Internet marketing expert Dan Brown recently wrote about the 10 most powerful ideas for improving customer service.
- Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis.
Offer them a free e-zine subscription. Ask customers if they want to be updated by e-mail when you make changes to your Web site. After every sale, follow-up with the customer to see if they are satisfied with their purchase.
- Create a customer focus group.
Invite ten to twenty of your most loyal customers to meet regularly. They will give you ideas and input on how to improve your customer service. You could pay them, take them out to dinner or give them free products.
- Make it easy for your customers to navigate on your web site.
Have a “FAQ” page on your Web site to explain anything that might confuse your customers. Ask them to fill out an electronic survey to find out how make your web site more customer friendly.
- Resolve your customer’s complaints quickly and successfully.
Answer all e-mail and phone calls within an hour. If possible, you the owner of the business, personally take care of the problem. This will show your customers you really care about them.
- Make it easy for your customers to contact you.
Offer as many contact methods as possible. Allow customers to contact you by e-mail. Hyperlink your e-mail address so customers won’t have to type it. Offer toll free numbers for phone and fax contacts.
- Make sure employees know and use your customer service policy.
Give your employees bonuses or incentives to practice excellent customer service. Tell employees to be flexible with each individual customer, each one has different concerns, needs and wants.
- Give your customers more than they expect.
Send thank you gifts to lifetime customers. E-mail them online greeting cards on holidays or birthdays. Award bonuses to your customers who make a big purchase.
- Always be polite to your customers.
Use the words your welcome, please, and thank you. Be polite to your customers even if they are being irate with you. Always apologize to your customers should you make a mistake. Admit your mistakes quickly and make it up to them in a big way.
- Reward customers a point for every one dollar they spend.
Let’s say customers can get a free computer for 300 points. That means customers will spend $300 dollars on your products and services to get enough points to get the free computer.
- Build strong relationships with your customers.
Invite them to company meetings, luncheons, workshops or seminars. Create special events for your customers like parties, barbecue’s, dances etc. This will make them feel important when you include them in regular business operations and special events.