8 Customer service tips to keep customers happy & coming back
As a business owner, you know that keeping customers is important. But do you know how important? Let’s let the data do the talking.
According to Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by even just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
That’s a huge profit margin that you may not be taking advantage of. To help you keep your customers happy and coming back for more, we’re going to outline some of the most helpful customer service tips.
List of customer service tips to keep them coming back
1. Make Communication Easy
2. Show Appreciation
3. Sell “Correctly”
4. Be Positive and Friendly
5. Make it Personal
6. Speed Comes Second to Quality
7. Offer Support
8. Stay in Touch
#1: Make communication easy
This boils down to simple customer service skills. If you cannot communicate clearly with your customer, you have already lost the battle. Make it easy for your customer to reach you so that they don’t feel like you’re a mysterious, unreachable company that doesn’t have their best interests in mind.
To make communication easy, put plenty of opportunities and calls-to-action on your website, in email communication, and on advertisements. Don’t make your customer search and search for a phone number. It should be in plain sight.
Invite customers to give you feedback and comment on your social media channels—asking is the first step to an engaged customer! Then, once you have their attention, reciprocate the communication. Let them know they are heard; make it a two-way street.
#2: Show appreciation
When someone buys your product, they usually feel like they are helping you out. Yes, they may be excited about the product, but they also feel as if they are an irreplaceable part of your business’s success. They’re not wrong—you would not be successful without people purchasing your product or service. So, let them know!
If you are speaking with the customer in person, take the extra minute to express a heartfelt “thank you.” Tell them how much you truly appreciate their business, especially if they are a repeat customer. Show them you’ve noticed.
To take it a step further, consider sending a thoughtful thank-you note in the mail or via email. You can use this moment to build strong customer relationships and maybe even push another sale if you include a special discount for customer referrals or similar actions. Just think about how you like to be acknowledged and appreciated, and apply that same mindset to your customers who have chosen to spend their hard-earned cash with you.
#3: Sell “correctly”
Yes, there is a wrong way to sell. The wrong way to sell is to be pushy and only care about your bottom-line. Going that route is a fast-track to repelling every customer you’ve ever earned. If someone doesn’t like the way you sell, you can be sure they will not want to buy from you again if they can help it.
Selling “correctly” means using words your customer wants to hear. Buzzwords such as “free” and “instantly,” as long as they are backed up, will make your customers more inclined to buy. Additionally, you will need to remove any possible hindrances or friction that make the buying process difficult. For example, if someone is trying to download a coupon from your website, don’t make the customer fill out 10 information boxes before they can claim the coupon. One box for their email address makes it easy for both of you.
#4: Be positive and friendly
Kindness always wins. There is something to be said for the employee who always has a smile on his or her face and makes an effort to genuinely get to know every customer. Simply asking, “How’s your day going?” can be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer forever.
Any employee that brings negativity to your place of work is not going to help you keep customers. Smiling is literally contagious, while negativity can also brush off on people. Which one would you rather impart on your customers?
I think we can all agree that the less negativity a customer possesses, the better off we all are. All you have to do to ensure bad vibes are at bay is to just be genuinely nice and flash a smile every now and then. It’s also worth mentioning that smiling as you answer the phone is another smart tip to help spread the cheer. People can actually hear you smiling in your voice, which will make them innately happier as they speak with you.
#5: Make it personal
Customers want to feel remembered and special, and it’s your job to make them feel the love. Anything you can do to make the experience feel more personalized, the better. That may mean making it a point to repeat the customer’s name a few times throughout your conversation to show you’re engaged. It may mean recalling a previous purchase he or she made and asking how that worked out. Whatever you need to do to make the customer feel like a VIP, take that one extra step.
If you think about the customer service experiences that were most memorable for you when interacting with other companies, try to take note of the defining details that made your experience so great. You can easily employ some of the same tactics in your own customer service process. Just pay a little more attention to the people who believe in your company, and they can become customers for life.
#6: Speed comes second to quality
A lot of times, especially in the retail and food industries, it can seem that speed and efficiency are of utmost importance. Especially if you have a long line or people waiting outside, you may feel intense pressure to just go, go, go, without any attention to quality. That’s a huge mistake.
Though people value speed, they also value quality… much more. What good is a hamburger that came out fast if it was undercooked? How helpful is a quick checkout if the customer was rushed along without time to put their loose change away? Don’t let the need for speed overshadow the need for a quality product and experience. When you start treating customers like just a number, they will feel and act like just a number.
Customers who feel like just a number to you are not likely to return, because you’ve shown that you probably wouldn’t notice or care if they do.
#7: Offer support
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is worth it to do anything you can to help the customer feel supported. Offering support can be anything from having a live chat option on your website to asking if there is anything else you can help the customer with. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but it needs to be enough to make the customer feel that you care about their experience.
Especially if a customer has a lot of questions or issues, it’s paramount that you do your best to resolve every issue in a calm and friendly manner.
Another important tip for superb support is to keep all your employees in the loop. This will help your entire organization solve customers’ issues and appease grievances so that you don’t have to worry about someone slipping through the cracks. Customers can get very annoyed when they feel that your staff is not knowledgeable or equipped to handle their issues. But when a customer feels supported, they are much more likely to return time and again.
#8: Stay in touch
You should always assume the customer does not remember you. To stay top of mind, remind the customer of the wonderful experience they had with your organization. Following up is one of the most important steps of retaining customers. If you go silent, you should assume the customer will forget about you. But, if you pop into their inbox twice a month (not 10 times per day), you can gently remind them that it’s time to renew their subscription, come in for a checkup, or order refills for their product.
While you are staying in touch, it’s also recommended that you stay connected to the customer by asking for some feedback. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask! Be polite, and ask for a Google Review or send them a customer feedback survey. Opening up the communication to being a two-way street shows that you care about your customer’s opinions and you want to keep making their experience better. Simply by showing you care will let the customer know you’re serious about keeping their business.
At the end of the day, retaining customers boils down to great customer service. And when your customer service reps learn some of these helpful tips, they will feel much more empowered, thus helping you establish loyal, longtime customers. Start by smiling more often, and see where that takes you.
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