Like every woman I’ve ever met, I wear a lot of hats and it’s not always easy to swap one out for the other.
HI, I'M Jodie
5 Big Mistakes Women Make When Launching Their Online Fashion or Lifestyle Store
(AND HOW TO AVOID THEM!)
GRAB IT NOW
Many online business owners and service providers will know that the foundation of building a brand and successful business is in providing outstanding value and customer service.
But often we get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and the ‘doing’ and forget to invest time and effort in setting up processes, systems or training to provide the best customer service experience possible.
If you are like me, you know that often you will return to a brand because their customer service was ah-mazing! They have competitors and you may even be aware of them, but we return to the businesses that make us feel special, time and time again.
By focusing on these 5 key areas you can go from ho-hum customer service to providing a gold star experience! It has worked for me and my team continue to receive fantastic customer service feedback from customers time and time again. It works and will keep working for you and your brand.
So let’s go!
This may seem simple but is often overlooked. You decided its time to take your business to the next level and to do this you hire in some support. You give them the logins they need and hopefully a fairly robust onboarding in how to respond to customers in a way that reflects your brand, but… you forget to train them on what it is you are actually selling!
Customer service responses need to come across as confident to the reader. Providing incorrect or inaccurate information to a customer due to lack of training is a tough story to rewrite in the customer’s mind.
For my team, I’ve told them it’s totally fine to say “I’m going to investigate that for you and get back to you ASAP” if they are ever unsure. They can then check with me for confirmation and respond with accurate information. Over time, as the team becomes bedded down in your company, this will become less and less but always, always, always, make sure your customer service team are knowledgeable and confident responding to questions about your product or service.
Whether you or your team handle customer service, it’s important to remember that on the other side of that annoying email or frustrating phone call is a human being, just like you.
One of my team members often recites our favourite customer service mantra – “I respond to them in the way I would like someone to respond to me.”
Trust me when I say that the mood you are in when you respond to enquiries or customer requests can come through in your response. As annoying as that customer may be, remember that your customer is just like you and deserves your respect, time and patience.
Next time you receive a customer service request that makes your blood boil, take a deep breath and think if that was you, what kind of response would you like?
Did they send a complaint? Try this one…”This is excellent feedback and we will be taking this onboard immediately to continue to improve our business and service for you in the future.”
Did they request a refund? Give this a go… “Thank you so much for reaching out and I’m sorry that you are not happy with your purchase. Our customers are super valuable to us and we would love to know what we could have done differently to better your experience.”
Always, always, always be polite! Respond to every email with “thank you for reaching out…” and where possible acknowledge the customers time in contacting you, and how valuable they are to your company. End every email with a polite sign off (eg: with regards…) and be sure to include your name and position within the organisation.
Simple manners go a lonnnngggggg way in customer service.
Ever contacted a help desk? Most support email addresses these days send to a help desk platform that has auto-responders set up. Now I’m not saying it’s time to go out and invest in ZenDesk or Siportly, but make sure your customer service enquiries receive a response within a few hours.
My team respond to all customer service emails at least twice a day including weekends. This makes sure that any urgent requests are handled quickly, but also that the customer feels valued and appreciated. If there is a delay in getting them the information they need, it’s good practice to let them know about the delay and provide an estimated time for when you will get back in touch with them.
Customers who feel informed are happy. Customers who feel ignored or given minimal or no information generally feel they are being brushed off and get annoyed.
Always respond as quickly as possible.
Customer feedback is gold in the world of online business.
If a customer purchases a product or service, it’s important to ask for feedback.
If a customer makes an enquiry via your customer support channel (email, social media, chatbots) it’s also important to ask for feedback.
I’m fortunate that my CS team receive positive feedback unprompted, but, we still make sure that at the end of an exchange with a customer we ask if they have any further questions, or feedback for us on how we can improve next time, to let us know.
Any feedback is valuable. If it’s positive, great, but the feedback we learn from is the not-so-positive and that allows us to keep growing and keep refining to always improve our service and products making sure our customers come back time and time again.
If you are not receiving rave reviews from your customers or clients, I urge you to consider these 5 key areas. We can often focus on the sale and forget there is more value in keeping a customer then attracting new ones.