Are You Really Providing Great Customer Service? 5 Questions to Help You Decide
No matter what industry or niche a business operates in, whether it is B2C, B2B or a combination of both, the one thing we are almost sure any business owner is aware of is the importance of providing great customer service.
In fact, we’ll bet that your original business mission statement included the importance of providing great service and it’s also probably touted in your marketing materials, especially if your bottom line is completely consumer driven.
Words are great, mottos are great, but here’s the big question; are you really providing the best customer service possible? When was the last time you actually had a close look at how you provide customer service and evaluated whether you were really doing enough?
Not recently? Then now really is the time. And to help you perform such a self-evaluation, here are some questions to consider.
How is Your Referral Business?
There are all kinds of metrics that you can use to evaluate how well your customer service policies are working, but one stands head and shoulders above any other; how much of your business comes from referrals?
If a business provides great customer service the result is satisfied customers. And satisfied customers traditionally – and statistically – tell their friends. If a significant portion of your new business does not come from referrals you need to find out why.
Is Your Company Listening?
One thing is certain, even if you are not actively monitoring the chatter, your customers are talking about you. And not just in the street with their neighbors, as was the case in the ‘old days’, but on social media, on review sites and even, in some cases, in personal blogs and articles. Are you listening to all of this?
A business that does not practice active reputation management is not doing the best they can in the customer service department, it’s that simple. You need an active monitoring system in place to ensure that you know what is being said about your business and have a team in place ready to respond. Which does bring us to the next question…
Are You REALLY Listening?
When it comes to customer service, listening requires participation. Monitoring mentions of your business online is one thing, and a good thing, but how well are you responding?
Are you commenting on reviews, good or bad? Are you responding to comments and queries in social media, even if it’s just with a thank you and a smiley face? If not, it’s time to change that. You wouldn’t ignore a customer or potential customer physically standing in your business (or we hope you wouldn’t) so why would you do so online?
Are Your Competitors Providing Better Customer Service?
Sometimes – and maybe more often than you might think – the decision, for a consumer, when choosing between two very similar services or purchase options offered by two companies who essentially offer the same thing, does come down to which has the better reputation for good customer service.
You don’t actually need to send out spies to see how your competitors are treating their customers, but you should take a look at their website, their social media pages, their online reviews. Take note of what they might be doing better than you and aim to surpass it. If they are doing something wrong, ensure that you never follow suit.
Are You Keeping Customer Satisfaction in Mind at All Times?
We know, you’re busy. Which is a wonderful thing, that’s just what a growing business needs to be. However, if maintaining a commitment to customer satisfaction is getting lost because you’re ‘too busy’ then you can’t expect to remain that way for long.
Maybe some of your staff could use a little retraining in how to properly treat consumers. Maybe you need to get outside help with your social media. Maybe you need to offer a new website, one that actually adds value to the customer experience instead of just occupying a bit of online ‘real estate’ as a static placeholder.
Different businesses will need to do different things. Just don’t ever let “not having enough time’ get in the way of discovering what your business needs to do to up its customer service game.