My son is back at college. He is a trap shooter, so his second semester is quite busy with classes, work, shooting practice, meets and his social life (not necessarily in that order). Needless to say, he doesn’t make it home very often since it is a six hour drive. I decided to send him a little love from home this week…his favorite, chocolate chip cookies!I have never shipped cookies before…and, of course, they can break quite easily. I probably should have taken the cookies to the UPS store and asked them to box them up and ship them, but I wasn’t smart enough…or maybe I wanted to do all myself. I spent a lot of time packaging up the cookies. I wrapped them in layers of newspaper and scrunched up newspaper in the box. Then, the ultimate test, I sealed the box and shook it. Mission accomplished…I didn’t hear any movement! I will find out later today if I was actually successful.
I thought about all this time and care I put into getting these cookies to my son. Would I do it again? For sure! It was for my son and as parents we care enough to give our kids the best we can. Then I took a step back and thought about my business…as a company, I wonder if we are providing the level of customer service I think we should be?
As small business owners, when was the last time you evaluated your customer service? Do you care enough to give the very best? And even though you may care enough, are you actually following through and providing the best customer service you can provide? Below are some tips for providing great customer service:
- Focus – Give your customers your full attention. Always treat the customer you are speaking with as if they are you only customer.
- Make It Personal – Pay close attention when talking with your customers. If a customer mentions their dog was sick, the next time they call, be sure to ask how their dog is doing.
- Make It Memorable – Create a memorable experience for your customers so they continue to keep coming back!
- Smile, Their Listening – Smile while you are on the phone with a customer. Customers can hear the smile in your voice. Re-record your voicemail…and record your message while you are smiling!
- Go The Extra Mile – Customers always recognize the extra effort and that personal touch goes a long way. What are you doing that exceeds their expectations?
- Help Your Customers Make or Save Money – Become a trusted advisor by giving your customers new ideas that help them do this, even if they aren’t related to the services your customer is paying you to deliver.
- Under Promise & Over Deliver – Never promise more than you can deliver. It’s always better to exceed customer expectations than to disappoint them.
- Say ‘Thank You’ – It’s pretty simple…thank your customers when they do business with you. The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to thank your customers.
- Turn Your Customers Into Raving Fans – You need more than just a ‘satisfied’ customer! You need a customer who tells their story over and over. The items on this list are simply a way to help you achieve this goal.