In a world of virtually assisted online shopping, the quality of your company’s customer service can make the difference between a one-time customer and a long-time business partner. Becoming your customers’ trusted advisor can really elevate your business relationships, but how do you do that? How do you move from a simple order-taker to a dependable colleague?
The journey to trusted advisor begins by empowering the customer with education and self-help services. We work within an increasingly technical field with hundreds (if not thousands) of choices and options. Cotton or polyester? Moisture wicking? What are the benefits of a simulated stitch over embroidery? What sort of ink should you use when screen printing on a tri-blend? Giving your customers the tools they need to make an informed decision means that when everyone comes to the table, you’re all speaking the same language.
The second step is to make sure your customers can reach you. Not just by email or phone, but on your social networks as well. Make sure you have someone monitoring your direct messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Letting questions linger in your social media inbox for weeks at a time is a huge faux pax. If you don’t have the employee resources to devote to answering questions via social media, then activate an automated away message (or deactivate messaging all together) so your customers won’t be waiting for a response that isn’t coming.
NOTE: In the past, customers were willing to wait up to 24 hours for a company to respond via social media. Now that expectation has dropped to one hour.
The last step, but probably the most important step, is to act with integrity. That tip is customer service 101, but if you’re going to become a trusted member of your clients’ teams, then you have to be trustworthy. That doesn’t just mean doing what you say you’re going to do. It also means acting responsibly with your clients’ personal and private information. Make sure you’re doing your due diligence when it comes to keeping your customers’ data secure.
And of course, never forget one of our favorite and most quoted family values—be nice. A little niceness, a lot of integrity and the willingness to work hard can go a long way.