Providing excellent customer service is an extremely important part of any business. Well performed customer support makes customers feel valued and willing to return to your business in the future. Following these tips will help your customer service department and your business thrive.
Tip 1: Get Both Sides of the Story
Everyone knows the old adage, "The customer is always right." However, this is by no means always true. While you should tend to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, do not automatically and unfairly assume that fault lies with you or your business. Listen while the customer describes his side of the story, and then explain your own side or have the employee who is being blamed present theirs. You may find that any dispute was the result of no more than a simple misunderstanding, and the customer will be more satisfied with an explanation than a basic apology.
Tip 2: Accept Returns and Exchanges
Buying items online is often a hit-or-miss experience for shoppers since they do not get to physically examine the item beforehand. As such, many customers are disappointed to receive their packages and discover that what they ordered wasn't exactly what they expected. You should do your part by thoroughly describing the item and taking high quality and varied pictures, of course, but traits like smell, texture or taste are difficult or impossible to simply describe.
In order to be fair to both yourself and to the customer, you might consider implementing the following policy: Always accept returns and exchanges. The customer is responsible for shipping costs if the item was simply "not what they expected"; you are responsible for shipping costs if the item was faulty or not as described.
Tip 3: Offer Repairs and Modifications
Sometimes, a customer may be mostly satisfied with an item upon receiving it, but will wish that a small change or two could be made. Or, they might receive the item in good condition, but have it break a couple of weeks later. In either of these cases, a customer would be pleased to be able to have custom modifications or free repairs made. It's your choice how to handle the distribution of shipping costs - many people make the customer responsible for half of the total shipping.
Tip 4: Be Personal and Prompt
Customer service doesn't just mean handling problems well; it means interacting with your customers well in general. Including a small handwritten note with each purchase is one way to reach out to your customers and make them feel like they are personally important to you. You should also try your very hardest to personally respond to emails or phone calls within 24 hours or less, and never use form letters to respond. Everyone likes to feel important, so care for your customers individually and personally, and they will come back for more.
Following these 4 tips will make your customers feel like royalty, and will help bring your business success.