The holidays are a time of fierce competition for services and retailers, and now is the time to think about what your business can provide that your customers can’t get anywhere else. You may have some great holiday offers ready, but how is your customer service? Enter the fray of the holiday season with these tips.
Great customer service starts the moment you start talking to a lead, and the way you treat them during the first conversation can earn you a lifelong client. If you’re in a service industry, you might receive frantic calls about, for example, broken plumbing, or an insect infestation. On the phone and in person, be polite, empathetic, and action-oriented.
Make sure clients can find you on the map, street, and internet. Update your business listings with current hours, information, and photos. Your storefront, if you have one, should be clearly marked. Similarly, be easy to contact. Every phone call, email, and social media inquiry is a chance at a sale, so make an effort to respond in a timely manner.
Provide Top Service
No matter the type of services you provide, work with integrity: be accurate in your solutions and explain to your clients what you are doing to solve their problem. Often, prospective customers have been wronged by other businesses in the past and ask questions as a form of protecting themselves; other times, they are genuinely curious about your work. No matter their motive for asking questions, give thorough and personable answers. “I don’t know” is the end of a conversation and maybe even the end of the client-business relationship. But “I don’t know; let me check and get back you” keeps the line open for clear and respectful communication— and future business.
Continue your great customer service even when the job is done: gather client contact info, give offers (no fine print; be easy to work with), and check in with them periodically so that you’ll be the first people who come to mind next time they need your services.
Making a habit of providing excellent customer service is a practical way of increasing business opportunities. A smile, hello, and empathetic manner might be what turns a lead into a loyal customer.