As a local business, providing the highest level of customer service to your community should be your top priority. Not to mention, it’s critical to your survival. After all, word of mouth is one of the best ways to promote your local business.
Whether you’re the owner of an established business that is suffering a decline in customer satisfaction or a new entrepreneur trying to start off on the right foot, providing exceptional customer service is not out of your reach. To ensure that your business’s customer service is top-notch, let’s take a look at our top 4 methods for fine-tuning your customer experience:
Hire the Right People
While it might be easy to hire the first applicant that comes your way, taking your time and doing your due diligence during the hiring process can save you headaches down the line. Whether you’re hiring for servers, sales associates, or cashiers, you want to make sure you prioritize a good work ethic, positive attitude, and experience to ensure you’re hiring the best person for the job. Keep in mind that employees are often the first impression your customers will have of your business.
In addition to selective hiring, training is a powerful tool to make sure you’re providing the best possible experience to your customers. There luckily for you, there are plenty of training resources online that you can use, no matter what industry you’re in.
Focus on Efficiency & Productivity
If we’re being honest, today’s customers are less forgiving when it comes to long waits, inaccurate estimates, and other failures of efficiency. Fortunately, businesses have access to a variety of high-tech tools that can improve efficiency and productivity. From time-tracking software for your local web design company to vehicle tracking solutions for our courier business, you should technology to enhance your services. You can also easily improve productivity is optimizing your home office or your work flows to increase your output and decrease delivery timelines.
Even just making your business easier to work with on their end can improve their experience. From auto-fill forms and a user-friendly website, to being able to have their favorite items available for pickup, efficiency makes it easier for them to interact with your business.
Take Customer Feedback (And Implement It)
In the digital age, customers are providing more feedback than ever. While it might sometimes be hard to hear, it can be invaluable to improving your business’s customer service. Reading your business’s reviews is a good start, but responding tactfully and actually taking the constructive criticism is even better.
When it comes to responding to customer feedback, the last thing you want to do is react negatively. This can ruin your relationship with that customer as well as others who come across your comments. Instead, thank them for visiting your business and taking the time to share their experience. Then, focus on trying to make amends for their less-than-ideal experience. An effective method to recover a customer is to invite them back to your business on the house. Whether it’s a complimentary service or meal, they will feel listened too. And, the small financial loss you take up front can be redeemed if they become a repeat customer.
Using a reputation management service is another option for professionally handling your customer reviews.
While it might seem counterintuitive to reward employees for doing something that is an inherent part of their job, providing incentives for exceptional customer service can go a long way for your business. Not only will it help keep your customers happy by providing a memorable experience, but it can keep your employees happy by making them feel appreciated. It will also encourage others to follow suit if they see hard work being rewarded.
An important note on employee incentives is that they should be something of value and commensurate to the employee’s performance. Setting up a rewards program with tiers is often an effective strategy whether it be free meals, gift cards, or bonuses.
Whether you choose to start with just one, or want to implement all of these tips for better customer service, you can only benefit from putting the focus on your customers’ experience.