It can be perplexing trying to figure out why one startup is more successful than another, equally promising one. An amazing idea, capital and great employees can only go so far in helping a startup “make it,” however. Sometimes the difference between success and failure comes down to something really simple like fast and efficient customer service. Because the marketplace today is so competitive, it’s very important for your startup to offer outstanding customer service.
Customer service gives you the opportunity to make your customers happy. It also can provide you with a great way to gain feedback from your customers. But what is customer service anyways? Most people think of customer service as the service provided to a customer once they’ve made a purchase. But customer service is actually an on-going experience that starts as soon as a customer visits your business or website… or even speaks to you on the phone.
Many startup founders think that they cannot deliver customer service until their businesses reach a certain level of success. But the truth is that even the most cash-strapped startup can create a wonderful experience for their customers if they approach customer service in the right way.
Here are a few ways your startup can provide 5-star customer service that will dazzle your customer base…
Make It Easy For Customers To Reach You
You probably remember a time or two when you tried to get in touch with a business with a question or problem you had wherein you couldn’t connect with the business. Because that experience left you frustrated and maybe even angry, you remember it. It’s important that your customers can reach you when they need to. You can make yourself more accessible by doing simple things like putting your phone number in visible locations on your website and marketing materials and including a ‘contact us’ button in your website’s design.
Treat Your Customers Well So They Feel Important
You need customers in order for your business to grow and succeed because without them, you’re sunk. This is why you and everyone working for you needs to put the needs and best interests of your customers front and center. In order to deliver outstanding customer service, you need to focus on keeping your customers satisfied. If you consistently treat your customers well by giving them what they need when they need it, they’ll be pleased and satisfied with what your business offers and will return each time they need what it is you’re selling.
Listen To What Your Customers Have To Say
You can receive customer feedback from a variety of sources including email, social media, live chat, telephone and even regular mail. This is why it’s a good idea to capture and analyze all this feedback while your business is young. When you organize this data correctly, it can give you insight into how people view your business, your products and your marketing campaigns.
Develop Relationships With Your Customers
Many startups have the advantage of being able to stay in close personal contact with their customers. This provides you with the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with your customers. Take the time to get to know your customers by asking them their names, finding out what their interests are and by just asking them how they are doing. When you understand your customers and know a bit about them, you will be able to offer them a more personalized customer experience that both demonstrates your expertise and increases the confidence your customers have in you.
Accept Criticism And Complaints With Grace
When a customer criticizes your business or reaches out to you with a complaint, you’re given the opportunity to improve your service. There is nothing that can turn a customer away faster than a customer service rep who “snaps back” when approached by an unhappy customer. Treat your customers how you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes and avoid becoming defensive when a customer contacts you with a complain or criticism.
You need to look at criticism and complaints as tools you can use to better your services. This is something everyone on your team needs to do. Good customer service is expected from good businesses which is what you want yours to be viewed as.