You can have the best product line in the world, but if your customers feel as if you aren’t listening when they speak, they won’t be around for very long. There is no doubt that your competition would be more than happy to listen to anything they have to say, especially if it means earning the business of those clients. Rather than getting into the rut of constantly winning and losing customers, try these tips to let them know that you are really listening.
Multi-Tiered Customer Service and Support
Investing in your customer service and support is just as important as making a concerted sales effort. In today’s climate, it is important to make sure that your clients can reach someone when they have a question, need help putting together a project, or have something about a recent transaction that is not quite right. The best way to make sure you are always there when the client needs you is to ensure that there is more than one means of getting help.
A customer service department that can be reached by phone is the backbone of this endeavor. Train your employees on how to listen to the customers who call in, how to ask clarifying questions and what types of commitments to make in terms of providing responses to those calls for help. Above all, make sure that the customer service team spends time with the customer. If a client feels rushed or brushed off so the rep can get to the next client, he or she is likely to find some other company that does have time to talk.
Along with phone access, it is important that customers can email and text when they desire. Doing so will mean if a client thinks of a suggestion or concern on the fly, it’s an easy task to fire off an email or send a quick text. Always acknowledge these communications and respond in an appropriate manner.
Reward Your Clients
When you find that a client has provided your company with a positive recommendation, it is important to acknowledge this fact. A letter of appreciation by post or by email is always a nice touch. Should that recommendation lead to additional business for you, consider sending your client a token of your appreciation. For instance, try rewarding these customers with free gifts such as promotional bags or personalized backpacks that are imprinted with your company logo and contact details. Customers will appreciate your gesture of good will, and they will remember your company every time they use these promotional items. This will result in repeated brand exposure.
Listen Rather than Anticipate
One of the hardest things to do is simply listen to the client. All too often, people are busy focusing on how they will respond to the client and not on what is being said in that moment. It is helpful to train your staff to listen first, and understand what the client is attempting to convey before framing a response. Doing so will ensure that the customer feels heard and that something good will come out of the conversation.
Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.