If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard the saying “the customer comes first” told numerous times in various ways. It’s a sentiment that has stood the test of time simply because it’s true: excellent customer service remains the key ingredient needed to achieve business success.
You’ll hear many entrepreneurs give lip service to this advice, too, however they seldom take it into consideration during the planning or strategizing stages. This is especially true for startups that are just beginning to get a foothold in their respective niches. They prioritize other equally pressing matters like company vision or culture, but they do so mostly at the expense of creating a clear-cut outline of how exactly they could put their customer’s needs first.
How can you prioritize customer’s needs above all else? Here are a few concrete steps you can implement right away.
Provide adequate training for your new front liners
Here’s another tried and tested saying for you: first impressions last, particularly with your customers. How your front liners behave with clients will have a lasting impact on how your company will be viewed by outsiders. Whether you like it or not, your customer-facing staff embody your company’s values, goals, and brand personality. They represent how your brand is viewed, and customers can figure out whether your customer service representative knows what they’re doing or not.
So don’t take chances when it comes to training new hires. Get them up to speed by partnering them with current employees who can properly mentor them and show them the ropes.
This is what call center outsourcing companies do with fresh recruits, with much success: they take the time to let let them master the how-to’s of the business until these new team members gain enough confidence for face to face encounters with customers. They gain confidence and appear credible enough to be trusted, which in turn reflects positively on your business.
Pay attention to customer feedback from the get-go
Don’t wait until you’ve resolved a problem or placated an irate customer before getting customer feedback. Listen to what your target customers need from the outset. What they have to say should even go so far as to define and mold your product or service offering.
Change a certain part that isn’t working for your early customers. Respond to a problem that they’ve pointed out immediately. Adapt your solutions based on feedback you’re getting. That way, you’re off to a great start where there’ll be fewer incidents of making major changes down the line. Get used to truly listening and paying attention to your target customers’ needs, and find ways to meet their standards.
Customer experience is all in the details
Entrepreneurs have a lot on their plates, and are often required to wear many hats at any given time. Having said that, it’s important to know which parts of the business you can delegate to capable employees, and which ones to stay on top of. The one aspect you should always keep an eye on? Customer experience.
This means that you should drop everything if the situation involving your customer’s needs calls for it. Do everything necessary to ensure that proper support is given to any client situations that needs resolving. It’s not unheard of for the higher ups to get involved if the situation calls for it. This kind of service will separate your from your peers and will definitely earn the loyalty of raving fans in the years to come.
Remember: your customers dictate your business success. Their needs should always be the top most consideration in every decision-making process. The faster you’re able to solve your client’s problems and respond to their needs in satisfactory manner, the further ahead of your competition you will end up being.