1. The online world has dramatically transformed how businesses operate and how customers consume. Making sure your website looks the part and has excellent navigation and functionality is a good starting point.
2. If your industry demands it, you’ll also require a smooth and efficient e-commerce function, both at the front-end for your customers and at the back-end within your organisation. Get it wrong and your customers will undoubtedly shop elsewhere.
3. However, despite the meteoric rise of the web, there is still an important role to play for telephones. Some customers will want to place orders over the phone, while others will have enquiries and problems that will need to be dealt with in the right way. Having plenty of staff ready to deal with calls could be vital.
4. Retailers will also need to have plenty of staff in-store, helping customers with their enquiries and ensuring the transaction process is a pleasant one. Both on the shop floor and behind the tills, your employees will play an important role.
5. No matter where your staff are based, if they come into contact with customers they need to be knowledgeable about your products, friendly and able to help wherever they can.
6. If your customers do encounter any problems with your company, whether it’s related to products, customer service or something else, you need to deal with the problems quickly and professionally. The old adage about the customer always being right, may not ring entirely true, but they should always have your attention and your respect.
7. While it’s important to react in the right way, good customer service also comes from being proactive. Get to know your customers using social media, customer relationship management and focus groups. The more you know, the more equipped you’ll be to provide them with what they want.
8. One of the most important aspects of any customer/retailer relationship is trust, so make sure you live up to all the promises your company makes. From offers and prices to delivery and returns – be upfront and your customers’ respect will be earned.
9. In these difficult economic conditions, brand loyalty is not always viable for people trying to manage their financial situation sensibly. As such, offering competitive prices may stop their heads from being turned.
10. Customers also want choice, so being able to provide it could help you to differentiate yourself from other brands and build a long-term relationship.
If you are concerned that your calls are not being managed in the right way, you may want to consider switching your business phone answering to an inbound call centre.