If your business needs to grow, you have to provide the best product and moreover, the best customer service. Your customer service plan should revolve around the fact that your customers love your service enough to come back again and again and even refer you to their family and friends.  Whether you are a small start-up or a large corporation, customer satisfaction is absolutely crucial in determining if you’ll have customers revisiting you. However, one should realize that every client is different in their own way from the others and thus have their own ideals.  You must cater to the needs of all your customers differently.

If there is one common thing between all customers, it is the need to feel important.

    We lose 68% of clients from a perceived lack of indifference.  

They need to feel a sense of trust with the company to build a relationship with them. Excellent customer service ensures that this factor is looked after. Loyalty towards the business, word-of-mouth referrals and customer satisfaction are key things that can either make or break a business.  Let’s then take a look at some ways through which customer service can be improved:

  1. Train your employees: Your employees will be the first people your potential customers will be meeting.  You need to train them in the best way possible to answer any queries related to your business – about the products and services, by the customers.  Ensure that your employees are knowledgeable enough about all aspects of the business and not just pertaining to their role in the business.  As an owner, it is your responsibility to look after this.  Every customer’s first interaction with your employees will act as the ambassador of your business, so make sure it is the best!  Even over the phone, staff should always smile; you can absolutely ‘hear’ a smile.
  1. Audit the reviews online:   Different industries have different websites wherein they can see where they stand in the marketplace.  If we talk about a restaurant, for instance, Yelp would be a great website to check out the customer ratings on your service, the quality of the food and various other factors.  You also need to make it a point to check your social media accounts every day.  This is very important because you might have customers that may have certain complaints.  In this case, you can ask them to instantly give you a call to solve the matter.  Once things are sorted, you can go back and thank the customer for informing you on how to improve your business.  Of course too, if they show appreciation, you should express your thanks and gratitude in a timely manner.
  1. Plan ahead for special days: Ask yourself, are you aware of the holidays that are related to your business?  For instance, if you run a pizza parlor, National Pizza Day can be the day you can offer jaw-dropping deals to your customers.  You can even offer services such as free pizzas for a certain hour of the day.  If you aren’t certain if there is any holiday that could pertain to your business – you can always count on Google! You are literally a click away from uplifting your business.  You need to put in extra effort into thinking and marketing to make sure that you don’t just increase sales but also provide what is best for your customers.
  1. Find out what they really want: Ask your customers (or prospects) what they are really wanting.   Ask what they love about your business, and what could be worked on.   You may assume a quick website is important (and usually it is) but maybe getting through to a real person on the phone is the big tick item for your customers.  Choice may be important; whether to be you embrace technology or accept not all customers do as well.   Asking your customers and especially listening to them goes a long way to knowing what’s important around customer service, or what is not.
  1. Create a loyalty program: Have you ever thought of giving back to your customers? While many businesses mainly focus on getting new customers, very rarely do they consider that they shouldn’t forget their base.  Look out for the repeating customers. Offer them free services such as free shipping for instance.  Launch new kinds of loyalty programs only for the customers that come to your shop over and over again.  This way you will greatly aid customer satisfaction.  Something as simple as thanking them (genuinely) for being a great customer every so often will be a WOW factor, especially when it’s not expected (ie don’t do at Christmas time).
  1. Follow up your customers: Ask them if the experience was good, ask them if you met their needs; did the product turn up on time?   Email your customer their purchase receipt and send them personalized thank you messages for shopping with you. This could also be your chance of surveying your customers.  Ask them if you and your employees were able to meet their expectations of customer service and how they would like you to improve your business.  By doing this, they will not just help you understand how much you need to work on training your employees but will also greatly help you improve your business as a whole.   If the feedback is negative, investigate fully and promptly and keep the customer informed as to what is happening, being investigated or changed.   Be sure to thank them for drawing this to your attention … a complaint handled well can be a huge opportunity to keep a client and more importantly, for them to become an advocate of your business.
  1. Encourage feedback: Encourage your customers to drop a feedback at all times.  How can this be done, you ask? Well, it is simple. Offer them certain incentives, for instance, you can offer up to 10% discount on their next purchase if they fill out a survey form. You can also use this opportunity for customers to leave testimonials on your website, so that others can get an idea about your business and how good it is.

Thus, these are just some of the many ways to make your customer service excellent and receive great reviews from your customers.  Customers that are satisfied are known to be the greatest assets for your business as they can help promote your business knowingly as well as unknowingly. You need to make sure your business understands the needs of your customers and make every effort to meet their needs. Customer satisfaction is one of the major keys to get future customers, retain valued ones and to help your business prosper at a steady rate.