Now that more and more businesses are being run online, it may seem that customer service has become a relic of a bygone era.
Many businesses use to define their success as a business based on the excellent customer service that they offered. Companies like Nordstrom comes to mind.
However, customer service has changed and in many cases, it seems that businesses have not adapted to offering a new more modern forum of excellent customer service.
All of this creates an opportunity for businesses that do provide excellent customer service to not only be proud of what they’re doing but also to use it as an excellent marketing tool to grow their businesses.
Here are five steps to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage.
Step no. 1: Define customer service.
The first thing that you need to do is define what excellent customer service is at your organization. If your team doesn’t know what’s expected of them to create excellent customer service, then they can’t be expected to do it and do it consistently.
Create a document that captures the spirit of what excellent customer service is at your organization, as well as specific steps to create an excellent customer service experience.
And finally, show examples of excellent customer service that you can share with your team consistently so that they know exactly what excellent customer service is.
Step no. 2 Measure it.
If you’re going to say that you provide the best service in your industry or in your city, you had better be able to back that up. The way to back that up is to be able to measure the
effectiveness of your customer service.
Of course, the way to do this is to find out what your customers actually think about your service. One of our favorite ways to do this is using what’s called a Net Promoter Score.
The Net Promoter Score is a simple, consistent, very brief survey tool that gives you back statistically significant data to help you determine how you’re doing with your customer service. It also shows you trends in how you’re performing overtime.
Whether it’s Net Promoter Score or another approach, make sure you have a way to consistently measure the feedback from your customers.
Step no. 3 Number three is to report it.
Once you have that data, you need to use that data to help your team understand how they’re doing and make adjustments so that they can improve any shortcomings that they have in their customer service.
It’s our experience that by reporting this data to your team, your team gets very motivated to improve that data and define ways to improve that data, which creates a culture of improvement and accountability at your business, which is what great customer service is all about.
Step no. 4 Compensate for it.
Behavior follows compensation in business. If you want to make sure that something happens, pay for it. By tying compensation to excellent customer service, you can ensure that you’ll have
the attention and focus of your team.
This doesn’t have to be a major change in compensation plans, it can be as simple as finding ways to offer fun and inciting bonuses based on customer service experiences and feedback from customers.
That alone can be enough to create a cultural shift of focus on customer service attention at your business.
Step no. 5 Brag About It
And then the final step, and this is where the marketing comes into play, is to brag about it.
Once you have excellent data around your customer service that’s worth bragging about, you don’t want to let that go to waste.
Excellent customer testimonials and feedback and specifically showing data that you’re performing at top of industry levels is an incredibly effective marketing tool. Take that data and
use it to create marketing campaigns.
You can also use it to create campaigns where you’re bragging about your employees and the job that they’re doing for your customers.
By humanizing the story around your customer service, you not only motivate your employees, who will appreciate the attention but also add more character to your company to show that
Most of all, it shows that you really care about the personal experience that your business can offer.
That’s five ways to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage. Look for opportunities to implement all five of these steps at your business and turn customer service into your most effective growth marketing tool.
Sherm is founder and CEO of invision studios llc. Starting as a typesetter back in the days before GUIs, he's morphed into whatever area of expertise is necessary to help small businesses grow. From graphic design; to web design; to web development; to search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, reputation marketing and adwords/pay per click advertising, he and invision studios can do it all.
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