I sat down with Monika Jansen to talk about customer service for the 5 Business Rules series. Listen in or read on for the tips.
#1 Be Reachable
You can’t get the sale if a potential customer cannot get in touch with you. This applies to not only new customers, but existing clients who want to buy from you again.
Pick up your phone, or return a message as soon as possible. Answer emails within the same business day. In short, make a customer feel valued so they feel good about doing business with you.
Marketing note: While going viral is fantastic, you must be prepared for it. We all want our marketing campaigns to go gangbusters, but you must be ready to deal with an onslaught of requests. If your marketing creates more leads than you can handle, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
#2 Do what you say you’re going to do
This sounds simple, but it’s really about accountability.
If you tell a prospect you’ll have a quote to them on Monday, you need to give it to them on Monday. Not Tuesday morning, and definitely not a week later. If you can’t deliver on your promises, you’ll find your pipeline drying up.
#3 Follow Up
Following up is one of the easiest methods of marketing, but it’s the step that’s often missed. Consider this:
35-50% of sales goes to the vendor that responds first.
Two times it’s really important to follow up are:
- After a networking event: Networking is a marketing activity that takes time and money. If you go to an event a collect a stack of business cards, then you need to follow up. With every single person. A simple note saying how nice it was to meet the person can lead to good connections or even sales. When you don’t follow up, the time and energy you spent to go to the event was wasted.
- After a sales meeting or proposal: If you’ve gotten to the point of giving someone a proposal there’s a good chance of getting their business. You need to follow up to help close the deal. Don’t rely on a prospect to contact you when they’re ready. Instead stay top of mind and be available to them so you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
#4 Reputation is highly dependent on good customer service
These days most people check a site like Angie’s List or Yelp before trying something new. That ranges to everything from a restaurant to an accountant.
Before people give you a chance they often want social proof that indicates they’ll have a good experience. That means that your next sale depends on the customer service you’ve already given.
It’s good to remember that people are more apt to post about a negative experience than a positive one, so it’s important to give good service all the time.
Most small businesses thrive on referrals. It’s more personal than Yelp if someone you know gives an endorsement. And you’ll probably find that if you’ve given a customer a great experience, they are more than happy to send other people your way.
That only happens if they are happy with the service they receive.
Have more questions about customer service and marketing? Give us a shout!