Starting a new business can be daunting enough without having to worry about whether or not your customer service is up to scratch. It’s important that you have a customer service plan in place before you customers even need your support. This means that when the first issue arises, you’re able to deal with it swiftly and efficiently.
Schedule time for customer service duties
It might seem like you’ve got 1001 things to do when you start a business but that doesn’t mean you should push customer services to the bottom of the to-do list.
Schedule 10 minutes every afternoon to respond to any emails that may have come in or to call back any customers who might need your help. This keeps you on top of questions, queries and complaints. When you leave them to pile up they can seem very overwhelming when you’ve got so much else to do too.
Make sure you have the right tools in place
The right tools can help you to manage any questions that come in from customers. Casengo is a great example of a tool that can help you save time and stay organised. It’s a live chat feature for your website where customers can talk with you if you’re online or leave a message for you.
Through the system you can look at pending cases, those that have been resolved and anything new that’s come in while you’ve been offline.
Tools like this help you to keep everything in one place rather than sifting through emails trying to find that one message from a customer who’s trying to follow up.
Make sure new staff are properly trained
You might not employ staff members straight away but when you do, you’ll need to ensure that they are properly trained if they’re going to be handling any customer service enquiries. Make sure they know the proper complaints procedure and what they are allowed to offer customers to resolve a complaint.
They should also understand your brand, processes and what you sell so they can advise any customers who may come to them with questions.
Think about your brand image
Finally, your brand can be affected both positively and negatively by the way you handle your customers. Before making a decision think about how it could affect how people perceive your brand.
For example, if you have an unhappy customer think about how solving their problems could change how they perceive your brand. That customer (and everyone they’ve told about their complaint) could change how they feel about your brand based on how their concerns are handled.
The same goes for a customer who asks a simple question. If you take a long time to respond, this might lead them to believe that your shipping times are also slow or that you may never get back to them if they do have a problem.
There is another side to this, of course. If you respond quickly to a customer, you could help them to make a quick buying decision. They will also perceive your brand as quick and helpful.
Author bio: Roddy Forfar is Managing Director of Aquarius Contact Centres, a UK based call centre offering businesses solutions including telephone answering and call handling. Roddy is passionate about customer service and prides himself on provision of quality, professional services.