Wouldn’t you like to receive this message? Here are some things you need to know about customer service:
- Customer service starts at the top with the owners and executives. If you show good customer service, the examples you set will be followed by your sales representatives.
- Look at your core values, communication, consistency, and culture. Are they in alignment?
- In the world of direct sales, our representatives should be contacting their customers on a regular basis. We all know that face-to-face contact is the best way to do business, but if the customer is too far away, call instead.
- Follow up with orphans. Do you have a rep that has left your company? Follow up with the customer and then assign him or her to another representative in that area.
- Free, upgraded shipping is a great way to keep any customer happy, even if they haven’t ordered for a while or only have small orders.
- Make every customer, big or small, feel special.
- Follow up using surveys. Get the feedback you need to do an even better job.
- Implement “live chat.” If your customer service phones are tied up, offer an option to live chat via your website.
- Consider offering free return shipping. This can be a plus if you want consistent ordering from a customer.
- Train your reps to call or send an email or snail mail a thank-you note. It will be a welcome surprise.
- Offer a lenient return policy. Any degree of difficulty makes it less likely a customer or rep will buy again.
- Do more than fix your mistakes. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Most people understand mistakes, but what you do afterward makes the biggest difference.
- Personalize everything. Greet every customer by name, get to know each one, what they like and dislike, and offer them specific product recommendations based on previous orders.
- Use customer testimonials on all your web and catalog pages. This lets the customer know that good customer service is important to your company.
Show your representatives what excellent customer service is by offering it. Teach your representatives not only by example, but also train them how to provide customer service themselves.