Poor customer service costs U.S. companies about $80 billion a year in lost sales, and more than 60% of those unhappy customers go to a competitor.
Those figures – from Parature, a customer service software company – suggest that getting basic customer service right is critical for small (or any) businesses.
Here are a few simple things you can do to improve customer service.
- Take the time to hire good people, and make sure they understand your brand and your customers. A positive attitude – and the ability to stay positive under pressure – are two things to look for in job interviews and references.
- Make sure that everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities so that customer issues get addressed quickly.
- Everyone involved in customer service – from front-line reps to technical support and anyone with deep product knowledge – should meet regularly to discuss issues and build working relationships.
- Make sure your customer service encompasses all channels – phone, in-person, web, mobile, social media – and record your successes and failures so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
Remember, these days a single happy customer can influence hundreds, if not thousands, of other consumers. Dealing with every customer with that potential in mind will increase the odds of that happening.
Adapted from Six Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty by Rober LeCount at Baseline Magazine.