Start the New Year off with Superior Customer Service
By Yvonne Weld
People are more likely to talk about outstanding service than they are to talk about mediocre service. What are you doing as a business owner to get people talking? I hope you are not providing poor service, although that will certainly cause people to talk it won't do anything towards creating a thriving business. No business owner wants to believe they are providing mediocre or poor service nor is it their goal, but what do we truly do to make ourselves stand out and get people talking?
The first step to getting people talking about your company is finding ways to go above and beyond for your clients. You need to establish a system of making your clients feel that no matter whether they are spending $1 at your business or $1,000,000 they are special and their business is important to you. What little "extra" can you think about that wouldn't cost you very much, but would mean the world to your client? One idea is to remember the anniversary of the day that person became a client and celebrate it with a card or a phone call. So many businesses today take the time to document client's birthdays or anniversaries. By sending a card that says, "It was one year ago today you signed the contract and we truly appreciate your business" you begin to stand out to your client. Would you rather be the only person that sent a card on a particular day or one of many that sent a card on the client's birthday? Which one do you think the client will remember most?
For those of you selling products, you might be thinking this is all fine and dandy, but since most of the time you don't track your clients' first purchase this could never work for your company, but let's consider other ways you too can stand out. The likelihood of finding someone that hasn't purchased an item in the past is very small so that gives you a very large focus group, so to say, to develop a new and exciting customer service idea. It's time to think outside of the box and come up with one way your business is truly going to stand out this year. Don't be afraid to include your employees, friends, family members and associates in the conversation by asking them about one customer service experience that stands out in their minds. This will surely get the ideas flowing. Maybe the answer is as simple as always making sure you are smiling and that every client is thanked for patronizing your store whether they purchase or not. Imagine a person's surprise as they leave your store empty handed to a smiling employee saying "Thank you for visiting; although we couldn't help you today we truly appreciate your business". Remember too that using your client's name is a very small step, but will probably mean the world to your client. Take the time to look at them as a person rather than just a sale.
Most importantly in creating outstanding service you need to ensure your clients are treated the same way every time they use your service or purchase your product. This means that whether they are buying from the company CEO or the newly hired staff member, the level of service should be the same. One way to guarantee that this will happen is to create a Procedure Manual outlining your expectations as a business owner and including a step-by-step process to handle every faucet of your business. By arming your employees (no matter their position or status in your company) with this information you are on your way to ensuring that 2007 will be the year people start talking about your company and its outstanding customer service.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yvonne Weld is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business and is the owner of ABLE Virtual Assistant Services. For more information about The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business and how you can protect your business from unexpected absences due to injury, sickness or even death, visit the Web site at http://www.thrivingbusinessmanual.com.
About the Author
Yvonne Weld is the owner of Canadian based ABLE Virtual Assistant Services and the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business". For more information visit http://www.thrivingbusinessmanual.com
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