Having great customer service is one of the most powerful marketing tools at a business’ disposal – if a customer has received outstanding service then, through word of mouth, people will hear about it.
In general, whether its online or offline, the way to handle customer service is exactly the same; with politeness, efficiency and good communication.
The consistency between the two platforms will come naturally if a good customer service mentality is embedded into a business’ staff.
Here are my top tips for achieving perfect customer service both online and offline.
1. Decide on what you hate, then go in the opposite direction
A good starting point for businesses is to decide on what they think is negative or annoying in customer service, and then avoid it. For example, we hated the idea of automated messages or newsletters customers can’t reply to. So we got rid of them completely.
Once you eliminate what you definitely don’t want, you can establish what you think is great about customer service – treat it like a do’s and don’ts exercise.
2. Create a customer service manual
Constructing a customer service manual has proven to be really helpful for businesses in terms of deciding how staff can execute and maintain their customer service.
By having a customer service manual to refer to, consistency can be kept across all platforms of a business both online and offline.
3. Motivate your staff
In store, it is important to have motivated staff and give them feedback on the quality of their customer service.
A staff newsletter that highlights certain stores that have been praised for their customer service is just small thing business can do to increase staff motivation – everyone likes a pat on the back when they’ve done well.
4. Encourage feedback
Encouraging customers to give feedback can also be hugely beneficial in monitoring customer service.
Include incentives for all involved; customers can be entered into a competition if they fill out a survey and staff can win vouchers if they receive a special mention in the feedback. By keeping employees happy and motivated, they will not only deliver excellent customer service, but also want to do better every time.
It sounds obvious but many people will avoid going back to a store just because the assistant that dealt with them was grumpy.
Service with a smile is something you can’t get from online customer service – so make sure to include it in your offline operations.
Continue reading for online customer service tips…
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