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10 ways to improve your customer service

What's your customer service like? Has it become a sort of ”I'll take care of that when I have time”-problem? The risk is that if you don't care about customer service now, today, you'll soon have all the time in the world to do so because you'll be out of business! This is an area that often lacks guidelines for the smaller companies. In larger companies, it's even worse. There are guidelines, but no interest in following them. Test yourself with our 10 questions. If you  can answer YES to 8 of the 10 questions, you probably need to read more on this website.

1. Do you have regular contact with your customers?
Follow up after each transaction. Make sure that there are questions regarding your settlement. Make sure that the customer feels comfortable with being your customer. Ask customers if they want you to remind them of updates on your website, offer them your newsletter as a link between you.

2. Have you created a so-called focus group?
Invite 10 of your most loyal customers to meet under pleasant circumstances where you get the chance to get a clearer picture of what your business is considered to stand for. Your focus group will give you ideas on what to do to improve your business. Pay the participants, give them free products or a dinner for their time and inconvenience.

3.  Is it easy for your customers to reach you?
Make it easy for customers to express themselves in as many ways as you can think of. By mail, telephone, fax, mail or personal meetings.

4. Is it ridiculously easy to navigate on your website?
Make it so easy that even an adult can do it. Set up a page where you enter the answers to the most common questions your customers usually have. Encourage your customers to come up with more questions.

5. Do you take care of the complaint as soon as they pop up in a responsible manner?
Answer all emails, phone calls, faxes and any other communications within a prescribed period of time. Make sure that everyone in your company takes personal responsibility for errors that occurred even if it's someone else's fault that something went wrong. Make sure that your company has a united front to solve any problems within the company.

7. Do your employees know how you want your customer service to be managed?
Ensure that all of your employees know the rules and that they are kept, evaluated and regularly made stronger.

8. Do you always give your customers a little more than they expect?
Give your most loyal customers gifts. Give new customers something extra with their first order, but send them a gift after the purchase, not with the purchase. Show your customers that you appreciate that they chose your company. Show them that they have chosen the right company.

9. Are your customers getting the respect they deserve?
Be courteous to your customers. Thank them as often as you can. In many stores, they have not learned the simplest of codes: If a customer says ”thanks” when he/she receives their change, for instance, then you should reply with a ”thank you”, not “you're welcome”. If someone calls your business just to make a statement, do you consider that person as a hassle? What would your employees say if they were to answer the same question?

10.  Are you building a company for the future?
You've heard it before. Business equals Relationships. Have you embraced that philosophy and started building relationships? Do you invite clients to lunch sometimes, even when you know they are not likely to buy right now? Do you invite customers and prospects to your business and show them what your business is all about? To invite customers to show them your business is to show them how important they are to your business.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.