Think of a business you go to on a regular basis. You probably keep going back based on a combination of low prices, good service, a nice atmosphere, etc., right? What would happen if the next time you went the poor service you received ruined your whole experience? You’d probably question going again and/or take some time away to explore other options. Not only that, you’d probably spread word of your experience to friends and family. If you’d question your loyalty to a company you’ve been frequenting for years, why would you give a new one the time of day if your very first experience there was a negative one? That is why good customer service is so important.
Based on Mike Dupuy’s article, “How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back,” here are a few service tips to develop and maintain customer loyalty:
- Do Not Insult Them
Well, duh, right? But what companies fail to realize is that insulting a customer goes beyond name calling and slander. It extends to how you treat your clients as well. If a client comes to you with a problem and you say you’ll fix it ASAP and then put it off, or worse, blatantly ignore the client, that’s insulting. Do what you say you’re going to do and treat your clients as you expect to be treated by others you do business with. People seem to be easily offended now-a-days. All you have to do is not insult your clients and you'll stand out above some of their other experiences.
- Be Available
This point covers a lot of ground. It includes not only being there for your clients as they need you, but being available through a medium that makes them the most comfortable. Not all of your customers are going to be extroverts who prefer to just pick up the phone and call you. Many people will prefer to email you instead. The middle ground of texting should be utilized too since it’s often quicker than an email, but not as direct as a call. You need to find out how each of your clients prefers to contact you and not show your own favoritism toward one medium or the other. Your service should focus on each client as an individual.
- Be Proactive in Your Communication
Stellar customer service is rooted in communication being a two-way street. When a customer reaches out to you, you need to respond as quickly and thoroughly to whatever it is they're addressing as possible. On the flip side, you need to reach out to your clients when you need feedback as well. Not sure how you can improve your service? Ask. Your client hasn’t contacted you in a while; is everything all right? Ask. People who have good business relationships talk with their clients, and a good relationship is a solid foundation for loyalty.