It might sound overly simple, but customers should be the number one focus of your company. Without customers, well, we wouldn’t have a company at all. Small gestures of appreciation can go a long way in building loyalty with your customers and creating recruiters out of them. People love to tell their friends about a company with over-the-top customer service almost as much as they like to complain about extremely negative customer service. Use these tips to boost your customer service and gain loyalty.

Say Thank You

Don’t say thank you just when a customer purchases your product or services, but randomly, around the holidays and on their customer anniversary. A simple handwritten card can go a long way.

Teach your team to say thank you to each other throughout the day. Getting in a habit of saying positive, grateful words will transfer into how your team treats their customers.

Listen

Another simple but often underused customer service skill is the act of truly listening. It’s easy to block out what seems like unimportant information and listen for the words that relate to the business at hand. But often the key details of a good relationship are in the context of the conversation: body language, eye contact, small talk, etc.

Go Above and Beyond

Being a customer-oriented company should be more than a motto you say at quarterly meetings. It should be something that’s acted upon. Strive to do one more thing than what is required of you. It doesn’t have to be life-changing; it just has to show the customer that you value them and want to keep their business.

Follow Up

We’re all salespeople at heart. Whether we’re selling a product, service or your own expertise, we need to convince people that what we have to offer is better than someone else. The simple act of following up with a potential client (without nagging them), can make all the difference.

Be an Actionable Example

A team isn’t inspired by a fancy mission statement posted on the wall. They aren’t inspired by a fancy office or work perks. What inspires a team to perform is seeing their leader as an inspiration. Be an example to your team and inspire them to go above and beyond for the customers.

It’s fair to say that most consumers view a company’s customer service as the true test of a company’s well-being and ability to get things done. People are looking to see a smiling face, hear a happy voice and see a willing attitude. Have weekly customer service meetings where your co-workers can share tips and tricks, celebrate victories and inspire those who need a boost of confidence. A little coaching can go a long way and a team can achieve much more together than they ever could solo. Be the company you would like to work with. Are you?

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William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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