Customer service is the backbone of customer retention and customer loyalty. Customer retention is the backbone of increasing your revenue year over year.
This webinar will walk through the basics that you need to know about customer service and what you should know NOT to do.
Customer Service for Products
If you are selling a product, here are your customer service metrics.
1. Available products: do you actually have the product that they want on the shelf or in stock? Think about Chapters/Indigo, and the fact that you can order books on computers in store or find out physical stores where.
2. On time delivery: think about anything that you’ve ordered online and if it is close to when you need the gift, let’s say Christmas, they have a cut off online when they can get it to you by. If they missed the date, you’d be upset!
3. Zero defects: Do you buy your new pair of jeans with a hole in it (that wasn’t for fashion?) How upset are you about having to exchange it. Sometimes you’ll simply return it as you are that upset. Or you may simply never buy from that store again.
4. Meets customer specifications: If you want something custom, like ordering a custom suit. If it comes to you with pink thread and you expected black, you might be a little upset.
5. Amazes customers: This is the extra step. Is there something unexpected like a thank you card? A bonus gift? A loyalty card? For the suit example, maybe they threw in a tie?
Customer Service for Services
If you are selling a service, it is tougher as it is intangible. Here are your metrics;
1. Proximity to customers. Location, location, location becomes increasingly important for many services. It is less likely that someone will go to a salon across town or in another town, than down the street. That’s why franchises make so much sense. You love the product/service, but you simply aren’t willing to make the trek. So they bring it to you.
2. Zero wait time. How often have you gone to Tim Horton’s or Starbucks, and decided to wait on your coffee because the wait was too long. That is part of customer service. Both of them ended up changing their processes and adopting payment cards to save time. You might have even seen the Mastercard advertising about their PayPass program that has saved millions of minutes of time. It is the wait time in customer service of why this is sooooo important.
3. Consistent delivery. Services are trickier, as it is easy to provide great customer service as a single owner/operator of a business. But if you plan on scaling up, this will become more and more challenging. Maybe get your new employees to watch the recording of this video to start understanding the bigger perspective of customer service.
Part of this is understanding your process, and writing it down. That helps to train your employees as well as to improve upon what you are doing.
4. No mistakes in the delivery or unexpected interference. Mistakes happen! At Tim Horton’s I always order Steeped Tea. But I often get coffee instead as they might not have heard me with the noise or it was assumed. Another problem is sometimes the customer makes mistakes! They were talking about mistakes at Tim Horton’s the other day on the radio. One of the stories was about a woman talking on her phone while going through drive through. Apparently she heard the order taker speaking to the car ahead of her, and she ended up giving her order to a garbage can rather than to the order taker. When she got to getting her order, it obviously wasn’t ready for her. She was overheard saying on the phone “they got my order wrong again!”. This is a classic case of the customer not always being right.
5. Meets customer expectations. Services are tougher, as often the customer doesn’t know what to expect. Think about your last hair cut, and explaining that you just want a trim. You don’t know until your hair cut is done if it compares to your expectations.
6. Amazes customers. One of my best examples is at a nail salon I once went to. They ended up giving me a 5 minute massage while my nails dried. Completely unexpected and appreciated!
From here you need to know the best practices where are;
1. Managing expectations
2. Being fair and equitable with all of your customers
4. Over communicating
5. Recovering from mistakes
6. Mass customization
The subject matter expert was Carla Langhorst, the President of Small Business Solver. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org