Usually when you ask someone what the first thing is they consider when buying from a business, they would say price. Maybe even quality. But you are missing one crucial ingredient that makes your business go ‘round.
Let’s say you’re at a restaurant for a hot date. Maybe the pasta was super affordable, and the Carpaccio? YUM. But when you walked in it took 7 minutes for someone to come up to you and greet you. You sat at the table for half an hour before someone even bothered to bring you a menu. And the amazing pasta? It had a hair in it.
Now, really, who would go back to an establishment like that?
The key ingredient to any successful business is excellent customer service. People remember the experience they have with you – the way you make them feel. If you let someone using your services feel like they’re just another number, they will most likely not come back. But what is customer service to you? The answer may not be as straight forward as you think.
So here are 5 crucial mistakes that you could be making with your customer service without even really knowing it!
Not training your staff.
Did you know that Amazon requires every new employee to start in customer service? It doesn’t matter which position they applied for. The reason for this is because it encourages every member of the team, no matter how senior or junior, to fully understand the clients of that business. It does not matter whether you have two or two hundred employees, you need to train everyone in the art of customer service.
Customers and clients will not tolerate rudeness, incorrect information, or apathy on the part of your staff. Not taking the time to thoroughly train ALL employees — from the bottom to the top — is a major mistake made by too many small businesses. In this case what you put in is what you get out.
Forcing customers to use one specific service channel.
A surprisingly common assumption is the one that there is one omnipotent service channel that all of your customers will love. But this is simply not true! Sally may love reading emails whilst Bob needs to speak to a person over the phone to feel confident to buy.
Everyone is different, and even though it may not be possible to cater to every single individual need, opening up more service channels will definitely end up benefiting you in the long run.
Forcing people to use a service channel they are not comfortable with will only end up alienating them from your business. Take Printulu for an example. We accept that having an entirely automated process and online system may be daunting for some.
This is why we also have an online chat bot available, or you can call us at 010 593 0558 or even email us at email@example.com.
We find that our clients that use our system as it was designed (totally online) tend to be happier in the long run with our services, but we are always happy to lend a helping hand and invite everyone to try our process for themselves!
Being reactive with your customer service.
This is a common customer service mistake made by companies that are experiencing a high amount of customer churn. The old way of conducting customer service was to put a phone number on a website and wait for people to call. With this method, many dissatisfied customers remain silent until the relationship is irreparable. Businesses close every year because key customer conversations don’t happen, even with a customer service team on staff that’s waiting to talk to them.
But how do you avoid this? It;s simple. Be proactive with your customers! Take control of the conversation instead of waiting for the phone to ring.
We’ve found that this way of dealing with clients is very helpful in the long run. We keep a record of all of our calls, emails, past orders and chats so that we can easily reference your history with us. You are also kept in the loop from start to finish of our process so that you are never caught unawares and left disappointed.
Over-promising and under delivering.
There’s no way around it. If you say you will do something – do it. If you can’t honor your commitments to a customer for reasons beyond your control, do not make excuses; the only words you need to remember are “We’re sorry,” backed up by an extra effort to make the customer happy.
Transparency is the key here. If your client knows what’s happening, the probability that a nasty surprise will shock them into asking for a refund is that much lower.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of making grand promises to your client to try and impress. But in the end, these big promises that you can;t deliver on inevitably will destroy your business’ reputation.
At Printulu, we have a favourite motto – “Manage expectations.”
This is to remind us all that we should always be 100% honest with what our clients can realistically expect from us. We will not put an artwork through that may print incorrectly, or tell you we can deliver in a certain amount of time when it’s not possible. This honesty is the key to building a long-term trust relationship with your clients. Keep to your word, and the rest will follow.
You’re not empowering your staff.
This is crucial. Hire the right people. This doesn’t just mean hiring people with the most impressive skills and background, though that’s definitely important as well. But given how long it can be to train and onboard new team members, it’s crucial to hire people whose attitude is a good fit right from the start.
The Printulians have all gone through multiple tests to make sure they are not only skilled enough for the job, but also have the right mindset and positive attitude. Every one of the Pritnulians are passionate about customer care.
P.S. We’re hiring! Email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.