Boss Your Customer Service
3rd March 2022
Six rules for customer service that will put you in the CS Premiership!
E-commerce is amazing. It has revolutionised retail and business. We love it and we love working with the hundreds of eCommerce businesses who we serve and help them manage their day-to-day operations, helping them maximise sales and grow.
In eCommerce, because you can’t see your customers, they’re not in the room, you have to work harder to keep them coming back. You’re only one Google search away from being yesterday’s news. So, in a market where the competition is tough and the customers demanding, we have got our heads together to bring you six rules that will give you the customer service edge. Please bear in mind, these heads have over 50 years of eCommerce and customer experience between them. Let’s go!
Rule one: Be there or be history.
It sounds obvious, but answering the phone goes a long way. As you’re a digital business there can be a perception that instead of being a person working very hard, to procure the best stock, get the orders in and out the door – you’re a crew of programmed automatons.
People love dealing with people and whatever size company you are, sometimes the phone or the contact forms don’t get answered.
That is not good, asides from directly showing your customers that you are not interested you are also setting a precedent to your team that this behaviour is acceptable. If you do not have the personnel you can hire an answering service. Allow the phone to go unanswered is a total no no, you’ll miss opportunities. Customer contact is the life blood of your business. Set a standard that phones are answered promptly and all email correspondence is answered within 4 hours or the same working day, something that you can manage. When people realise that they’re dealing with people, people who are happy to talk to them, their experience of dealing with your business will be massively enhanced.
Rule two: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.
When dealing with either a customer query, a complaint or just feedback. Whatever action comes from that engagement must happen. And it must happen when you said it was going to happen. As soon as the action is decided, write it down, email the customer confirming what you are going to do and action it.
Get used to doing that, and your reputation will be worth a million quid in AdWords Once customers know that your company keeps its word and delivers on time, they’ll buy from you forever. Reputation is everything and doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’re going to do it will build you an awesome one.
Rule Three: Deal with it – Never bury your head!
Whether it is an unpaid invoice, an overdue account, or a complaint. As tempting as it is to bury it or put it to the bottom of the to-do list, don’t! Face it head-on. Deal with it as quickly as possible. You’ll find most people are reasonable and if you discuss whatever the problem is and figure out a solution, you’ll find that a problem really can become an opportunity and as long as you follow rule 2 regarding the outcome, you’ll have a happy customer and avoid a lot of stress.
Rule Four: Listen to your customers
We all hate moaning customers, but consider this, maybe they have a point. We know that your business is everything to you. It is very hard not to take any kind of criticism personally. But you mustn’t. Someone has paid you for a product or a service and if they have an issue listen to them. They may be totally out of order, in that case, listen patiently and assure them, you’ll be doing your best to sort the issue out. However, customers normally have a point and if you solve their problem, that’s a bunch of other problems you’ve yet to experience solved.
Also, as well as listening, talk to them. Make it a rule to survey your customers at least once a year.
Hear what they have to say, find the golden nuggets and make the changes accordingly. Your customers will notice and one thing we all have in common, is that we like people who listen to us.
Rule Five: Train your staff
Do not ever expect your staff to know exactly how you want them to treat customers, unless you have trained them. And be specific, you say this when you pick up the phone, you respond then with emails – it must be clear.
A business woman we’ve had the pleasure of working with managed to maintain client relationships with some huge companies for the duration of her career. And she did it by training her team. The customer may not always be right, but you don’t ever tell them that. Do not go to customers with problems bring them solutions. Keep them informed and they’ll never get angry, as long as your customers know what is going on they’ll give you the time you need to sort things out. This lady drilled rules like that into her team, the accounts she held stuck with her and that team for over 20 years and post-retirement they have so far stayed with that company. That is legacy customer service for you. Set the rules, train the staff and you will deliver God tier customer service.
Rule Six: Do not forget about the internal customer
What the blinkin’ flip is an internal customer? We hear you cry! Well, that’s your team. Customers are important. They give your business life, they’re the blood if you like. Your staff are the heart of the business.
What do we mean by the internal customer? It is very simple, you and all your team should treat each other as you treat the customers. Use all the rules above and make your team feel valued. Build reputations of looking after each other. Phrases like I don’t have time, catch me later. Can’t you do it, need to be banned.
Imagine you have a group of people all working to get the orders out of the door, keeping the customers happy and smashing through their objectives. The pressure mounts, you know it does. So why not alleviate it by treating each other with respect, helping, doing what you say you are going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Talking to each other, keeping people up to date with what is going on, and just respect each other.
This rule builds individual reputations which in turn creates a professional but harmonious working environment where everyone from the person who cleans the facility to the top boss feels like they are respected and valued within the business.
StoreFeeder works like that, well most days it does, no one is perfect right? That has given us a reputation for delivering the highest standard in customer service. If you want proof check our Trustpilot. The outcome of this, is we are on a journey with our customers, we care about their business and their growth, in a lot of instances our customers see us as an extension of their team. We’re proud of that.
I hope that this blog has been useful, please feel free to share it. Until next time, thank you. Team StoreFeeder.