This month, we explored the ins and outs of customer retention. Simply; how to keep customers coming back. Not only has retaining customers proven to be more cost-effective than winning over new ones, but customer retention is one of the most efficient ways to improve your bottom line.
We’ve covered a host of customer retention strategies from loyalty, referral programs, and leveraging social proof. We also asked a few Irish small businesses on the ground about what their best strategy is for keeping their customers coming back and one answer kept popping up: excellent customer service.
Sometimes as business owners and marketers, we spend time searching high and low for the most technologically-driven, number-crunching, mind-blowing methods to retain our customers instead of taking stock of where we are in terms of customer service.
In a study conducted by Zendesk, over 80% of the customers surveyed said that they consider customer service to be one of the most central factors they take into account when deciding whether to make a purchase. In this blog post by Oberlo, the list of compelling statistics goes on.
It doesn’t take a list of statistics to convince us, because we’ve seen it in our own customer journey at Truevo. We’re wholly invested in making our customer experience a positive one, from onboarding to using our products and beyond. Don’t believe us? We promise this year we’ll post a picture of them working in their Santa hats. Heading up the team is our very own customer specialist, Tyren Campbell. We sat down for a cuppa with Tyren and asked him to give us some pearls of wisdom. Here they are:
The qualities to look out for in a customer service specialist/sales rep:
Customer centricity: Putting customers first is less of a value and more of an intrinsic mindset. It should be reflected throughout every department of your small business: from sales people on the floor to factory workers and management. Customers are the people who keep your business afloat, don’t forget to show them that you understand that.
Empathy and compassion: Good customer service is all about putting yourself in the shoes of the customer – their pain points and the things they love about your business are all relevant pieces of feedback.
Communication skills: The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is difficult to teach, but by applying simple strategies, you can improve the way your business communicates with the world. Consider what a difference it makes when a customer service representative takes the time to read through an email in its entirety and responds to all the questions and concerns individually, instead of skimming over it and giving a blanket response. Simple principles like this go amiss in corporations but as a small business you have more resources available to you to treat every customer with individual attention. P.S. We can also recommend a few courses, if brushing up on your communication skills is on your list of to-dos.
A solid work ethic: Customer service representatives will often be called upon to go above and beyond the call of duty to help customers and they need to be willing to do so. The phrase “that’s not my job” simply doesn’t apply.
Being a team player: Okay, so we know this phrase is used over and over again on almost every job description in the universe but it’s made its way on this list because it’s an indispensable quality to have. You’ll know a team player by the way they treat their colleagues with respect, their transparency, their ability to admit their shortcomings and mistakes and most importantly, their unwavering reliability.
Tyren’s top 3 principles of good customer service:
Take ownership – to deliver excellent customer service, we always aim for a quick and effective resolution to a customer’s query. Our primary objective is to save our customers’ time so that they can focus on the more important aspects of running their businesses. To deliver great customer service, we take ownership of the customer’s query, knock on the doors we need to, and get a swift resolution.
One size does not fit all – it’s unrealistic to apply a single approach to all customers and expect to consistently deliver great customer service. Every customer is unique. We personalise communication, we get to know our customers and their businesses, and adapt our customer service approach accordingly.
Listen to customers: feedback is gold – the feedback that we get from our customers is invaluable. We’re actively listening and implementing changes for continuous improvement to our services. A successful customer service team is one that continuously adapts and represents the voice of the customer internally to action the changes that customers want to see.
Customer service dos and don’ts:
Offer multiple channels of communication
Offer extensive operating hours for support
Give realistic expectations of when an issue will be resolved
Go above and beyond
Don’t ask questions that have already been answered by the customer
Don’t be impatient
Don’t make excuses
Don’t deflect the issue at hand
P.S. Want a payment solution that does what it says it will do? Get Truevo. We can’t wait to connect with you.