Service with Style: Streamline Your Customer Care with These Tips
As soon as you have a customer, you’re in the business of customer service. Particularly in the food & beverage world, your customer’s experience can make or break the reputation of your business. This may not always be fair or right, but in the Internet age, it’s the truth. As a business owner, you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time responding to inquiries and complaints. It can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be!
Streamline your time spent
Web chat, e-mail support, a phone line, and social media. Now that your customer can interact with you almost anywhere, they could need help almost anywhere. Luckily, there are so many different web-based platforms that can help streamline your customer service. What you choose to use is dependent on the type of business you have. If you’re entirely web-based, this piece from Shopify is a great primer on potential online support platforms. If you’re a human-to-human business, you may spend less time on online support, but will be forced to respond in real time to customer complaints.
Provide service with a smile – virtually and physically
It’s probably not your first rodeo in the customer service world (grin and bear it, people). However, you might be new to the customer support world, in which your brand’s reputation can hinge on your ability to respond quickly and efficiently to online inquiries. Many principles apply to both types of interaction, and this guide from The Balance provides tips that you shouldn’t miss. However, in the support world, many of your interactions will be public for other customers to view. This means acting quickly, tactfully, and going private when necessary (like a DM to a publicly disgruntled customer).
Managing expectations for every part of the customer experience can effectively prevent dissatisfaction. Whether it’s your ship times, your shelf life, or even your time to respond to emails, you always have the chance to tell the customer in advance what they’re in for. Don’t miss an opportunity to communicate. This can be via your website copy, your packaging, or your in-person experience. Surprising the customer isn’t always a good thing!
You won’t always be perfect
The first time you experience a dissatisfied customer, you might have some feelings about it! But it’s important to remember that you’re a human being. Your product is a product made by human beings. You’ll make mistakes, and reasonable customers will understand if you’re honest with them and treat them right.
In fact, in many cases, customers who experience positive customer support after being dissatisfied are more likely to return than customers who were never dissatisfied in the first place. Fixing a mistake can build a relationship!