Sept. 27, 2019
You've probably noticed that customer service in America today leaves a lot to be desired. Whether it's getting transferred to a call center in India or the Philippines to a person you can't understand, or getting your order wrong at MacDonalds, it's an ongoing problem. It's frustrating and it's unnecessary, and it costs companies sales.
Large companies frequently drop the ball, and this is where small firms can beat them, by paying attention to the details. They add up. Provide superior customer service and clients will come back to you again and again. Make them raving and loyal fans!
Here are some things to monitor and correct, if need be...
- Include your phone number on the home page of your website. Don't make people search for it. Make it easy for people to contact you. Don't let the phone ring 10 times before answering or going to voicemail. If possible, always have a live person answer the phone.
- Don't let the "Contact Us" link lead just to an email form. Provide the names and emails and phones of people or departments. If you must use an email form to connect with prospects, for God's sake don't make people wait a few days or longer for a reply or ignore them! Respond to emails the same day.
- Make sure the person who answers your phone has a great attitude and knows what the company does and who to transfer prospects to.
- Don't outsource your service and problems to a call center in India, South America or the Philippines. Heavy accents make communication difficult for customers, and the money you save by not going American may be MORE costly if you lose customers. Ask yourself what's the lifetime value of your customer?
- Spot check your phone system to make sure it's working correctly. There's nothing more frustrating than following a prompt, then the call gets dropped. Phone systems are not perfect. Don't expect them to never need maintenance.
- Over-deliver. Give prospects and customers what they bought, and more. Throw in a free bonus, a coupon, a special deal, a free report, a small discount, etc.
- Make prospects feel like they are the only customer you have, don't make them feel like a number to be "processed".
- Follow through. If you say you are going to do something, do it! And, do it right the first time. Whether it's giving a refund, correcting an order, sending someone information, etc.
It's easy to get bogged down in day to day business and forget to monitor your customer service quality. But, people notice, and they will not do business with you if you treat them badly.
For Consulting and Business Coaching, contact John LaRosa at Marketdata (813-971-8080).