One of the most difficult aspects of starting a business is establishing and retaining a customer base. Without customers, your business cannot possibly survive. But how can your young company stand out when your competition is constantly trying to lure your customers away? The answer is less complicated than you might expect: simply provide excellent customer service. Customers expect a certain level of customer service, so don’t disappoint them! The biggest reason customers stop doing business with a company is poor customer service. In fact, studies show that 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay a premium if it means better customer service. Building a customer-driven company is more than just a task for you as the business owner; your entire team needs to be on board. Here are four customer service tips from the custom closet and home organization business leaders at Organizers Direct.
Understand Customer Needs
At its core, customer service is nothing more than common courtesy. Simply treat your customers the way you would want to be treated if you were in their position. This goes beyond mere politeness. The best customer service begins with understanding the customer’s needs. Talk to several of your customers to learn how they define satisfaction with your product or service and see how you can improve. The easiest way to do this is by sending customer surveys after each transaction. Use this information to design a customer service policy that outlines the things your customers want most and train your staff to make every interaction with customers count. The goal of every customer conversation should be to understand what it is they need most and deliver the right solution for that need.
Put Friendliness First
The first time a customer has contact with your company, they need to be impressed by the level of customer service. If a customer calls your company, they should hear a friendly greeting, never be put on hold for more than a few seconds, and have their call returned promptly. If a customer visits you in person, make them feel welcome. Here are three simple habits you should master to gain the affection of a customer:
- Be authentic. Nobody wants to buy from a salesperson that puts on an act to sell their product. Customers can see right through inauthenticity, especially when a salesperson is rude or pushy. Instead of acting like the used car salesman stereotype, work on building trust with your customers through common interests and credibility.
- Master the art of conversation. The best salespeople are also the best conversationalists. This is not because they do all of the talking themselves, but instead because they know how important it is to keep their customers talking. Showing more interest in learning about someone than making a sale will likely lead to them listening to you when they are ready to purchase a solution to their problem.
- Embrace positivity.When you are in a good mood, it shows. Likeable salespeople are confident, positive and happy – an attitude that tends to be contagious. Customers can hear the smile in your voice as you answer the phone and read the enthusiasm in your body language as you share your products and services. Even if you are having a bad day, maintaining a positive, happy demeanor can easily make someone else’s day and make them more likely to buy something from you.
A satisfied customer will tell three friends about their experience, but an unhappy customer will tell a dozen and post a negative review online. Positive word of mouth is extremely important for your company’s future; satisfied customers are your best and cheapest source of advertising. Consider this: a customer who learns about your business from a friend is presold on your company. They may not even bother researching your competitors to look for a better deal. When you’ve done a great job on a project and provided the best customer service, don’t hesitate to ask your customers to recommend you to their friends. If they are happy with your work, perhaps they are already planning on doing so. That being said, it’s never a bad idea to offer referral incentives. Offer a discount or special offer for customers and the person they refer. This approach may just make them take the extra step of encouraging their friend to do business with you.
Let the Customer Be Right
You will never win an argument with a customer. It doesn’t matter if you’re right; you will lose the customer if you alienate them. When a problem arises, be prepared to resolve it. After all, this is the best chance your company has to demonstrate its exceptional customer service. Make the customer comfortable enough to contact you with any problems before running to post a negative review. Use problems and disagreements with customers as an opportunity to gain a loyal customer by delivering good, professional customer service.
Outstanding customer service isn’t something your company can master just once. It must be put into practice each and every day and you can never stop looking for ways to improve. What are your best customer service tips? Let us know in the comments or visit us on social media!
If you have ever dreamed of owning your own custom closet and garage business, or if you already have a business and are looking for a new investment prospect, take the next step towards an exciting opportunity with Organizers Direct. We provide a full week of in-house training with our team of professionals including industry leader, Neil Balter. From sales and marketing to installation and design, we provide our closet organizers with the best education in the industry. See what else the Organizers Direct Partner Program can do for you!