10 Steps to Building a Brandwith Excellent Customer Service
Brand Building: Excellent Customer Service
Building a Culture of Excellent Customer Service
1. Survey your customers to provide a continuous feedback loop and spot areas for improvement that you may be missing.
Not sure what to ask? Here’s a sample survey of 7 questions to ask your customers.
2. Establish a culture of “helping” within your company. Train your employees to adopt an attitude of always being ready to help.
Start by encouraging everyone within your company to help their coworkers whenever possible. Developing that team atmosphere within will create the the helping mindset that will carry over to your customers.
From first touch, “Hello, how can I help you …” to last touch, “Is there anything else I can help you with?”, look for opportunities to go above and beyond to help.
When your employees “go the extra mile” for each other or the customer, be sure they get the well deserved recognition.
3. Map out your customer journey so you have a visual representation of the complete customer path from prospect to customer to loyal fan.
Then continually look to remove any friction from that path. Make the journey as smooth and effortless for the customer as possible.
4. Onboarding – Develop, implement and monitor an onboarding system.
Create a process flow that welcomes the new customer and communicates clearly what the customer should expect and establish a timeline to meet those expectations.
Visually map the new customer experience from initial contact to paying customer to follow up. Once you’ve mapped your customer journey, look for ways to reduce friction in the path.
This can be done using only a notepad or whiteboard to get started and then transfer to one of the online tools as needed.
Deliver the WOW!
5. Wow your customer from the very beginning of their customer journey.
One way to do this is to provide an unexpected “bonus” when they first come onboard. Brainstorm low cost but high touch ideas for your unexpected rewards.
The greater the customer investment, the greater value of the reward possible. Service based businesses can put together a Welcome “swag bag” to be delivered at time of first service call.
Need some cheap swag ideas? Walmart gift cards start at only $10 and many promotional items, i.e. pens, cups, calendars, etc. can be purchased in bulk for a very small investment.
Just Google cheap swag to get started putting together your Welcome swag bag, which can also serve you well at events and/or trade shows.
In the digital age, analog gets your attention. Send some snail mail! Getting a Thank you card never goes out of style.
Wufoo regularly sends their customers handwritten Thank You cards.
The only limitation to wowing your customers is your imagination.
6. Develop an operational code of conduct.
Make sure all employees are aware of and adhere to the code.
Post your code of conduct where your employees will see it everyday.
7. Start an ongoing “cause” marketing campaign.
Here are 10 cause marketing statistics that support the ROI for cause related marketing by businesses.
The good news is that there are many causes that are universally popular, e.g. breast cancer awareness, cancer research, feed the homeless, save the environment and help a veteran to name just a few.
Adopt a cause that stirs your passion or strikes close to home. Offer to donate a percentage of a sale or a special offer to your favorite cause for a Win-Win.
Own a local focused business? Find a local animal rescue, school or local food bank and offer to sponsor one of their events.
Want to make it even more personal for your customer? Use your survey to find out their favorite causes and incorporate a donation to their favorite cause into your loyalty rewards program.
Cause + Marketing = Win-Win
8. Communicate frequently and regularly.
As part of your onboarding process (and/or survey), ask your customer for their preferred communications channel.
Some may prefer a phone call, others an email or text message and yes some still enjoy snail mail. Once you know their preference, STAY IN TOUCH and not just to sell them something but to develop a real relationship.
Show your customers that they are more than just profit to your business and you’re likely to create a customer for life.
9. Consider implementing a customer relationship management system, a.k.a. CRM. As your business grows, remembering personal details and routinely following up becomes more of a challenge.
A CRM can help you maintain an organized contact database and streamline your ongoing marketing campaigns. Better tracking of your customer relationships helps to improve the relationship as well as your profitability.
10. Make transparency part of your standard operating procedure (SOP).
Mistakes happen, to all businesses at some point. It’s how you address them that matters most.
Admit the mistake, rectify it, apologize, promise to improve and move on but make sure you don’t repeat the same mistake again.
Customers can spot an excuse and you’ll potentially suffer more from the excuse than the mistake.
Take ownership and do whatever it takes to make it right; your customers won’t forget but they’ll remember more how you responded.
Brand building with excellent customer service will not only separate your company from the competition but will win you a loyal following in the process.
Never underestimate the power of excellent customer service to build your business and your brand.