Delivering good customer service is easy, right? Just deliver your product on time, solve your customers’ problems pleasantly, and you’re done.
Well, not exactly.
It’s important to be kind to your customers, but having “okay” or “fine” customer service isn’t the way to develop customers that love you. And we're talking about customers that enjoy working with you so much that they go and tell all of their friends how much they love you. Those types of customers.
But worry not, because there are ways that you can provide excellent service to your users and gain some raving brand advocates in return.
1. Provide Fast Service…
Kind of a no brainer, but still worth mentioning. Thanks to social media and our digital culture, customers want and expect solutions sooner rather than later.
According to a survey by The Social Habit, 42% of customers who reach out to businesses via social media expect an answer in an hour or less.
That’s social media, but quickness extends to all facets of your business. Promising to have a project done in two months and having to extend it to four is a guaranteed way to annoy your current customers and turn off future leads.
On the other hand, meeting your deadlines on time or finishing a project early will absolutely delight your customers and show that you care about their business.
2. …But Not at the Expense of Good Service
That being said, if a project is going to take you longer to finish than previously expected, it’s better to have an honest conversation with your client and take a reasonable amount of time to finish the project.
In fact, when it comes to customer service, customers actually prefer having better, competent service to quick service. When they are taken care of and given knowledgeable answers and services, customers are far more likely to tell their friends than if they were given a quick fix.
3. Be Transparent and Accountable
Cutting down on “Hey, I’m just checking up…” emails is something that both clients and businesses enjoy. So keep your customers up-to-date with your progress by utilizing good project management software that your clients can log in to and see snapshots of how the project is going.
Project management software like ProProfs Project isn’t just a great way to keep you and your team on track, but it has a separate login for clients. Instead of sending one of those pesky “Just checking in” emails, your clients can look for themselves. This gives them piece of mind and trust in your business while it gives you less time in your inbox and more time to get your clients’ work done.
4. Surprise Them
Over delivering is by far one of the best ways to delight your customers. But what can be even better is wowing them with a complete surprise.
And the best part about surprising them? It doesn’t even have to be expensive.
For example, the team over at Buffer has placed a huge importance on their customer service. In addition to cutting down on response time to email, their customer service team (or happiness heroes, as they call them) go above and beyond to wow their customers.
So when one of the Buffer customers jokingly asked to be sent a fez, the Buffer happiness team actually went ahead and sent him a fez. The customer was absolutely thrilled and posted about it on Twitter.
Now, it doesn’t have to be a fez, but you could surprise your own customers with an extra eBook or personal Skype call to make sure that they found everything satisfactory.
5. Apologize When You Mess Up
There are, unfortunately, occasions when mistakes happen and you have an upset client on your hands. Instead of placing the blame on something (or somebody) else, take ownership of the mistake. Then, once you’ve acknowledged and apologized for the mistake, go about fixing it as best you can.
This isn’t just about smoothing a customer over so they don’t tear down your reputation. It could also bring you an extremely loyal customer. For example, there are customers who initially have a problem with your company, but then the problem is resolved. They’re happy; you’re happy. These customers are called recovered customers, and are generally more loyal than customers who never experienced a problem.
Customers like to know that businesses are actually listening to and actively solving their problems. It helps them connect to that business better than one where they just had an average transaction.
So, how much do your customers love you?