Customer service has become one of the most important aspects of every business. Most people will attest to the fact that if you don’t have a well-organized and efficient customer service department, then you have little chances of surviving in the competitive business market. Until and unless you learn to value the needs and requirements of your potential, as well as existing customers, it will be hard for you to sustain your business in the long run.
When it comes to young, new startups, some of them are hardly interested in including the customer service aspect in their business plans. It is a common notion that only corporate giants or big organizations establish a distinct customer service unit because they have the expertise and the resources to do the same. The reality is, new entrepreneurs simply lack experience and just don’t know where to start, when it comes to providing excellent customer service to their users.
In this article, we have focused on some key points that will hopefully help startups to plan and establish an efficient customer service unit for their business. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, then these strategies and tips should absolutely be kept in mind when building and running your startup business.
1. Know your Target Audience Intimately.
It is important to know the type of market you are targeting. What are the needs of your customers? As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to provide your customers with a medium where they can communicate their requirements, needs, and even their shifting expectations. Maintain a separate customer support unit for complaints, queries and feedback. Your team should be patient, and adopt a careful listening approach, while dealing with your customers.
2. Recruit Customer Service Executives wisely.
Startups cannot afford to have a huge number of employees; instead, each one of them has to be specialized in their respective tasks. A startup usually has employees that multi-task in a variety of roles for the company. Thus, it is important to hire only quality employees to ensure that your customers receive the best, quality service. Customer service executives should have good listening skills, deep understanding of the products being offered, good convincing skills, and the ability to handle different types of people in a pleasant, cordial fashion.
3. Post-sale monitoring is important.
Don’t think that the relationships with your customers are just limited to the sales part. There’s a lot more that you need to put in even after you have actually made the sale with the customer. In simple words, it can be said that the relationship with your customers simply begins when they buy a product or service from you. You are liable to help them with any future complications they face regarding your product or service. It is a good idea to remain in touch with your customers, asking them about their experience with your business. You can also send them newsletters regularly, to keep them updated about the new arrivals and latest happenings; all these do not require a large investment on your part, but will definitely provide you with good results in the long run.
4. Have a quick and efficient Delivery Process.
An efficient and quick delivery process will help you retain your customers for a long time to come. Moreover, the company you hire for delivery of your product/service should be well in sync with your customer service department. They should receive proper and timely updates on the dispatch and delivery of your products so that when your customers call, they will not need to wait for a long time to know the status of their order/delivery. If they are not satisfied with the logistics of your service, chances are they might even cancel the order, and you will have lost a valuable customer for your product or service.
5. Use Social Media to interact with your Customers.
Your customers will always appreciate the extra efforts you take in order to stay in touch with them. You can use various social networking channels, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Twitter, to communicate and interact with your customers on a regular basis. Keep them updated on what’s happening in your organization, and how you are constantly making efforts to improve the customer experience. You can also seek their feedback and reviews on the products and services that you offer. Give them an open platform to post their complaints, queries, feedback, and reviews; this can be a priceless way to cater to the needs of your customers.
Customer service is not just about entertaining and resolving customers’ queries. Once your business is up and running, you need to put in maximum effort in reaching your target audience – and allowing them to reach you in a convenient manner as well. You need to provide your customers with a platform where they can express themselves freely. This will result in engaged, active users – who will help grow and take your business where it needs to be.