Taking Stock on Delivering Excellent Customer Service
By Women’s Venture Fund

If it has been a while since you assessed the level of customer service you deliver, this is the week
to focus on this most important aspect of your business. Can you applaud your company’s efforts
or do you need to retrain your team to deliver better service? If you are a solo operator, do you know exactly how your customers perceive your service?  No matter your scenario, the bottom line is: You would be nowhere without your customers. Trite but true.

To know the level of service you are providing, you must know every point at which your customer interacts with your company—from the minute they walk into your store or into your office, visit your website or hear from one of your sales reps to the actual delivery of the product and post-sale check-in.
From the cleanliness, lighting, friendliness of staff and even the smell of your storefront to the speed at which you send a personalized thank-you for a purchase, your customers are rating how you treat them.

Here are just customer touch points to re-assess. They can vary by industry:

  • When was the last time you conducted a customer satisfaction survey to identify the areas that need improvement?
  • Are your employees dedicated to providing your customers with a great experience? If not, you need to address motivation, compensation and even consequences of not delivering superior customer service.
  • If you have a disgruntled customer in the store or on the line, do your employees know how to properly handle the situation? Are they empowered to make small discounts to appease a customer? Do you have a written customer service policy?
  • Are you monitoring your social media pages and engaging with participants? If not, you are being rude ad disinterested in their opinions.
  • Are you using Google mail, AOL or some other provider of personal emails? Then you are being unprofessional. For less than $20 a year, you can have your own company domain and email linked to your business.
  • Is a cell number the only way to get in touch with you by phone? You need a reliable landline, using your cell as the back-up.

After mapping out your customer touch points and identifying those aspects of service that need improvement, create a plan of action. How can you offer free shipping? Do you make returns easy by including pre-paid labels? Have you looked at your POS system to determine how you can personalize offers? How can you add value for your customers—discounts on future purchases, a preview of a new product line, an incentive for referrals?

The ball is in your court on this one. Achieving excellent customer service can be a game changer for your growing business.