In a recent team meeting, the owner of ‘Bombinate Web Design’ made a statement about customer service that inspired this post. Talking about the business, Patrick, the owner said: “If you had asked me ten years ago what made a great web design agency, I would have said great web design. But I was wrong. What makes a great web design agency is great customer service.”
And this is something that is reflected in our core values of the business. Patrick also feels that he sees a lot of businesses that have forgotten this simple key to success. So with that in mind, we decided to put together a short list of customer service tips and advice.
5 Tips to Great Customer Service
1. Use positive language
Use positive language, whether via phone or email. Don’t say that you can’t do something, tell your customer what you can do and what you are going to do to fix the issue. “We don’t have that product in stock until next week,” vs “We will have that product back in stock next week and I will ensure that it will be sent to you as soon as it arrives.”
2. Value customer feedback
Ask for customer feedback and act on it. When you receive feedback from a customer, whether positive or negative, respond and take their comments on board. Don’t wait until the end of the month. Apologise and set about fixing the issue for them and future customers. Or thank them for their feedback and promise to pass it on to that member of the team.
3. Involve all the team
Everyone should be in on making customer service memorable, not just the person who answers the phone / replies via email. If an issue crops up, even designers should be involved in knowing what they can do to make the customer’s experience even better, as well as what is really working well.
4. Employ quality staff
If you look for the best staff and train them well, you will enhance the customer’s experience. There is no point in paying lacklustre staff to deliver a service that they don’t really care about. Find the right people and this will help lead to delivering an amazing service. This also means that you treat your staff really well and show them that what they do really matters to you and to the company.
5. Train staff properly
It’s amazing how many staff don’t know how to even answer a phone correctly, where some even greet the customer like a personal friend. All staff should be briefed on what to say to a customer. You could even consider producing a lexicon for staff to work from. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Your staff need to know what is and isn’t acceptable to say / write to a customer. And above all else, training begins by setting a good example.
As a boss or a manager, great customer service starts with you and trickles downstream. And whatever your role in the company, great customer service is a team issue and when the Team feel happy in their work, feel invested in the business and are inspired by great leadership and training, then great customer service becomes a natural by-product.