Last month I appeared on Richard Naylor's TV show "The Money Factor" to talk about business strategy. I was asked ahead of time to provide what I considered to be the Top 10 Customer Service Tips that businesses could employ to survive a downturn. The following are my thoughts. What are yours?
- Answer your phone. We’re all tired of voice mail and "press one".
- Get personal. There are fewer customers to go around, take care of the ones you have. Find out what’s important to them and do it.
- Return phone calls immediately. Everyone’s busy but as a customer, I don’t care about everyone else—only me.
- Be upbeat but forget "have a nice day." We are all worn out with that expression, so change it to "I hope you get your shopping done" or "take some time out for yourself."
- Throw in something extra; maybe it’s a great or a sincere "hello, how is your day going?" or a small gift. A cup of tea or coffee would be great.
- Treat customers like friends, not customers. The world is more transparent, show your customers you care. Find out about their families, their children and their hobbies—that’s what friends do.
- Go the extra mile—even if there’s no immediate profit. We remember when someone is nice to us. Letting a customer use the phone or the bathroom.
- Listen to your customers.
- Take care of perceived issues immediately. Since 96% of customers never complain and just go away mad, going the extra mile to show the customer that you really care will help tremendously.
- Reward customers for being customers. Send them thank you notes, a holiday or birthday card or plan a holiday event and invite your past customers.
What are your tips for businesses in a touch economy?