Quality is a given, service is the differentiator. Everyone has customers. A boss is a customer. Learn customer service basics. Keep your promises, have a good voicemail message, always call back, answer emails within 24 hours, have a great email footer, if applicable; and build a professional website. Go the extra mile.
- If you're aiming to be successful in a self-employed way, then customer service is probably the number one way that your customers will be judging you. I know it seems wrong that people don't judge mainly on quality, and of course quality is important, but I would suggest that quality is a given. So the biggest differentiator between you and your similar-quality competitors is going to be customer service. And if you're working in an organization, does the concept of customer service still apply? Absolutely.
You still have internal customers, you may have external customers, you have colleagues, and a boss who also count as customers. Everyone you deal with is a customer in a way. And offering great service is fairly easy to do and will definitely bring you rewards. So I'd like to give you my top seven tips for giving great customer service. First, as I mentioned, is always keep your promises. Write everything down so you don't forget it and then make sure you do it.
This may involve saying no if you're not going to do it, and your customer may not want to hear that. But they would probably rather hear no than yes followed by you never doing it. So if you say yes to something, you must do it. Second is to have a great voicemail message. Give your name, apologize that you haven't been able to answer, and say you'll call them back within 24 hours. And then, as we've already said, always keep that promise. Third is really just a combination of the above two, always call people back.
Even if it's just a missed call, phone that number in case it's an important customer or potential customer. Fourth is to answer all emails the same day, even if you're just replying to say you'll look at it or that you can't help them. Obviously, you don't have to reply to spam emails, but every other email, however unimportant it is, I think you should reply to it even if you just have a standard reply saying, apologies, but I can't help you with this at the moment. The thing is that often big customers start with one insignificant-looking email.
In fact, I remember the first email I got about recording training videos like this and it said, would you like to come and be filmed in Los Angeles? And I thought, what is this? I don't know these people, but I'm glad I did politely reply because here I am doing this and I love it. So, reply to every email and either action it or put it on your jobs to do list for later. Number five of seven is to have a good email footer. This is easy to set up and you only have to do it once and then you've got it forever.
It should have your phone number, maybe direct line and mobile number, postal address, email address in case they print the email out or forward it, job title or company name and website, and possibly something that will help them to remember who you are like project management training for nurses or the car cleaning service where we come to you. So think about your footer, and give the reader everything they might need while also looking neat and professional.
Number six, if you're self-employed, is to have a professional website. I know it'll take some time and some money, but if your website looks home-made or messy or over-wordy, then customers will assume that that's what you're going to be like, too. So at least get a second opinion on your site, and ideally, get a professional to design it for you and spend a bit of money on making it great. Getting just one extra customer could pay for the cost of doing that.
And finally, number seven on my list of customer service rules is go the extra mile to help every customer. You never know how important that person will be to you in the future, so for everyone you deal with, always do the best you can and you'll reap what you have sown at some point in the future. Even if you only reap 10% of what you sow, it'll still pay back many times over. So don't even try to calculate it, just go the extra mile. So those are my top seven customer service tips.
Have you got them all nailed? Or are there some that you could work on? What are you going to do in the next few days or weeks to improve your customer service?