COVID–19 has changed how businesses deliver their products and services during the pandemic. Business owners know that customer service is crucial to retain a loyal customer following, and it is more important than ever for newly acquired customers.

Most owners understand how important customer service is yet often fail to deliver when it comes to their own companies. Smaller companies may not have the resources or aren’t sure how to create or implement consistent customer service? If you are not sure where to start, here are five steps to get any company on the path to better customer service.

Start from the beginning:

Customer service starts at the beginning of the first interaction with the customer. First impressions matter for businesses too! Establish exceptional customer service from the beginning.

Have a person of authority in your company reach out to new all customers to welcome them. Let them know who they can reach out to within your organization, should the need arise. Often, a customer will only hear from management after they have stopped purchasing from your business. By then it is often to late to retain the customer.

Customer policies:

What are the policies regarding customer service, in your organization? Are there clear guidelines for your staff to follow so there is no confusion in how customers are greeted, followed up on and communicated with?

Make sure to have a clear set of policies that cover the most common customer experiences. All interactions should make the customer feel appreciated and valued.

Follow up:

After each customer completes their purchase, have a clear follow up process. Just because you do not hear from a customer does not mean they are completely satisfied. An upset customer may still be buying from you but doesn’t mean they are completely satisfied. Maybe they’re just waiting for a better supplier to come along. Be proactive. Have a manager follow up immediately to ensure all issues are dealt with. Then commit to taking whatever actions are needed to make things right.

Empower your staff:

Set clear guideline that empower your staff to solve any customer concerns at their level. Telling a customer that they have no authority to deal with the issue is of no use to the customer. Let them take ownership and responsibility for the relationship your company has with its customers. Not only will your customers become more loyal, so will your staff.

Forget technology:

Email and social media will never have the same impact as a phone call or personal visit. Sending an email or a creating a Facebook post letting your customers know how to resolve issues, has them searching for the information. It says a lot when you’re willing to invest real time in building a customer relationship. A personal touch-base call is a great way to build a solid relationship with the customer.

Bottom line treat all customers how you would like to be treated. You know when you have received exceptional customer service and when you have not, your customers do too!

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