Customer service is critical to every single business and delivering good customer service requires constant attention and focus. Writing on behalf of the FSB, Annabelle Webster of South East Timber and Damp shares three valuable tips to help you wow your customers.
Customer Service is about building relationships, using a series of small positive interactions to achieve a connection between your business and your client. Getting it right in the first place isn’t easy. Maintaining it – while everyone in your business is bombarded night and day with messages vying for their attention – is really tough.
Five years ago, it was enough to offer a timely, helpful service, and simply by doing this you could get ahead of the game. However, the game has changed, and now you have to get inside the heads of your clients.
As a company (and not just you as a Director or CEO, but the whole company), you need to understand your clients’ pain, and find creative ways to ease that pain as well as excelling in communicating relevant information at the right time; and using the client’s preferred method.
So how do you achieve this?
At South East Timber and Damp, we are incredibly proud of the reputation for customer service that we and our team have built up. I wanted to share with you three simple strategies which have worked well for us, so that you can adapt them to your own business.
Walk the walk
One of the ways we have approached this at South East Timber and Damp is by identifying and documenting our sales process.
To do this for yourself, take time to look at your sales process, from that initial call through to completion.
Document all the variations. Be honest with yourself, and think about the many ways that these interactions can go wrong, and how to best get the process back on track quickly.
Think about the potential issues. For example, if you communicate with a client by email for the first time you are highly likely to drop into their JUNK or SPAM folder. So make sending a text to say the email is on its way part of the process, and avoid that client thinking you haven’t been in touch or responded to them.
By documenting your business process and following it, when things don’t go right you can review and improve it.
Talk the talk
Practice what is said and how it is said at each stage of your customer relationship building process.
Create a loose script around the discussions you would like to have, and work out when it is best to ask pertinent questions and when to present your solution. Create a flow to the call that you will control, and always consider the objections that your prospect may have to work out how you would like to handle them. Dealing with objections well means you are one step closer to alleviating your client’s pain.
The 3 A’s of objection handling
Acknowledge the objection “I understand your concern…”
Answer their question “We are experienced in this field…”
Ask “Would you like for me to get you booked in…?”
Review, review, review: tweak, adjust and improve.
At any opportunity, update your written processes. Amend, change, and create new ones.
Add to your process with the use of technology such as live chat on your website, SMS software to send pertinent messages to your client, template emails that you can personalise, and keep clients informed with Infogrames of FAQ’s or your sales process. Use links back to your website, help sheets, and free support documents sharing your knowledge. All these will help you to keep your client on board, informed and aware of where they are in the process, and who to turn to for help.