There are many factors that go into building a successful business, but none as important as providing exceptional customer service. I always think of the Nordstrom return policy, people shop there even if it’s more expensive because they know they will accept the item back with no receipt (if they carry the item), no questions asked. People are drawn to businesses that go above and beyond for their clients. The recruitment marketing industry is no exception. In this blog, I’ll outline some of the things that are important to provide outstanding customer service. But first, some great stats that support my assertion that customer service is the key to building a successful business.
- According to Esteban Kolsky, if a customer is not satisfied, 13% of them will share both that experience with 15 or even more people and that they are unhappy.
- On the other hand, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.
- With 89% of businesses soon to be expected to compete mainly on customer experience, organizations that take customer experience seriously will stand out from the noise and win loyal customers over.
- Consumers are willing to spend 17% more with companies that deliver excellent service.1
If you’re able to build trust with your customer/client and have them see you as a partner and not a vendor, then you’ll be able to improve customer retention and maintain (and even build) your company’s reputation for excellent customer service that can lead to an increase in client referrals. The value clients get from good customer service will keep them doing more business with the organizations that are the easiest to work with. Customer service and customer experience has been and will continue to be, one of the best marketing investments a company can make. But how can businesses do this?
- Develop a positive personal and professional relationship to deliver the best service. Getting to know your clients on a personal level helps establish your relationship. When you are comfortable and the client is comfortable with you, let them know to be upfront with you if there’s a problem so that you can try to fix it rather than have them take their business elsewhere.
- Congratulate them on their work anniversary date
- Wish them a happy birthday
- Send personal notes on major milestones
- Send LinkedIn kudos or add congratulatory stickers to your Instagram stories
- Treat clients how you want to be treated when you’re a customer. Listening to clients is a HUGE part of this. Give clients the opportunity to provide you with feedback and suggestions for improvement. This gives you the opportunity to change your product or service to satisfy clients before they abandon your company in favor of a competitor.
- Pick up the phone. It is so easy these days to become reliant on email. Only allow emails to go back and forth once if there’s a misunderstanding. Then pick up the phone, as sometimes talking over the phone, the good old fashioned way is the best way to clear things up.
- Another good phone or online video tip is to match your client’s tone. If they talk fast – you do the same; if they are excited – share that; if they are frustrated, let them know in the same tone of voice by saying you understand.
- Employee experience is as important as the customer experience. What’s happening on the inside of an organization is going to be felt on the outside by clients. With unemployment so low, the pool of available talent is small – very small. That means good employees are being recruited away. And, it’s not necessarily the salary that makes a move enticing – the employee experience may be even more important. So, while a good employee experience can create a better customer experience, it can also create a culture that makes your organization “bulletproof” against other companies stealing your best people.
Being able to provide exceptional customer service is learned over time from experience. It requires the ability to handle requests quickly, prioritize, being able to set boundaries, problem solve and handle conflict. These “soft” skills are becoming more invaluable as more buying decisions are being made based on customer service.