Customer service is the backbone of every successful business. Here, Shep Hyken, international customer service speaker and author of The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience, offers five ways for small business owners to impress their customers. Give these a try today!
Every time you land a new customer, take five minutes to write them a handwritten thank-you note. Do it right after you sign them as a customer so their account is fresh in your mind. When writing the note, cite the conversation you just had, with specifics on their business, and express how excited you are to welcome them into your company.
If you don’t have time for a handwritten note, Hyken recommends employing a service like Handwriting.io to help you craft computer-generated notes that look hand written.
“They will send you a few pages of words to write out in your handwriting,” he says. “Then, when you are ready to send a thank-you note, you just type it quickly and hit send. I’ve had people tell me that they couldn’t tell the difference between my handwriting and the note made on a computer.”
Customers need to have confidence in your product or service in order to stay with you or to sign on as a new client. Hyken says there are five main ways to create confidence in the eyes of a customer.
First, be polite by saying or writing “please” and “thank you” in all of your correspondences. Second, show up on time. “It is disrespectful to be even one minute late for an in-person meeting or a phone call,” he says. Third, always follow through on your promises. Fourth, be proactive. “Just like the best [restaurant] servers will fill your water glass before you ask for a refill, you should be on top of what your customers want and need before they ask,” Hyken says.
His final piece of confidence-boosting advice: set expectations and exceed them. “If I tell you that I’ll call you tomorrow at noon, I’ll try to call you at 9 a.m. instead,” he says. “If something is due Friday, I will try to deliver it on Thursday. Those little touches really matter in the eyes of a customer.”
Every company should try to answer emails in less than 24 hours, says Hyken. “Speed is something people want,” he says. “If you can deliver it to them—be it in your phone call strategy or your email strategy—it will wow them.”