Guest post today from Susan Young of PR & Communications Expert, Speaker & Author Winner of the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award”:
October is typically observed as “Customer Service Month.” As a small business owner I know that if I waited until October to appreciate and serve my customers, I’d be long gone. My public relations and communications training company would not have survived for nine years. Most of my clients have come to me through recommendations and referrals…from loyal customers. It’s because I stood with them, nurtured them and held their hands. I helped them look good and in some small way, added to their success and vision. What an honor. Think about it. Someone worked hard and was willing to share their money with me.
Business savvy people understand that communicating appreciation and gratitude to customers, (and yes, even prospects, employees and colleagues too) is critical to success. It’s not an occasional fleeting thought; it has to be an ingrained mindset that comes as second nature. You shouldn’t have to think about it, it’s simply who you are. It reflects the culture and values of your organization and team. It’s how you live.
Here are 20 Tips to Outstanding Customer Service:
1. Build relationships. Focus on listening and asking quality questions that will engage your customers. Pay attention to their needs and how you can help them be successful.
2. Send them something. It may be a news clip of their favorite hobby or an industry story, a giftcard thanking them for a referral or trusting you with their business or a newsletter that can help them through a challenge.
3. Invite them somewhere. Don’t just send your valued clients tickets to a sporting event, their favorite restaurant or a seminar. Invite them to join you. You can also invite someone they don’t know who could develop new business and network with them. When you go together you will bond and grow your relationship. Your customer has invested with you. Invest some time with them outside of the typical business day.