01480 309 582

Integrated E-Commerce, Mail Order & Retail Solutions

5 Tips For Providing Excellent Customer Service

A smile and a polite demeanour may go a long way in terms of customer service, but there is much more to providing excellent customer service. In order to meet the rising demands of customers, businesses need to be able to satisfy their customers across multiple platforms. One of the most crucial pieces of advice we could give at Options Mail Order is to go a step beyond to meet your customers. After all, the 5 Ps of customer service are Process, Product, Presentation, Price, and most importantly People.

Reward loyal customers and attract new business

(A handwritten note sent from Jawbone to a new customer of UP)

Many businesses fall into the trap of neglecting their existing customers as their main focus becomes attracting new ones instead. A lot of the time, the customers that keep returning to you are the ones that need the most attention. If customers don’t feel valued they are likely to go elsewhere. But different customers require different marketing strategies.

There are a number of ways to say thank you to existing loyal customers, and often the more personal and less wordy, the better. Surprise them with these few ideas:

  • Personalised notes: send one in deliveries or within emails, quoting the customer’s name.
  • Discounts or early opening to sales: email newsletters make this easy, or attach to a delivery.
  • Spotlighting: utilise social media by featuring your customer on one of your social accounts.
  • Freebies: often an incentive to gain customers, hold onto older ones by offering better freebies.

Accept complaints and resolve issues

No business can ever satisfy every customer but what sets a good business apart is by accepting and resolving these complaints or issues properly. When problems arise, you should always put customers first and assume that your business is to fault. The most professional businesses will respect the opinions of their customers and seek ways to fix mistakes.

Adopt the 5 As when dealing with complaints:

  • Acknowledge
  • Apologise
  • Accept
  • Adjust
  • Assure

Following up with your customers by sending them regular updates on your progress proves that you are working towards a solution. This will reassure customers and shows that you care. Be willing to offer some form of compensation in particularly tricky cases so that a positive resolution is achieved. Always find opportunities to receive feedback too, and really listen to this before taking it on board.

Understand your brand and products/services

There is nothing that looks worse that a member of the team not having a clear understanding of your brand and its products or services. If your staff don’t know then how are customers expected to...Provide all employees with sufficient training prior to them communicating with customers so that ‘I don’t know’ is never the answer unless it is followed by ‘but I can find out for you’. Our variety of Options management systems and software puts all product and stock information at your fingertips so that staff can properly inform customers.

Provide multiple methods of communication

Understanding that customers prefer different forms of communication is crucial. Make sure you provide customers with options. Not everyone is on (every) social media channel, for example, so embrace multi-channel marketing. Often age can be a leading factor with this though, as many older customers tend to prefer mail or telephone communication rather than online or email updates.

Consider customers who may prefer to follow self-service routes as well. Maintaining quality and informative content and blogs can be particularly valuable. In depth FAQ pages will be useful for your customers and could help to reduce the number of similar inquiries. The more flexible you are, the higher your chances of receiving sales.

Employ the right people to sell your brand

In order for customers to love your brand, your employees need to love your brand too. During the interview process you should narrow down potential employees, choosing only those that are both enthusiastic but intuitive, as well as being good listeners and hardworking. The ability to interact with your customers in real life is essential to building up relationships and keeping sales.

To quote Peoplesoft Inc, ‘Customers are an investment. Maximise your return’. At Options Mail Order our software provides simple solutions to supplying excellent customer service. Keep your staff well informed with our Ecommerce, Mail Order, and Retail systems. Contact our team with any queries.

Posted Thursday, 15th January 2015