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Great Customer Service Is Key to Profit

March 28th, 2012 ::

By Thomas Ford

It’s been said before and I think it bears repeating- customer service is essential to happy customers!

Happy customers are returning customers, and we all know that returning customers generate more revenue for your company! Providing great customer service can be what separates you from your competitors. Here are five tips on how to not only keep your customers happy, but also keep them coming back.
1.) Keep your promises to all customers – Make sure processing and shipping time frames are accurate. If an item on your site states it will ship within 1-2 business days, make sure it’s shipped within that promised time frame. Of course we know that stock issues may arise; if they do just make sure you keep your customers in the loop.
2.) Communicate – This is essential to keeping customers happy and it goes back to the first tip- if an item is out of stock or on back order, let your customers know. If you use a call center or answering service to take your overflow calls, make it a priority to respond to your customers in a timely manner. Email is always the quickest way to contact a customer and the best option because you will have your communication in writing. Because we live in a fast-paced, technology-driven society, customers expect quick and efficient responses when dealing with online stores. Therefore, try to get back to customers within 1-2 business days, with one business day being the ideal time frame for a response. You don’t want to have customers calling in every few days because they have not heard back from you. This will lead to high phone costs and a bad experience for the customer–which means your customer loses, and so does your business. Sally Gronow, Head of Communications at Welsh Water, says it best: “Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.”
3.) Give an incentive – To ensure your customers return, offer a coupon for their next order, even if it’s only 5 to 10 percent off or free shipping on orders over $50 or more. The smallest offer can keep customers coming back for more business. You can also offer coupons or discounts throughout the month.
4.) Be competitive – If a competitor is offering free shipping or is selling an item at lower cost, match the price. Customers are more likely to do business with companies they are familiar with or those they are loyal to; however, if a competitor has the same item at a lower cost, a customer may take their business elsewhere. By price matching an order you can gain a sale and perhaps a lifelong customer.
5.) Empathize – Customers may become upset for numerous reasons. Even if those reasons seem trivial, empathize with the customer. Customers want to feel as if they matter to your company. If they are unhappy, apologize and let them know you understand how they feel and will do whatever you can to make them happy. Nothing turns business away like a cold shoulder!

These may seem like common-sense tips; however, with the hectic schedule of the average business owner, these tips can be forgotten or pushed aside, which can result in unhappy customers and a loss in profit. By making these tips your customer service “commandments,” you’ll be sure not only to remember them but also to keep those customers coming back.

Image courtesy VIPdesk.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Customer Service, Marketing, Small Business, small business | 1 Comment »

  • http://www.nitrotek.co.uk/rc-planes.html clensyavis

    It is right that if you have provided the best service to your customer and has enough care for them then it can be consider as the long term investment. If any of your customer has get the best service then that customer definitely will tell other people about your best service and this can drive more customer and benefit to your business, and this way you can get more profit which further can be invested to get more revenue. And thanks for sharing such nice topic with us.