Imagine this. You sit down at a new restaurant, and it takes 45 minutes for a server to visit your table. Finally, you speak up, “Can I get a glass of water?”
Even if the food was to die for, would you return? According to research from New Voice Media, 51% of customers wouldn’t return to a business after only one bad experience.
Customer service is just as important as offering a great product—and possibly more so. That’s because technology connects us and creates a forum for online reviews. In fact, 72% of customers won’t purchase from a company until they’ve read its reviews first.
If you aren’t currently placing a high priority on learning customer service tips to avoid those bad reviews, you need to start now. It takes minutes for someone to have a bad experience and tell the world, potentially costing your business money.
That’s why I’m here to teach you the customer service tips that could transform your business. Best of all, each of these tips can be used right now, meaning you’re just a few minutes away from taking your business to the next level.
Sure, you want to avoid bad reviews. But there are other great reasons to improve customer service as well.
You can charge more for your product or services. If you’re known for your customer service, people may be willing to pay you more. One study says Americans are willing to spend 17% more to buy from businesses with excellent service.
You can retain and acquire new customers. Great customer service makes it much more likely that your current customers will go out of their way to recommend your business to other people. That’s why customer service is an essential foundation to great word-of-mouth marketing!
You can stand out from the competition. You can offer the same product at the same price, but you have a better chance of winning the market if you offer a standout experience.
You can gain useful insights. Great customer service involves listening to your customers’ feedback and making changes to better serve them. Their feedback can even help you improve your product or service.
Sold on the reasons why you should improve customer service? Good! Now let’s talk about six practical ways you can make your customers happier today.
Instead of emailing a customer, meet them in person (if it’s safe to do so, of course!) or chat with them on the phone. Email is quick, but your tone can get misinterpreted.
Studies suggest that only 7% of a person’s message is taken from words, and the rest is communicated through facial expressions and body language.
The good news is that it’s easy to get more time with your customers. Here are a few ideas:
Can’t meet face-to-face? Pick up the phone, especially if a customer has had a bad experience. An apology over the phone is more genuine and effective than an email.
Too often consumers get bounced around on support lines. Think about it—how often have you:
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Make sure your customer service experience is fast, convenient, and helpful. Try to solve problems quickly, explain what happened, and limit the time a person is on hold. If you can’t solve the issue right away, call back with a solution. Then keep your promise—call back!
This customer service tip might feel a little out of left field, but bear with me here.
Whether you offer your customers a product or service, you should aim to come across as a professional, reliable, and trustworthy business owner who prioritizes keeping them safe. And while you can certainly tell your clients how dependable you are, the truth is that showing you take their peace of mind seriously is more powerful.
That’s exactly where business insurance comes into play.
Business insurance is one of those trust cues that lets customers know that you take your business (and their peace of mind) seriously. After all, when you run a small business, anything can happen. It’s important to carry business insurance to help pay for accidents, damage, or stolen property.
This way, you can make repairs and fix issues without going bankrupt or disrupting your service.
Plus, if any of your customers get injured or suffer financially as a result of a mistake you made, your business insurance policy can cover some or all of those costs.
It’s easy to see why business insurance is one of the most powerful trust cues available to small business owners!
Depending on your industry, you might want to get:
Commercial general liability insurance: This covers costs associated from third-party accidents, property damage, and injuries. For example, if you accidentally damaged a customer’s couch while repainting their living room, your general liability insurance could potentially cover the costs of replacing that couch.
Professional liability insurance: This coverage protects you if you make a mistake on a client’s project that ends up causing them damage. Professional liability insurance may cover some or all of the costs associated with that damage, as well as the cost of a lawyer to defend you if the claim goes to court.
Solid business insurance will cover you when the unexpected happens—and help you get back on your feet fast.
Get an affordable & customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.Start Here >
As a business owner, you deal with all types of people, including some who are frustrated, annoyed, or confused. It’s generally a good idea to deal with them patiently and show empathy, no matter how difficult this may be.
Here are a few tips to help:
It’s possible to turn things around with an angry customer just by being thoughtful and understanding. And even if you don’t “win them back,” you’ll know you did your best.
Want some more advice on how to deal with a customer who won’t calm down or stop being angry? Check out our handy article on how to deal with a difficult customer.
Getting customer feedback is critical to your success. Start by setting a goal. Do you want to know how your product is performing? Wondering if customers recommend your services to friends and family?
Then decide on a survey type. Here are three different ways to measure feedback, and each of them involves asking just one question.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Ask customers how satisfied they are with your product or service by using a simple scale.
Customer Effort Score (CES): Find out how easy or difficult it is for customers to interact with you.
Net Promoter Score® (NPS): Learn how likely customers are to recommend your product or service to a friend. Use a rating scale.
Once you gather your survey results, take time to analyze the feedback. You can even go a step further and hold focus groups to ask deeper questions. The more you know, the more you can do to improve your business.
Trust me, all of your hard work will pay off. The more valued your customers feel, the more likely they will continue buying from you and tell others about their experience with your company. Your new and improved customer service approach will help reel in dollars before you know it.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated reinsurance carrier by A.M. Best. Harborway Insurance is a trade name of Simply Business, Inc., which is a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.