Have you ever considered customer service as part of your marketing plan? If not, now is the time to start. Word of mouth is one of the most trusted forms of business referrals. Providing subpar customer service can will result in your customers being less likely refer you to their friends, in turn, hurting your business.
According to current marketing wisdom, one unhappy customer will tell 7 other people about their bad experience with a product or business. A happy customer will only tell 1 other person about their great experience.
How can you beat these odds to get more of your satisfied customers to spread the word about your products and services?
Amazing customer service should be a main component of your marketing plan. The benefits are exponential.
Here are my top tips for providing excellent customer service so that you get more business referrals:
- Respond to Your Customers. This should really go without saying, but please respond to your emails. You would be amazed at the number of messages I receive from customers thanking me for responding because others have ignored them. Even if they are asking for something crazy like a custom order of 20 hand-lettered signs to be overnighted and on their porch in less than 24 hours. Politely explaining why this not possible and wishing them luck will go a long way. I’m not saying you need to be glued to your phone or laptop so that you can respond instantly. One business day is a good rule of thumb. Please don’t make your customers or potential customers feel like you don’t care by not responding.
- Be Kind and Understanding. Listen, I get it. Some customers are super difficult and seem to be going out of their way to test your last nerve. Let me first say, stick to your policies. We can delve further into writing policies at a later time. That being said, you can stick to your policies in a polite and respectful way.
- Offer a solution.Do your best to offer a solution to whatever problem the customer is experiencing. In the handmade world, there tends to be a strict no returns, no refunds policy. We live in an Amazon world where people expect there to be some sort of compensation or leniency when there is an issue.
- Pay attention to the complaints and compliments. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it is all useful in helping you improve the customer experience that you provide.
- Under promise and over deliver.Surprise your clients by giving them more than they expected. My favorite way to do this is by adding an extra day to my production time so that orders arrive sooner than expected. I don’t recommend adding a significant amount of time to where it would potentially impact customers purchasing from you. Another option would be to include a freebie that compliments their order.
Providing great customer service makes sure that your customer has a positive shopping experience and can lead to referrals in the future. Focusing on customer service as an integral part of your marketing strategy can make a big difference in your business.