Customer service and the three R’s: Respect; Relationship; Repeat Customers
When I started Rentabuggy back in 2008 I had a Unique Selling Point (USP) as I was the only company offering the services I offered. No other business still out there today that I am aware of offers higher end pushchairs on a monthly basis, so I am lucky to say this still remains my USP.
In January 2009, I added the Holiday Rental service as an extra line to the business. I knew with this extra service I had added that in time competitors would come along as it is an easier business to start up with lower start up costs.
I believe that competition is healthy as it determines where you should be raising the bar in terms of prices, service etc but one thing I always said to myself from the beginning is that when it does come to the time that I have competition how am I going to be different…
What is going to make people use me and not my competitor?
Excellent customer service. – By building my brand, under promising and over delivering you create excellent customer service.
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions or slash prices to bring in new customers but the target is to get those customers to come back. To keep them happy and happy enough that they pass positive feedback about your business to others.
The essence of good customer service is to form a relationship with each of your customers. A few things you must ensure for this is the following:
1) Answer your phone
Get call forwarding, an answering service or even hire a virtual PA if you need to but make sure that someone is picking up the phone when that customer calls your business. If a line is kept ringing and it happens numerous times the caller will move onto a competitor.
2) Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Reliability is key to any good relationship. If for example you promise to get there order out by Tuesday, make sure you do as nothing annoys customers more than a broken promise.
Listen to your customers. Let your customer talk and show them that you are listening by making the relevant responses, such as suggesting on how to solve the problem.
4) Deal with complaints
Complaints are the nicest things to deal with but they must be dealt with! If you can give the complaint attention and rectify the matter you can still take the matter and position it in your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
5) Be helpful
even if there is no immediate profit in it – The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?
6) Throw in something extra
Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective.
My biggest motto in life is: ‘People Buy People’ so remember in customer service it is all about the 3 R’s:-
About the author: Laura Morris is a business owner, networker and a writer, the Founder of www.rentabuggy.co.uk and also Co-Founder to www.networkingmummies.com. For more information on Laura visit her blog and mentoring site at www.mumtomumpreneur.co.uk