I work with many different kinds of businesses, and they all have one thing in common: they are providing a service or product to someone – sometimes both. Whether it is B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer), someone is interacting with your business.
Customer service makes or breaks a business. You can have the best product in the world, or be the best at a certain service, but if people don’t like how you treat them they will quickly be done with you and move on to someone else. That is why I am providing some basic tips, because while I have been working in branding and web design for many years, I also worked a lot of retail and customer service jobs while I was still building this business.
Best Practice #1: Appreciate your customers.
Be thankful for your customers and clients. Show them your appreciation by offering loyalty rewards, and even just say thank you. Without them, you don’t have a business.
Best Practice #2: Don’t sell crap people don’t need.
Right out of college, I worked a retail job on the side at one of those over-priced electronic stores. My first week working there, I outsold every employee and manager in our district. How? Because I never, ever offered or “pushed” anything someone didn’t want or need. People would come in looking for a gift or a solution for something, I just told them about what I sincerely thought would help fill their need. No one ever returned anything, hence my sales beating others out. Not every service, product or solution applies to everyone. Be sincere, offer real solutions and people will not only use your service or product, they will come back again. The value in that is important to any real growth in business.
Best Practice #3: Do what you say you will.
A client or customer’s trust is important. It is also very fragile. People need to know that they can take you at your word, or they will soon lose trust. I have clients that have stayed with me for many years, because I always keep my word. Trust brings loyalty, and nothing strengthens a business faster than a loyal customer base.
Best Practice #4: Always strive to do it better.
Even if you feel you offer great customer service and the best products, you can always do it better. If you aren’t moving forward then you are growing stagnant, and people will move on. Strive to improve your customers’ experience with you, your services or products and the employees who represent you. For employers, remember that all of your employees represent you, so keep that in mind when you offer wages. Loyal employees are just as valuable as loyal customers.
This list isn’t all inclusive, but every practice here is an absolute must. Providing excellent service to your customers or clients will improve the quality of your business and ensure it is built on a solid foundation that will last.