Is Customer Service Your Priority, and if not why not?

Business Insights

Customer service plays a crucial role in the success of your business

Irrespective of industry or focus, every business requires friendly, helpful and organised members of staff. Why? A crucial way to achieve growth and success is through outstanding customer service.

Whether it’s front of house staff, senior management or a dedicated customer service team, your employees should be the most valuable marketing and customer service tool for your business.

First impressions count

The way in which a potential customer is first introduced to your business can set the precedent for their entire experience. That first impression can come from a phone call, email, or visit to your place of business.

If your company consists of a retail space or service facility, the customer should be acknowledged as soon as they walk through the door, with a member of staff on hand to greet them with a smile, offer them a seat if necessary and reassure them that they will be seen to shortly.

Telephone etiquette

Incoming phone calls should be answered as quickly as possible, ideally by the third ring. Research has proven that a large percentage of customers are less likely to leave a voicemail if their call isn’t responded to directly.

When speaking to a customer, it can be easy to slip into negatives, subsequently directing them elsewhere as a result. To avoid falling into this trap, staying positive is key. Never start by telling a customer what cannot be done, but what you or they can do.

Body language & tone of voice

Our body language can say a lot about us and the mood that we’re in. Making regular eye contact, keeping your arms open, head up and smiling can show genuine interest.

Equally as important as non-verbal communication is tone of voice. Our tone alone can emit the emotions that we are feeling.

Even if the customer sounds irritated or unfriendly, your staff should remain cheerful, enthusiastic and helpful, treating the customer as the highest priority at all times.

Be honest, clear & efficient

It’s inevitable that mistakes will be made within your business – after all, we are only human. The important thing is to own up to any that are made, apologise and be sure to rectify the situation.

To avoid these mistakes as best you can, be sure to explain policies clearly and concisely. A customer deserves a straightforward answer and it’s important to be honest, not give false hope or make ambiguous statements.

The goodbye

In a busy place of work, it’s easy for an employee to move swiftly on to the next person with no pause or gratitude. This appreciation should be shown with a smile or a thank you to make the best final impression possible. The way a customer feels after a conversation with you or your staff is very important in keeping them loyal.

Follow up

One of the most important elements of retaining a good customer service is by following up any queries. Creating a follow-up programme that will check in with your customers after a visit or purchase is the perfect way to build loyalty.

Customers will recognise any extra effort you make. Many companies forego this due to automated processes, but a personal touch can create a lasting impression.

Actions to take

As with all marketing and customer service strategies, consistency is key. Investing properly in the right staff for your business and training them to be the best they can be will help attract new clients, improve client loyalty and therefore boost sales in the long run.

Jen Davies is Head of Sales and Customer Services for Salon Gold, experts in insurance for hair, beauty, holistics, health and fitness. Designed for salons, clinics, gyms, spas and freelance or mobile professionals.