Customer Service Ideas to Set You Apart
Today’s digital age has conditioned customers to expect nothing but the best. They seek attentiveness, instant gratification and immediate answers. As a smart businessperson, your goal is to serve them. Personal attention? Check. Next-day shipping when needed? No problem. But the challenge is that these key elements of customer service that used to be so rare are now commonplace, thanks to our customer-centric culture. So how do you set yourself even further apart in the area of customer service?
Go for More with Social
It’s no surprise that customers turn to social media to either sing the praises of a recent experience or rant about their grievances. Most businesses are aware they need to not only be present on social platforms, but also quick to respond to feedback, whether positive or negative. But again, this is the bare minimum in today’s business world.
Take social media a step further and work to make your social accounts a valuable resource for customers. Lifelock, an identity theft protection company, does a great job of this. By providing tips on Twitter that are relevant to its business – and useful to its customers – the company has become a trusted source of information. This is an extra step in customer service that pays dividends in creating a loyal following.
Get Your Hands Dirty
It used to be that a handshake and a hello were enough to be considered great customer service, but the bar is much higher now. If you want to be the best with serving your customers’ needs, then you need to be on the front lines, no matter your title. Of course it’s not realistic to have the CEO involved in every customer dispute, but maybe she could send a handwritten note to the most valuable customers every now and again to show they matter.
Another way to up the ante is by making sure your customers get what they’ve been promised. If you ship a faulty product and receive a complaint, get someone in senior management on the phone to apologize to the customer and ship the new product immediately – free of charge. A company that does this well is a moving company in Arizona called Get Your Move On. When a customer felt he had been overcharged, the owner spoke with him and assured him he’d get a refund check. When the check was returned to the company because of a faulty address, Get Your Move On sent one of its team members personally to the house to hand-deliver the check. Instances like these can either make or break you in customer service, so always choose the right path.
Show You Care
Lastly, sometimes customer service simply means putting a smile on someone’s face during your normal interactions. It’s not enough to be friendly and courteous; actually showing you care goes a long way in deepening customer relationships. Dutch Bros Coffee is a stellar example of a company that prides itself on going the extra mile with relating to customers. When you go through any of its drive-thru establishments, a bubbly team member will greet you and go out of his or her way to ask about your day. While it’s obvious that this is part of the required culture, these genuine person-to-person interactions can make customers feel important. It also will make them want to keep coming back.
So when it comes to customer service, we need to bust out of the mindset that the baseline is “enough.” It’s not. Use social media to be a valuable resource to customers, involve senior leaders when appropriate, do whatever it takes to ensure customers get what they’re promised and go out of your way to make interactions genuine. With these steps, you’ll see a rise in customer happiness – and loyalty.
Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use.