As marketers, our main focus is generating quality leads, closing new customers and harboring overall growth for the company. But according to the inbound marketing methodology, our efforts don’t stop after we make a deal. There is one final, ongoing step – Engagement.
Your customers are your biggest fans but they need to be nurtured and cultivated so they continue to buy from you. Not only will you increase customer retention by keeping them engaged with your business and getting them excited about what you have to offer, you’ll also build strong relationships.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as compared to the probability of selling to a new prospect, which is 5-20%. Not only is retaining a customer better for business, providing excellent customer service is pivotal.
Happy customers who's problems are solved tell 4-6 people about their positive experience.
Happy customers, who get their problem solved, typically tell 4-6 people about their positive experience. Of those 4-6 people, one could be a potential customer who now has a positive impression not only of the work you create, but the service you provide.
But how do you provide excellent customer service?
Use these Tips for Customer Service
1. Set ExpectationsBefore you begin executing on work for a customer, you should first establish expectations. This includes deadlines, processes, tools and points of contact.
2. Be Honest and Transparent
When it comes to a customer being dissatisfied or unhappy, it’s crucial to be honest with them. If your team fell behind, tell them. If you forgot about a deadline, tell them. You’re only hurting yourself and the company by keeping this details under wraps.
3. Listen to Pain Points and Frustrations
If you want to effectively and efficiently resolve an issue for a customer, you need to spend time talking to them first. You need obtain an understanding of their pain points and frustrations or you’ll be trying to fix the problem blindly. By understanding their problems better, you’ll learn further about your customer and ultimately your buyer persona.
4. Collaborate on a Solution
After listening to your customer’s frustrations, work together to come up with a solution. Incorporating your customer into every step makes them feel a part of the team and that their wants/needs are truly at the forefront.
5. Establish Communications
When starting off with a new customer, it’s important to establish the best way for you to communication whether it be email, phone, text or chat. Take the time to understand what works best for your customers and cater to them.
6. Cater to Their Needs
As customer service or the account manager, you need to put the customer’s needs first. At New Breed, we have a hierarchy where the customer always comes first. This shows your dedication to their business (which significantly impacts customer retention).
7. Establish a Cadence in Communications
While you’re defining the best form of communication, you should also establish how often you check-in based on their need. Whether it be daily, weekly or bi-weekly, you need to create a designated time where all of your attention is on that particular customer.
8. Keep Customer Happy During Times of Development
At New Breed, we close many customers who want to redesign their website. This is a lengthy and time-consuming project and it’s easy to run into snags along development. The key to keeping customers happy during periods of development relies heavily on the expectations initially outlined. You can use them to reference back to when frustrations or impatience surface.
Ensuring constant communication is also crucial to keeping customers happy. By staying in constant contact, it helps them stay in the loop as well as you and your team on track (avoiding missed deadlines, changes, etc).
9. Be Proactive. Not Reactive
By staying in constant contact along with the transparency of your team and their processes, you can stay ahead.
10. Practice Juggling
Now, I don’t mean juggling scarves or balls but customers. When you’re an account executive, you’re bound to have multiple customers to cater to. To exceed expectations, you need to learn how to balance all of your customers and their needs.
11. Establish a Portfolio and Priority Level of Each Customer
To help you balance customers more effectively, you should create a customer portfolio listing all of the projects or services they’ve purchased and rate them based on urgency. When a problem arises and you’re swamped, you can reference this portfolio to help you better manage your time. This way, you’re also addressing the most urgent issues.
12. Urgency is Key with Apologies
The moment an error is brought to your attention or dissatisfaction, you need to be urgent with your apologize. If you wait a month, a week or even days to address the issue, you’re pushing your customer away (whether you realize it or not). No one likes to wait around for an apology.
13. Angry Customers? Bring Them Back to the Big Picture
Customers often get caught up in the small details and rightly so but as customer service, it’s your job to help them understand the big picture whether it’s a sales-ready website, increased conversions or increased traffic. Help them understand where their frustration falls in the whole scheme of things.
If you want to grow your business (which I’m assuming you do), then you need to take the time to hone your customer service skills. Without your customers, you have nothing. If you don’t take care of them, someone else will.