When you're starting a new business, your first customers can become long-term customers and brand advocates for your business. However, poor customer service or a negative experience during their first one or two interactions with your business could be a customer killer. If you're looking to get your new business off the ground, focus on delivering stellar customer service to keep your customers coming back.
Find Your Focus
Who are your target customers? What do you want them to feel when they visit your store, restaurant or business? Find your focus! Focusing on what you want the customer's experience and emotions to be every time they interact with your business will allow you to refine your service approach. Without a goal in mind, your customer service strategy could be placed on the backburner or inadequately represent what your business stands for.
Support What You're Selling
Supporting what you're selling goes a long way in great customer service. If you believe in your product or service, you're likely to have the passion that encourages employees and customers to get behind your business. When customers see an employee or manager truly support what it is they are selling, they feel more at ease. Think about the last few times you dined out. Do you ask the waiter what they recommend? This is one form of customer service because it showcases product knowledge and you're able to see that employees support what their business is delivering.
Love Your Employees
Recognizing employees who deliver great customer service provides you with the opportunity to turn employees into brand advocates. When customers see a company treat their employees well, they often think they'll be treated in a similar manner. Employee trainings and surveys that take a look at whether or not your teams are satisfied with their jobs can keep your customer service at its best. Employee satisfaction is often a great indicator of a company's culture, and culture appeals to customers because it tends to be reflected in the service they receive.
Go the Extra Mile
The number one goal for customers is having what they want when they want it, and at a price they find reasonable. Having the right inventory is important and businesses need to be prepared to go the extra mile for customers that are in their store. Especially in a retail setting where showrooming -- when customers try a product in-store and then buy it cheaper online -- is becoming more prevalent, being able to deliver direct to your customers what they want, at the moment when they want, can seal the in-store sale.
Know Your Customer
Do you know your customers? I mean, do you really know them? Knowing who your VIP clients are or who is a brand new customer can help you deliver improved service and better experience to each customer. Knowing their shirt size or how they take a steak and salad can keep those frequent customers coming back because they feel valuable to your business. With new customers, even if things go wrong, if you provide great service, you encourage that person to take a second-chance and give your business another opportunity to turn them into fans.
Customer service is a continuous process. As new products and services are added to your startup, make sure each and every employee is aware of whom these things are targeted for and what each can deliver. Product knowledge, customer awareness, employee recognition and a clear focus can help you and your startup deliver improved customer service every step of the way.
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