Great customer service is one of the foundations of running a successful business. Here at The Companion Group it’s one of the most important things on our agenda. Like many other successful businesses, we realized early on just how important having outstanding customer service really is.
After all customers are what drive your business, so the idea that we need to do everything possible to help provide the best buying experience is ingrained in our business model. For a small business owner just starting out customer service can sometimes be a lesson in trial-and error, so today we figure we’d share some of our most successful customer service strategies.
Creating an Empathic Identity
When you’re running a business it’s important to try to connect with your customers on a personal level. Whether it’s handling a customer service call, responding to an email, or even replying to a product review, making these connections sends the message that your company is run by people that really care about the products they sell. Every time you help a customer with an inquiry, no matter how big or small, you’re helping that person identify your company as one that truly cares. There’s really no shortcut to creating this type of identity, but with some hard work and sincerity you’ll be able to build a solid reputation.
Listening to Your Customers
When it comes to customer service listening is the first step. Until you’re ready to truly listen you won’t be able to even begin to understand what your customer’s needs are. Whether it’s a complaint, comment, or suggestion every interaction you have with a customer should be considered equally important. Comments and suggestions may seem of a lesser importance when compared to a complaint, but you’d be surprised how effective it can be to acknowledge someone’s suggestion for a product or service. When someone files a complaint, it’s absolutely expected for a company to reply and address the situation. On the other hand, when someone offers a kind compliment or good idea they’re probably half expecting to never hear back about it. Personally I’ve found that responding to all three of these customer inquiries is the most beneficial thing to do. It may take a few minutes out of your day, but listening to what people are saying and acknowledging them can work wonders for customer satisfaction.
Fixing the Problem
It’s always alarming when there’s a customer complaint, which can sometimes make it difficult to respond. This is the point where listening and truly placing yourself in your customer’s shoes will really pay off. Successfully looking at the problem from the consumer’s perspective and offering a solution that works both for you and your customer is the best strategy. Our philosophy at The Companion Group is that a customer problem is an opportunity to create a stronger relationship with that customer. If a customer had a problem with one of our products or our service, and we go above and beyond to fix that problem, they’re more likely to look back on the experience fondly.
In the end, it’s important to remember that customer service isn’t rocket science: it’s as easy as treating people the way you want to be treated.