These days, most hospitality and service-related businesses are struggling to stay afloat. With everyone essentially in the same boat, what can you do to set yourself apart? What’s the secret to success?
There’s really no secret at all. Much of your success still depends on the basic business concept of providing EXCELLENT customer service.
- What can you be doing more of to go above and beyond for your customers and exceed their expectations?
- What can you be doing more of to foster brand loyalty and gain customers for life?
Recently, I wrote about the importance of NOT being a fair weather brand—about not retreating in the face of adversity, about not leaving customers in the cold when they need you most (such as now). Your customers depend on you in good times—they should be able to depend on you when times are not so good.
MY RECENT EXPERIENCE
Recently, I ordered a “Jesus Saves” tee from www.m00nshot.com. My experience was that the shirt shrunk a bit on the first wash and the material seemed as though it would deteriorate quickly.
I left what could be called, at best, a lukewarm review on their website, wondering if the shirts might last through only six washes for me. Within just a few hours of my post, m00nshot support reached out to me with some ideas on shirt size, quality in relation to wash temperature, and an offer to send me replacements (on them).
I found the timeliness and thoroughness of their response very reassuring—and their willingness to back their product, no questions asked, earned them a long-term customer, which I let them know.
5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE
- Great customer service begins with effective communication. The more customers rely on your brand, they more they want and need to be kept in the loop. Reach out to them consistently. If the ways of doing business with you have changed, such as an emphasis on virtual vs. in-person interactions or reduction in hours, let them know. If you aren’t able to deliver services in as timely a fashion as you were before the pandemic, set that expectation. Be transparent. Don’t expect your customers to be mind readers!
- Be responsive: answer your phone, emails, and reply to customer comments. Customers will rightfully have many questions about what it’s like doing business with you now, compared to pre-pandemic times. That means they’ll be calling, emailing, and posting on social media. Are you open the same hours? Are your offerings the same or scaled back? What do they need to know about coming to your business in-person? Something’s gone wrong with a product – what can you do about it? While you can post much of this information to your website, be prepared for an uptick in such customer interactions.
- Many customers, especially older ones, will be fearful of in-person visits. If you can offer mobile ordering or curbside pickup, do so. If you can only offer in-person service, make the experience as anxiety free as possible. Post clear messaging about the “dos and don’ts” of being on your premises, such as “wear a mask,” “stand six feet part,” and so on. Post this same information to your website or social media pages.
- Make it easier than ever for customers to buy from you. Most likely, the ways of doing business with you have changed, but that doesn’t mean making a purchase from you has to be overly complicated. From food to groceries to hardware and everything in-between, offer curbside or on-store pick-up for online or mobile purchases. Take phone orders—whatever it takes to make the buying experience as hassle free as possible.
- Don’t add to customer frustration. These days, it’s a safe bet to assume everyone’s stress levels are elevated. If something goes wrong with a service or product a customer has bought from you, you can go a long way toward reducing customer frustration by “making things right” from the get-go. Companies such as Mobile Edge have been “making it right” for years by offering lifetime warranties and 100% customer satisfaction guarantees, proven ways to build loyal, long-term customers. What’s stopping you from doing the same? Remember the old saying, “the customer’s always right”? It’s as true today as it was decades ago.
This is NOT Customer Service
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Barrel O’Monkeyz has decades of branding, messaging, communications, social media, and customer-facing expertise to share. If you are struggling with ways to keep your brand top-of-mind, customers satisfied, and your business afloat, give us a call to discuss strategies and potential services—plus how we’ve reduced our service pricing to help businesses stay on their feet! Contact us today.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
United States Economic Forecast: Update August 2020 (Deloitte)
6 Ways to Provide Great Customer Service During a Crisis (US Chamber of Commerce)
In Times of Uncertainty, Brands Must Be More than Fair Weather Friends