Providing a great product is only part of what it takes to run a successful business, with the service surrounding it dictating what your customer’s experience will be.
Whether you run a physical store or a service-based business, it’s important to know that having a nice space only takes money (ie: anyone can do it with the right funds) – having quality service takes skill!
Think of your business as if it were a hotel – is your aim to offer a budget or a 5-star experience?
What is the key to great customer service?
Great customer service requires effort, consideration, great training, and a joint effort from everyone in the business to commit to raising the standard of every experience someone has.
Get your team on-board
It’s important to have high-quality standards for every person operating in your business, not just those in front-facing roles. Reinforce these throughout recruitment, induction, and your internal everyday culture until they become entwined with what your brand offers and represents.
Equipping your team with examples (whether real or hypothetical) and ideal responses can help them feel confident to tackle situations that may arise, and be sure of the correct brand response.
Do your customer service research
Talk to your team and networks about their own experiences on both sides of customer service, and define what makes those instances stand out. Take careful note of each interaction and transaction you have and create an image of what an ideal customer experience would be and how to achieve it in your own business.
Anticipate your customer’s needs
A transactional experience is relatively straight-forward: someone asks for something, you provide it, they pay for the product or service.
Taking it to the next level involves anticipating what the customer wants as well as needs, and taking steps to offer it to them – whether it’s a bottle of water at a restaurant table or letting the customer know of member discounts available to them, in their shoes you’d likely appreciate the extra effort.
Empower your employees
Making sure that your team is able to solve issues with their own initiative and assets – if you have a lengthy approval chain required to solve a customer’s issue, it creates a poor experience for everyone involved.
Whether it’s empowering them to offer a discount code, create custom agreements, or even something as simple as offering someone a free drink – it can help transform the customer experience and help your team feel like they can take actions on their own.
Read more: 6 Top Marketing Tips for Your Business
Make customer service your #1 all the time
Make sure that you and your team don’t just focus on customer service for a short period as part of a project or campaign – it needs to be part of your company’s DNA all year round!
Revisit your values and processes regularly to ensure everything you do is in pursuit of your goal: happy customers who have had an enjoyable experience!