These days all customers have high expectations from customer service. With heavy competition comes the most difficult of customer retention strategies. Though brand loyalty does still exist, it has grown weaker among customers in general with the rise of a global competitive landscape where the competition is only a few clicks away. You gotta be good at customer care now.
The trick lies in continual engagement of the customer and making yourself future-ready. However, all looks to break loose if you are the only customer service employee on board. A bad day with many issues to be resolved can put your business in a pack-of-cards scenario. A slight tilt may collapse it. At this juncture, your efficiency can grow manifold with the use of automation tools like CRM or a Helpdesk software. Things take a different turn when you are managing your business all alone.
Here are seven tips for better customer service when you’re the only employee.
TIP 1: Talk, don’t fight
Two important attributes of an effective customer service is to stay calm and cool. They are primary attributes when you are alone and have to handle so many queries. When you are the only employee, you wear many hats of the various functions of your business. Some issues may bog you down but don’t get aggravated and always wear a smile while talking to your customers.
An easy way for customers these days is to take to social media to post any negative experience. There’s room for development so take a precision approach to resolve any issue on a Facebook post or tweet. Pay heed to your customers and believe their version of the story.
TIP 2: Put your customer on top of the world
Always know how your customers feel about your product. Every customer touchpoint has to be followed up with a feedback, so have the effective mechanism in place. Try to calm down unhappy customers and resolve all the negative issues on a priority basis. Use emails or phones based on the urgency and the preferred mode of communication for the customer.
Few customers can probably suggest improvements in the product. In that scenario, ensure that the customer’s idea is something new and unheard of. They feel rewarded and on top of the world with this subtle move of yours. A small step can translate into a giant leap in customer success.
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TIP 3: Take advice when needed
You have gathered all the feedback, now the next step is to find solutions. Few of them can be taken by you individually and the others may need technical advice. If you are a SaaS product and your customers pose some technical queries, you can offer them a canned response and quickly push to the technical team for faster resolution. Don’t give a cursory answer, offer a well thought out solution.
TIP 4: Share tips with customers
As the only person at the helm of affairs, you should be knowing in and out of your product. After running a need based analysis for your customers, offer them loads of suggestions on how to use the product effectively. Share some good tips and tricks with your customers so as to enable them to use it optimally.
Here you can make a smart move and adopt an all-in-one CRM and Marketing Automation software that can help you automate the process of sending emails and newsletters to your customer base. This places you ahead of the competition as you beat the conventional method by switching to automation.
TIP 5: Self-Service is a better option
When you are alone, an exciting option to provide exceptional customer service is self-service. This empowers the customer to pick their own stuff. If you are running a web portal, allow customizations that can be easily done. A customer should quickly choose from the available design templates, create a visiting card and place the order. If you get this self-service option rolling, you’re not alone.
TIP 6: Automate the reward process
It takes lot of time and effort to acquire new customers and retain them for a long time. So reward your customers at frequent intervals to make them brand loyal. These rewards can be both tangible – a gift when someone crosses 50 orders on the website, and intangible – setting campaigns using a CRM to wish them on birthdays and anniversaries. This also helps you to identify the most valued customers and they can also receive more discounts when they hit a certain amount in sales. A small benefit gets you much bigger sense of belongingness to the brand.
TIP 7: Be Transparent
Take your business to the next level with strong roots in trust and credibility. This makes customers stick to you for a long time. If there’s a mistake from your end, man up to admit that. This lessens your burden and prevents you from getting into heated arguments. As you are alone in the service department, ensure that you turn the process into a smooth flow. Don’t hide your flaws or throw some hidden costs so that it snowballs into a bigger problem.
No matter whether you are the only employee trying to dish out better customer service, all you need is a knack to get to the root cause of the problem and resolve it in simple steps. The aforesaid seven tips should get you there in no time.