All businesses need to provide good customer service. It doesn’t matter if they are B2C or B2B businesses or whether they are selling physical products or services. The quality of customer service can make or break a brand’s reputation. If customer service is poor, customers could go elsewhere even if they feel the other brand’s primary offering isn’t as good. In this article, we will talk about the customer service principles we try to live by at CustomStickers.com.
At CustomStickers.com, we view customer service as our highest priority. To provide excellent customer service, businesses should all follow some fundamental principles. Using best practices for customer service will ensure that standards are high and that customers receive the treatment they expect.
Here is how we approach customer service at CustomStickers.
CORE PRINCIPLES OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Many small business owners know they need good customer service but might be unsure where to start. However, following some fundamental principles of good customer service can help any business to achieve a better reputation, raise their profits, and more.
Here are some core customer service principles that all business owners should practice.
One of the main qualities customers look for in customer service is responsiveness and how quickly they receive the help they need. No one wants to wait for someone to listen to them and respond when they try to get in touch. Spending a long time on hold or waiting for a response to an email isn’t make customers happy.
Businesses can improve responsiveness by tracking response times and resolution times and setting goals to reduce times. Choosing the right contact channel for faster responses, enhancing employee skills, and empowering employees can improve response times.
CLEAR AND ACCURATE INFORMATION
Customers obviously want the information they get to be accurate when receiving customer service. However, it also benefits them if they receive the information they require in a clear and easily understandable way. To ensure accurate information, it’s essential to have written documentation of what customers should be told.
For us, it’s important to share as much information as possible with our customers. Sometimes things are out of our control - USPS shipping delays, for example. Our customer service team will take the initiative to reach out to USPS on our end and see what can be done to facilitate the delivery.
Additionally, employees need the right training and resources to provide accurate and clear information.
No business will share absolutely everything with its customers, but maintaining transparency regarding customer service is essential. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re in the dark and don’t want to be brushed off with phrases that don’t mean anything.
There’s also evidence to suggest that customers don’t mind waiting if they know the reason for the wait. They might rate the customer service higher compared to not having to wait.
If there is ever an issue with a sticker order, we always try to get to the bottom of what happened so we can make it right, and make sure it doesn’t happen twice.
The ease with which people can get in touch and receive customer service is important too. People don’t want to make too much effort to get in touch and get the answers they want.
Additionally, it’s important to make your services accessible for as many people as possible, ensuring you can provide customer service to disabled people or other groups that might find it more challenging to get in touch through some channels. Businesses should offer a choice of channels for contact, make themselves available, and include self-service options too.
Providing customers with the help that they need is one essential thing a business needs to do. But they also need to provide that help with a friendly approach. People aren’t happy with customer service that’s abrupt or unfriendly, even if they ultimately get the information and assistance that they need.
Being friendly and polite, and focusing on the customer, is an integral part of providing excellent customer service. It’s also essential to inject humanity into customer service and deliver it with personality.
EXAMPLES OF COMPANIES WITH TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE
Looking at companies that are highly rated for their customer service and place a strong focus on being customer-centric can inspire better service. Many companies do things to help their brands stand out.
Apple is one of the biggest brands that is often praised for its customer service. They provide customer service through various channels, from social media to a personalized support portal.
The supermarket Publix has also developed an outstanding reputation for customer service. They are exceptionally responsive to their community, stocking items people suggest and receiving customer input.
Zappos is another great example. Again, the shoe retailer takes things to the extreme, offering benefits such as free shipping on all sales and returns, a 365-day return policy, and plenty of personal touches.
Good customer service is worth investing in. Small businesses can gain a competitive edge by focusing on customer service as a priority.
THE BENEFITS OF GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE
Good customer service delivers many advantages to any company. Customers expect high-quality customer service and will quickly make their disapproval known if they’re not happy.
By employing the core principles of customer service, you can secure these incredible benefits for your business.
- Customer loyalty – Securing repeat customers can cost less than getting sales from new customers. According to Salesforce, 91% of customers are more likely to make another purchase if they have had a positive customer experience. Focusing on customer service creates loyal customers and can save you money and make money.
- Higher profits – With customers more likely to return and spend more if they receive good customer service, your company can increase profits by treating your customers right. Putting customer service experiences first could grow revenues between 4% and 8%.
- Increased customer referrals – Promoting your business through word of mouth is one of the best ways. When customers receive good service, they’re more likely to make recommendations, with 94% saying they will recommend a company with outstanding service.
- Better conversion rates – It’s common for customers to back out of a purchase if they receive poor service. Therefore, better customer service will lead to better conversion rates as people are much more likely to complete their purchases.
- Better brand reputation – Poor customer service can significantly impact public image and brand reputation. Few people are willing to forgive a company after a bad experience, but many are happy to recommend one after a good experience.
Learn more about our approach to business on our blog.