Giving your customers what they want...ATTENTION
In my business I expect the best, no exceptions. This goes for my business partner, my family and anyone that I do business with. That may make me seem like an awful person. I’m really not that bad. I just figure if you are going to put forth the effort, why not do the best that you can.
When we started our business we knew what would make us stand out from our competition. It would be our US: our service, our attitude and how we would treat our customers. I know I blog about customer service a lot, I think that is because as much as SEO, email marketing, etc. is important to a the success of a business, SERVICE, the best service, is what keeps your customer coming back to you again and again. Right now over 30% of our business is from repeat customers. This is a number I am very proud of. For some customers we have provided favors for their wedding, their baby shower, and then their baby’s 1st birthday. We love having this kind of a relationship with our customers. We know their names, we know their families and we know what they like. It makes me feel like a “mom and pop” shop, only in a digital age.
I truly believe one of the main reasons we have been successful and have had such wonderful growth over the years is because we do our BEST to take care of our customers and provide the BEST service in our niche. We give them the attention they want, and we make sure they are taken care of from their first phone call to the delivery of their order. If something goes wrong along the way we fix it.
As business owners it is easy to get tunnel vision, we have so many hats to wear on the back end of the business it’s hard to stay focused on the front end. I struggle with that too.
There are obvious ways to make sure your customers are getting the attention they need. As we all know you should have a toll free number prominently displayed on your site. If you don’t know this, you really do have tunnel vision! We all know that we can’t answer our phones 24 hours a day. But you can make sure that when your customers call, they get a person. We solved this issue by using a call center to take the overflow of calls coming in. This was one of the best decisions I made in our business. It was less expensive than hiring more employees (an expense we cannot afford right now) and yet it helped solved a basic customer service dilemma.
Now, if you are the type of person that is not good on the phone, or you do not have the customer service skills to handle your calls you need to make sure you have the right people answering them. We all wear many hats, and some do not fit as well as others. If your best hat is the back end of the business- stay there! Use a call center or maybe another employee that can handle these calls professionally. If you just use voice mail to weed out the customer calls, you are losing sales and not putting out your best effort to provide the best service.
If you can’t afford the expense of additional employees or a call center, make sure your voicemail message gives your customer options, like an email address for questions, or a time frame for how soon their call will be returned.
When trying to grow your business, be sure you don’t get that tunnel vision, remember the people that keep you in business: YOUR CUSTOMERS. Make sure they are taken care of. Whether it means answering your calls, replying faster to emails or just sending a follow up email now and again, your efforts will be well worth it.
It's true. Most people would rather buy from stores that feel "human." The phone advice is great. I've found that representative contact forms also make a difference.
I trust in the following rule: listen to your Clients and try to HEAR them and their needs.I like this due to it’s informative.