When I was a small child, my mother took me to a local shoe store at the mall to buy me a pair of new shoes for my birthday. Due to a mistake on the part of the sales clerk, we were sent home with a pair of mismatched shoes. When we returned to the store, rather than apologize for the inconvenience, the clerk who made the error treated my mother rudely and acted as if she was inconveniencing him.
At that point my mother asked to speak to the manager.
Surprisingly, when the manager came from the back room, he too was surly and abusive. My mother proceeded to explain to him (very politely) that due to her poor treatment, she would never, ever shop at their store again. And furthermore, she would tell everyone she knew about their terrible customer service.
True to her word, my mother never entered that store again. There were times when I remember walking past and seeing a pair of shoes in their display window that I desperately wanted, but my mother would not relent. They never got another dime from her.
And at the time, my mother did, in fact, tell her friends about her poor treatment at the shoe store. But without the internet and social media, that word of mouth extended to only about 10 people. Fast forward 30 years. Imagine what she could have done to that store with a Facebook and Twitter account. People who have a bad experience with a company now have the ability to broadcast that experience to hundreds, even thousands, of people all over the world. And they do.
On the flip side, when a company treats its customers like gold, that gets around as well. How many times has a 5-star review on Yelp induced you to try a restaurant? And how much do you rely on the customer reviews you read on Amazon before you purchase from a particular company?
In our modern world of instant, worldwide communication, customer service, like content, has become king. And the way you treat your customers will determine whether your brand shines brightly above the rest or sinks sadly into obscurity. Here are four ways to encourage your clients or customers to sing your praises and promote your brand.
1. Be reliable. Famous film director Woody Allen is credited with saying, “80 percent of success is showing up.” Be where you say you will be. Do what you say you will do. Believe it or not, this impresses people. It makes them want to do business with you again and again.
2. Do the unexpected. Do a little extra for your customers. Throw in a small gift with their purchase. Take some extra time on a client’s project. Make sure the details are all perfect. Make their life a little easier. They will love you for it.
3. Don’t waste their time. Remember that your clients and customers have time constraints just like you do. Make sure you are being efficient and respectful of their time, or they will go elsewhere to someone who does.
4. Really listen. Understand what it is that your clients want and need from your product or service. Then provide them with a solution to their challenge or problem.
Make it a goal in the next year to deliver fantastic customer service to your clients and customers. Your happy customers will be the greatest ambassadors for your brand and will promote your product or service far better than you ever could on your own.
At Digital Flavor, customer service is king. We work closely with you to find solutions to your marketing challenges with our innovative inbound marketing programs. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you increase your customer base and grow your business.