I have recently had some people ask what they can do to provide better customer service on the cheap. Aside from “people cost” providing unmatched customer service can be surprisingly easy. It is actually kind of sad, but it doesn’t take much to stand out from the pack. If you do what is basically “expected” of you you are already ahead of the game.
Here are a few of my tips:
#1. It needs to start at the top and flow through the entire organization. When people ask me what kind of a company we run the first thing I say is a “customer service company.” We could really be selling anything. In my emails out to clients my title is always “Scrubadoo Customer Service.”
#2. Use common sense. If there is an issue with a client, put yourself in their shoes and then make your decision based on what you would want to happen if you were the customer.
#3. Communicate. This is probably the easiest and most impressive thing you can do for a client. Anticipate questions they may have and answer them before the ask. In our situation we preemptively send out emails to all our clients with a REAL customer service person’s contact email and phone number, tell them when their order will ship, follow up with a second email telling them their order has shipped, and finally we ask them to reach out to us if they have any questions at all.
#4. Follow up. If someone calls or emails, respond to them ASAP. We try to respond within an hour. At the very least you should always be able to respond within 24 hours. Follow up is really so important.
You would be shocked at how just executing on #3 and #4 will bring you to the top of your industry in the customer service department. Great customer service does not have to be incredibly difficult.
#5. Wow factor. It never hurts to have a “wow factor” to put really rank your customer service amongst the elite in your industry. This can be your shipping and return policies, a unexpected gift, etc. At Scrubadoo we hand write thank you notes to all of our clients (and we service thousands of clients a year). We also have a free return policy that is head and shoulders above what our competitors offer.
These are just a few simple steps that I believe can be executed on by any small company. In fact, we are proof that anyone can do it!