Here we are saying the same thing we do every year. The easiest way to get more sales is to provide great customer service to your existing customers. How difficult is that? You really have to be honest with yourself when assessing this metric of your business.
Do your customers get an email back within an hour when they email your business? That would be exceptional service. If your business is somewhat organized and you have adequately trained staff, you should be able to respond to people’s phone messages and emails within a few hours.
It used to be the next business day was sufficient. But as fast as the world moves today, now if you wait 24 hours the person has already moved on to another solution.
If someone calls our business and needs their computer fixed, you better believe we are going to follow right up with them and either handle it ourselves even though we aren’t really in the computer repairs business. It gives an opportunity to provide a great user experience.
Another example of why you should realistically evaluate your customer service level and keep it high is because nobody else is. Trying to call and get pricing, or even get someone on the phone, at most businesses, is nothing short of impossible. It doesn’t matter if it is Cincinnati Bell’s call center in the Philippines or Fifth Third Bank’s automated forest you get put through, that kind of service just leaves everyone with a bad taste in the mouth.
If your business isn’t doing a better job of followup and follow through than the big companies that don’t care, then you are missing a lot of opportunities and also not differentiating yourself from the others.
As a Cincinnati based web design company, we handle a lot of customer service as people need to make minor updates to their websites. If we had crappy customer service we would wait 3-5 business days, call them back and leave a voicemail and then attempt it all over again, only to take 2-3 weeks to make a 1 minute change to a client website.
How do we know this is how it works in the real world? Our customers tell us this stuff. Listen to your customers and they will tell you why someone else lost them as a customer. Just watch what everyone else in your industry does and do it better.
Our website design industry is notorious for a complete and total lack of followup after a completed site, and a horrible response rate to make basic and simple changes. The web design industry is also a disaster about even returning peoples’ sales inquiries.
So what do we do? We return peoples’ calls and email immediately, whether it is post sales, pre sales, or anywhere in between.
Hopefully this makes you think about your business a little bit and see if there is something all of your customers would like different, that you can do a little bit differently, and better, than your competition.