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Your Customer Service: Deal Maker or Deal Breaker?

Businesses can differentiate themselves from their competition through superior customer service. Here are ways your company can excel at customer service.

Martha Spelman. Customer Service

by Martha Spelman

For many companies, one of the best ways they can differentiate themselves from the competition is with exemplary customer service. No one wants to go into a store and feel like they are not welcome or feel like they can’t receive the help that they are looking for, due to some employee’s bad customer skills. This is why it is important for every company to have this at the forefront of their business.

Recently, I had three different customer service experiences:

Experience #1: The brick and mortar store debacle

On a Saturday evening, I walked into a local pet supply store. Wondering around, no one approached me and I was not able to find the product I needed. I finally tracked someone down, told them what I was looking for and they directed me to an aisle. There was a poor selection, what I needed was not available and I left, again with no contact from five employees standing around at the front of the store.

I went home, logged on to Amazon Prime, and ordered the product I needed. When I opened my door at 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Sunday!), the package was on my porch. Why would I ever go to the physical location store again?

Experience #2: The baby shower gift gets rained out

About two weeks before going to a friend’s baby shower, I logged on to her registry page at Baby’s ‘R’ Us. I ordered a gift and noted that it would be delivered 7-9 days from the order date. Since that would be close to the shower date, I paid extra for gift wrapping. The day of the shower arrived but the gift did not. I went to the shower, empty-handed, with a promise to return with the gift (embarrassing). The gift finally showed up a couple of days later.

When I contacted Baby’s ‘R’ Us to get a refund on shipping, they were rather indignant, claiming that delivery was 7-9 “business” days from date of shipping and refused to refund the shipping charge. Since they didn’t get around to shipping the gift for a couple days after the order, it had taken over two weeks for the gift to arrive. Slow delivery and zero apologies. Why would I ever buy from that retailer again?

Experience #3:Ready for Prime time!

I’m an avid Amazon Prime member (see above) and recently bought their “Fire TV Stick” so I could watch movies on TV. The first time I tried to watch a movie, the streaming was slow which resulted in many interruptions. The fault lay in a router that was located too far away from the television. I later resolved the issue by adding a booster to my system. But two days after trying to watch the movie, I received an email from Amazon, saying: “We saw that you had an unsatisfactory viewing experience so we’ve refunded your rental fee.” Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Take these simple customer service actions to benefit your business:

  • Review your current customer service processes — and make sure everyone is on the same page
  • Respond to emails, phone calls and inquiries promptly — at most within 24 hours
  • Staff should be knowledgeable, well-trained and project a positive attitude
  • Be clear on all client communication with customers — what you’ll be providing, for what price and under what timeline
  • Carry through on all promises
  • Follow-up with customers after a sale is made; assure they are satisfied with the product or service
  • Listen to and be empathetic with customers with complaints — antagonism is a no-win situation
  • Monitor your social media profiles and respond to any negative feedback; work to rectify any negative comments
  • Go above and beyond — always over-deliver on your customer service

All of this can be made easier through the implementation of customer service software which opens up all channels of communication for a simple solution to exchanging messages from business to customer.

Make your customer service remarkable — and people will share their experience. Excellent customer service is excellent for business.

Related posts:

Assume Nothing.

The Customer Service Difference: Staples or Office Depot?

The Brand Experience: Feeling is Believing

Is your business firing on all cylinders? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start and grow businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing book: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert and the co-founder of Packbands silicone storage and organization straps. Martha is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog. Click to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

To find out more about Packbands, visit the Packbands website. Martha can be reached directly at: 310.266.6992 or martha@marthaspelman.com