To deliver exceptional customer care you need to first define good customer service. Use examples of good customer service, and develop a strong customer service job description and structure, to focus on satisfying customers.
Satisfying your customers means understanding what they want, and then delivering that. And delivering on that level of customer care means that you need to structure your business around your customers. So first define good customer service from your customer's perspective. Use customer service tips to develop new and different service strategies.
Conduct a customer satisfaction survey: there are lots of free online survey tools that you can adapt and use to ask your customers what they want and need from you. Ensure that you understand what your customers mean when they talk about good or bad customer service.
Have face-to-face meetings with your customers on a regular basis (as it makes sense - obviously if you operate an online business, you wont be having face-to-face meetings).
Compare the service you provide to your competitors. Compare examples of good customer service. What do your competitors do that your customers love? (Or hate?) How can you provide better service, that gives your business a unique advantage?
Once you define good customer service and use competitive examples of good customer service, then build a customer service management plan and program.
Design and write customer service job descriptions that are focused on your customer service plan. The primary function for all staff needs to be on delivering satisfaction and exceeding customer expectations.
Zappos is an online shoe and clothing business. They sell about $1 billion a year online. Their mission is to deliver happiness! How do they do it? (And let's recognize that they are succeeding; remember the $1 billion a year in sales.)
They've built a culture that's totally focused on their customer and their employees. They believe that their employees need to be happy, well trained, and a 'fit' for their culture to be able to deliver happiness to their customers.
One of their customer service policies is "Zappos.com offers free shipping both ways and a 365 day return policy on all purchases." Their customers are delighted with that policy.
Another example of good customer service is Nordstrom (a retailer based in the United States). Customers love the service they get from their in-store experiences; staff that does not ignore them but also that do not bug them.
The above two examples are business to consumer; the retail sector. But there are a lot of examples in business to business environments; such as my local computer repair business.
When my business computer system failed, my computer repair service was at my office door within 2 hours with a replacement server. They re-installed the software, transferred the files, tested the system and left; and I was a very satisfied customer.
Some services are taken for granted until needed. Make sure that your customers believe in the service you provide.
Because you need to understand what your business needs to focus on delivering.
Understanding what you need to do to deliver customer service is the first step. The second step is to ensure that your employees are trained and developed to make customer satisfaction a priority. Then consistently deliver.
Return to Good Customer Service.
Focus your customer service efforts on the highest value activities; these are the actions that will provide your business with the best return on your investment of resources.
Review your sales by customer at the product or service level (by type). Then analyze your direct and full costs by product or service.
Your goal in gathering, and then analyzing, the numbers is to compare the costs by products and services and then by customers; you want to know which products and services are the lowest cost and which customers provide your business with the best value.
This will help you focus your business resources to provide the most service and support to high value customers.
What's the gross profit margin by customer? Rank your customers not only by total sales but by profitability; and by sales by product or service.
If you have specific products or services that you know are more profitable than others you will want to focus your attention on the customers buying those more profitable items and/or you will want to encourage customers to buy more of the profitable product or service lines.
Note: A number of accounting software systems provide the capability to run these reports quickly and easily.
Providing customer service that consistently delights (rather than just satisfies) results in long term customers.
Your business' commitment to exceptional quality; the reliability and consistency of your service (your customers like to know that they can expect the same product or service, and the same level of support, on each and every order); and highly trained and knowledgeable staff are all key attributes to developing successful relationships with your customers.
Focus your business on more than satisfying customers; make delight a number one goal.