Using Customer Service As An Effective Marketing Tool
Post published 30th April, 2014
Recently at a local networking meeting I was involved in a discussion about marketing. I found that the conversation kept on coming back to customer service.
It was evident that the businesswomen in the room viewed customer service as being of equal importance to marketing, you could even say, part of the marketing strategy.
When a client doesn’t feel that they have good customer service they are quick to tell others about it and social media makes it easy to tell a mass audience very quickly, but people will also tell people if they have had very good customer service. It’s a great way to retain the customers you have and win new business through recommendation and best of all it’s very low cost.
My top 5 tips for giving great customer service.
1.Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. If you think it’s going to take you two and a half hours to complete a task, better to tell your customer that it will be done in 3 hours and be half an hour early than tell them two hours and be half an hour late. Being early always impresses people as it looks as though you have pulled out all the stops to get the job done for them.
2.Be honest with your pricing. Headline figures are great for grabbing attention but if there are hidden costs which need to be factored in when the customer comes to pay they will not be happy, even if it was in the small print all along.
3.Be available. It’s important that a representative of your business is always able to deal with any enquiries that come in. If you’re not available yourself and there is no one else in the office to take calls consider using a telephone answering service to take messages on your behalf. Customers always like to speak to someone in person and customers get a much better impression of your company if they speak to a friendly and professional voice at the end of the phone instead of a voicemail.
4.Always look at things from the customer’s point of view. Would you be happy to receive the kind of customer service you are giving? If not, the chances are they feel the same way. Always make sure you’re treating your customers the way you would want to be treated yourself.
5.If you make a mistake admit it. Things do go wrong from time to time, we’re all only human. If something has gone wrong tell your customer as soon as you realise there is a problem and then tell them what you are doing to resolve it. It’s ironic but sometimes having the chance to show how you handle a situation which has not gone to plan can actually give you an opportunity to differentiate yourself and your business and show that you really excel at customer service.
Do you have any customer service tips of your own? I’d be interested to hear, please leave a comment if you do.