No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to build a strong brand. And building your brand through strong customer service is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
With customers prioritizing the “experience” over a host of other factors, it’s one of the few areas where you can give your small business a major advantage. So how do you go about building a company using customer service as the forefront of your brand?
Define your values and goals
If you want to build and defend your online reputation, you need to start by outlining your goals. Write them down; this will serve as the main pillar of what you do. But make sure that your values and goals are practical. They should apply to the real world and be specific (such as how you are going to actually reinforce your company culture through customer service). A culture code is useless if there’s no way to implement it practically.
Benefit from digital
The vast majority of consumers will interact with you online before they decide to make a purchase. And 48% of consumers say this is the most critical time to make a connection. Sp help them out: Design your website in a way that makes it easy for customers to get answers. It’s the beginning of good customer service and will ensure people get into the purchasing funnel. Everything on your digital channels should be easily accessible. You should also have plenty of available contact details, which helps to instill trust. You need to reinforce the fact that there are real people behind the brand, which is harder than it looks when everyone is operating online these days.
Establish a great call center
Even in today’s digital age, people should be able to call you and speak to a real person. (It’s one of the reasons why companies fail in customer service — because they move away from this.) This can happen simply through Skype, or you may decide to establish a traditional phone line. The point is to put your customers in contact with real people. Speaking to someone grabs the attention of your customers and ensures they’ll remember you. They’re more likely to act if they can speak to a customer over the phone. The effect of a human voice can’t be underestimated. It’s about the psychology of customer service.
Make it a two-way relationship
It’s true that good communication is key to any relationship. And that includes giving customers the chance to contribute to the discussion. Don’t get into the habit of talking down to them. This is not your chance to educate; it’s the chance to give your customers the control they crave. Yes, you do need to address customer concerns, but you need to stop talking long enough to actually hear them. Make them feel acknowledged and actually take into consideration what people are saying.
Make customer service everyone’s job
It’s easy to think that customer service is something that only matters to the people managing the phone lines. The reality is customer service is the job of everyone, and not always in the way you think. For example, the web designer has the chance to make the customer experience better just by spending time on developing the website to suit customer needs. You need to make this clear to everyone working for you. Spend some time telling people about their roles and the effect they have on the customer experience.
Last word: Hiring the right people
It’s vital to dedicate plenty of time to hiring the right people. A good customer service agent can work wonders for your company, so this is one area that you can’t afford to skimp on. Don’t just hire the right people; hire the people that have potential to improve.
Will you be marketing your business through customer service today?