I have spent most of my working years geared towards customer service. It’s important to have great customer service – it’s what keeps your business alive! Without great service, your customers have no reason to come back to you…and usually they will go to the next place that makes them feel better.
I don’t know about you, but I never want to drive a customer away. I have put together some tips for you here that you can use for your online services. Having customers online is already more difficult than having customers in-person. You have to go the extra mile to make up for your lack of body language and tone. Let’s get started:
- Name- Drop. Not in the normal sense, but you need to make sure that you use your customer’s name in your correspondence with them. Start every email or message with their name. When you are helping a customer online, they need to know that it is personal. A good rule of thumb in person is to use their name 3 times – when you are online, you should use it every time. They will have a personalized message and it creates a relationship between buyer and seller.
- Thank You. A simple thank you goes a long way! After a customer purchases from you, send them a personal thank you. This can be just a quick e-mail or even a note in the mail (ambitious if you have lots of sales). Personally, I like to send a quick email along with my automatic thank you generated from Etsy. My email contains a graphic header that goes with my Etsy shop theme, the thanks, and usually general instructions or advice for my products along with a reminder that my customers can always reach out to me.
- Problem Solve. If a customer is inquiring about a product that you do not have or are unable to make for them – offer a similar suggestion. This will show them that you would still like their business. It also helps to ask your customer why they want that particular item or service. Sometimes, the best option for them is an alternative anyway! If you do not have something similar to offer that they would like, see if you can suggest another trusted seller for that product. This is a great way to build up some networking (see if you can message that seller directly and let them know) that may return the favor.
- Think. This sounds very simple, but for some it can be difficult to focus on the way they are coming across to their customers. Everyone has their own version of walking in to a store where they received the worst service (I’m sure you are thinking of that right now!). You never want to be the person that causes that type of experience for your customer. Re-read what you are sending or typing to them. Read it out loud. Have you addressed their questions? Have you offered a solution? What can you do to make them happy?
Ultimately, that is what customer service means to me. Making my customers happy and making them come back to me.
Do you have any customer service tips that work for you? Do you have any tips that you would like to give others that you wish had happened to you? Comment below!