As an entrepreneur, customer service is one of your biggest assets. The biggest mistake any business owner can make when it comes to customer service is to assume that they understand what the customer wants. Instead of approaching a customer with a list of scripted questions, simply ask how they use your product or service, what they like, and what they don’t. Then listen. What you gain–if you’re willing to listen without judgement–will be invaluable.
Keep your promises
Promises are a very big deal to customers. It doesn’t matter if they’re made by a front-line representative or by the CEO, customers expect promises to be kept. If your company does a poor job following through on anything from promised upgrades to a cancellation policy, you’ll lose customers and public trust very quickly.
Find the tools that provide the best service
Customer tracking and service can’t be done on sticky notes, but being tempted into buying the cheapest customer relationship management (CRM) software can be just as problematic. Instead, think about how to best empower your employees to give the service your customers deserve, and buy a CRM (or any other tool needed) that is designed for your business model, staff, and customers. Your customers and staff will thank you for it.
Treat your customers as individuals
This lesson relates specifically to disagreements with customers, and it can be a difficult one to learn. Too many entrepreneurs are so narrowly focused on what it’ll take for their businesses to succeed, that they fail to notice when exceptions to established policies are necessary.
Avoid an online marketing ‘fail’
In our hyper-connected world, it’s inevitable that someone’s going to say something nasty about you on social media at some point. That’s just the reality of being the public figurehead of a customer-facing company.
Be available to your customers
You probably already know that having a customer service hotline that operates 9–5 on weekdays won’t cut it anymore. But what you may not know is that customers expect you to be available on more platforms than ever before. If you rely only on online forums or don’t have a real-time chat or email service available, it’s time to offer better service to interact with your customers where they are.