You love your customers. The key is making sure your customers feel the love.
It’s easy to do when you start your business and are growing your customer base. There are fewer people to surprise and delight so providing high-touch customer service comes easily. The challenge is maintaining that approach as your business grows.
High touch customer service goes beyond sending a thank you card or offering a one-time discount code. It’s engaging with customers on a regular basis in a way that increases their loyalty and connection to you. Delivering customer service at this level generates return business, referral business and new customers. In fact, a survey conducted by American Express revealed 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers have spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great customer service.
Before you start listing reasons you can’t employ a high-touch customer service strategy, like not having enough time or resources, let me tell you this: the thing that will keep you from doing this is in your head. Really.
Lack of documentation is the number one reason high-touch customer service falls apart.
So much of what you do as a small business owner is in your head. It is critical for you to write things down. Get strategies and processes out of your head, onto paper and into a system someone else can duplicate and repeat for you. That’s how you grow your business and maintain a high-touch customer service experience.
Here’s how you develop the best customer service strategy evah!
Create a customer centric culture.
Document what you want your customer experience to look like starting with the moment you meet regardless as to if the encounter happens on your website or in person. How do you want a customer to feel when they work with you? What values are important to you? Write your vision for customer service. Document it and make sure everyone who works with you knows your vision and agrees to perform at that level.
Perfect Your Processes.
Optimize your resources by addressing that customer service experience from a process standpoint. It sounds impersonal, but it’s not. Having a process is essentially creating a checklist to ensure you surprise and delight your customers on a regular basis, without having to do it from memory – because that won’t work in the long run. Write down the number of touchpoints you want to have with customers. What’s the first interaction they’ll have with you? How do you thank them for their business? Will you send a birthday card? Holiday gift? Turning your vision into a process allows you keep track of your interactions and makes the strategy scalable.
Be Better at Onboarding.
Better onboarding allows you manage customer expectations right out of the gate. It might not be something you initially think about as part of customer service, but it helps ensure the customer experience starts on the right foot. If you don’t already have a process, or need a new one, timeline your customer journey on a piece of paper and develop a plan to take every customer on the same journey. Improving this part of your customer service will set the tone for the entire experience. Plus, you won’t stress about how customers perceive you, your product and your service.
Developing a high touch customer service strategy comes down to creating a customer-centric culture, utilizing processes that keep you in touch with your customers and better onboarding that deepens the relationship with customers from the first exchange.
The number of customers you have right now doesn’t matter. Create your system so that you’re able to scale as you grow instead of trying to create something as you go. Besides your customers need to know you love ‘em right now.
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