If everything is equal online — customer service is what will set you apart and above your competitors. Think about the companies you love doing business with. Your satisfaction boils down to their service.
When customers are made to feel special, that their business is valued — that's when customers will fall in love with your business.
Everyday Generic Customer Service Won't Cut It
So what exactly is generic customer service? Basically, doing the bare minimum.
- Answering inquiries when you get around to it — if at all.
- Shipping at your convenience.
- Not paying attention to details.
- Not making sure that customers have the info and tools to make doing business with you easier.
- Templated responses that do not address customers specific requests.
- Putting everything technology allows on auto-pilot.
- Communicating as though you didn't make it out of the sixth grade.
By operating in the above manner, you are really nothing special. You need to stand out; to be exceptional. You need to offer unmatched Customer Service.
To stand out online your Customer Service
must surprise and delight!
How do you surprise and delight? Not by being the cheapest. By being prompt, professional and personable. Cater to your target market knowing what they want and give it to them X10. Over over deliver.
You do yourself a disservice and dilute your efforts catering to the masses and racing to the bottom. Those who do not value honesty, integrity and great customer service in lieu of cheaper prices are those customers who most likely will not be profitable customers anyway.
How to make customers fall in love …
- You personally answer emails within an hour, in detail, with unexpected courtesy and enthusiasm.
- You have your terms, conditions, FAQs and policy information front and center. Available on your site for interested parties to view at their convenience.
- If you are selling tangibles they are in stock and you ship that day if possible.
- You include an extra little freebie in with each order that is clearly packaged with care.
- You say what you'll do and you do what you say — without fail!
- Every order includes a handwritten “Thank you” note.
- If you make mistakes, you apologize; make things right and do not make excuses.
- You communicate is such a manner that your customers trust in your experience and knowledge. And desire to have them as a customer.
Outstanding Customer Service Encourages Loyalty
- Deliver above and way beyond what customers expect.
- If you are emailed about an order or receive a new inquiry you take the time to address every detail, question and concern.
- You make sure your customers know they are valued and appreciated by thanking them throughout the process.
- You take the extra steps and make the extra efforts to be THE company they want to do business with again in the future.
Do all of the above and your customers will be downright giddy. They will talk about how much they love doing business with you to anyone who will listen.
Online, more times than not, customer service levels are inadequate, sludge slow or plain old non-existent. Or when you do get a response the response is templated and doesn't even answer your specific questions or concerns. If I had a dollar for every time that happened to me…
Prompt, Professional and Personable
Not everything is meant to be automated. Just because you can automate doesn't mean you always do.
By doing so you risk missing that elusive opportunity to personally connect and impress with current or potential customers. Never underestimate the power of your customer service methodology.
Work towards offering unparalleled customer service at every level. Do whatever that takes. Doing so will be to your advantage and you'll stick out like a sore thumb and reap the rewards. More business!
How can you make your customers fall in love with you?
At your service,