You started a company. You built a product. You shipped it to customers. Now the fun really begins! You’ll need to deal with complaints. Shipping issues. Lost messages. And maybe a bug or too. So, this next suggestion might seem like just another hassle for your small business, but: If you put customers first in everything you do, you’ll see that complaints are just another chance to wow them.
Here are six things we’ve learned at Desk.com that you can do to rally your business around your customers so you can turn every interaction into an opportunity.
1. Wow and celebrate your customers.
To build strong relationships with customers you need to impress them at every step with fast, empathetic service and quick case resolution -- even for the most complicated issues. There are dozens of ways to show extra support. If your customers are consumers, send them an email on their birthday. Celebrate milestones for your business customers (like successful VC fundraising) with a custom cake and handwritten notes. Provide extra visibility by giving away their products at tradeshows or as employee gifts.
Also: Mentor customers who need help in any business area, whether that be marketing, sales, event management or anything else. Don’t justbe in the business of selling your products. Be in the business of helping customers succeed.
2. Practice total company support.
To build a customer-centric company, have everyone in your company interact with customers on a regular basis. Start by training every employee at your small business to participate in customer service. Ideally, everyone from the CEO to the receptionist should be able to pitch in and help with customer support during busy times.
Customer service training should also be part of your onboarding process and an ongoing part of every job. (Which makes sense: After all, customer service is the best way to learn about your customers and products.) Even if learning about customer service isn’t currently part of your onboarding process, it’s not too late. Order some pizzas on a Friday afternoon and get everyone trained so they can jump in to help customers at a moment’s notice.
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