show that these simple platitudes can help make or break a deal.

Know how to apologise when called for. Listen and be attentive. When dealing with customers always use names and activate familiarity.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

Asking for regular feedback shows your customer you are dedicated to their needs and value their opinions. It also allows you to get unique insight and create new strategies based on experiences. Utilise satisfaction surveys, comment boxes and customer advisory boards to gather your customer’s feedback.

When in doubt, employ the RETAIL strategy:

Really welcome the customer
Enquire about their needs
Talk in their language
Ask questions constantly
Invite them to decide
Leave them on a high

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.