Reward Your Customers
In the article The Quick Guide to Developing Customer Personas, it highlights the importance of "Incentives." This can be helpful when giving out surveys like this article used as an example.
"Rewarding your customer," can also mean rewards such as, incentives for using your particular company or product.
An example of this is Ipsy. For those of you that are not aware; Ipsy is a monthly cosmetic subscription box with surprise products according to your likes/dislikes/skin tone/ ect. That you can earn reward points towards other products as well. The reward points depend on how many months you have subscribed and for each review you give for a product that you got in your monthly subscription.
Incentive: points that translate to money for larger products when enough points are gathered.
This in return helps those companies that go through Ipsy customers to try and use their products as well as giving Ipsy the business.
Pay Attention to Detail
Give out surveys, interview customers, and potential customers also watch what is being said about your business on social media. Do not over look the details that could help you have a better reputation for customer service.
From What's Wrong with Customer Service?
L.L. Bean, posts its toll-free number on all of its Web pages and follows e-mail queries, live chat with agents and can even leave a voicemail for an agent to call you back.
Think Before You SAY, Think Before You DO, Think Before You BRAND.
When starting a company you have to think of your company's employees as well as the customers when branding your name.
When branding a company you do not want to offend a culture or single out a group of people where it could hurt your business' integrity and the people employed by it.
For example in the article, Best Practice in Service Delivery, it goes in detail about "Cultural Sensitivity in Service Delivery."
Also, for instance it may be offensive to certain group of people or culture if you were to put woman's breast on a billboard for an unrelated product such as alcohol. Where as if you were advertising a breastfeeding product, exposing part of a woman's chest would be much more acceptable.
Create a Code of Conduct and Stick with It.
As a leader you also have to live by example if you want to create a successful team. Leaders know when to follow and when to lead. Create a set of rules that you know you could follow and would expect your employees to follow as well. Your code of conduct should have set rules about how you treat your co-workers as well as your customers.
Your ultimate goal is to keep the customer happy and coming back and you have to give your employees the right utensils to and set of rules to do so.
"whatever it takes"
From the article World-Class Courtesy, The Ritz-Carlton empowers the employees to use their own good judgement in doing "whatever it takes" to ensure a customer's satisfaction.
Recognize Your Failures & Learn From Your Mistakes
Do not take failures as defeat. You may fail MANY times before you succeed, but you can not allow your failures to define you and your company.
Even if your first failure is convincing your friend that they would need a product you invented and they just don't get it. The next person you present the idea to may love it and may even choose to invest in your product or service of your company.
Take Steve Jobs for instance...
He very publicly failed when he was fired from a company he co-founded and instead of just letting it happen, he proved that he could learn from his mistakes. He then co-founded a computer company called NeXT, and launched Pixar Animation Studios. NeXT was acquired by Apple years later and Jobs was Apple's CEO. He took his failure and proved that he could not only learn from his mistakes, he could also create something bigger than before he was fired.
Motivate Your Employees
The more your motivate people to better, the better the results you will get. If you focus on the negative of what someone is doing, how would you feel? Probably anxious, annoyed, irritable. Not something you want the people backing your company to feel, right?
In the article Motivation = Empowerment, it talks a lot about Fredrick Herzberg's research.
"So what does motivate people to work harder and perform at their best? According to Herzberg's research, real motivators include achievement, recognition, meaningful work, responsibility, advancement and growth. In addition, if retention is a concern then consider that the number one reason given for leaving a job is dissatisfaction with supervisors."
When it comes to your own business you do not want to get disorganized. With organization comes prioritizing. Make sure you prioritize the right tasks.
How to stay organized
- Have a plan when it comes to how to you want to run your company. A Business Plan.
- Figure out how you want to organize your paperwork: receipts, legal documents, any other paperwork you may want to hand out to customers.
- Have steps and a guideline book for all your employees so if they come across any questions they can be quickly answered. Is also a good refresher for yourself at times. Always keep it up-to-date.
- Have a schedule for yourself and your employees.
- Figure out what you need to be successful at your job and what your employees need and try not to over look those business needs.
Walk a Day in Your Employees Shoes
If you were an employee to your company, would you feel excited or fulfilled going to work everyday?
Would you feel you played an important part in the company's success?
Would you see little to no problems when it came to training for the job and giving exceptionally good customer service?
If the answer to these questions are 'yes,' then you're doing something right. If it's 'no,' you may want to reevaluate some parts of how the employee is treated, how you can change it for the better and what kind of work environment you want for your employees.
"Nordstrom has empowered its employees to do whatever is needed to satisfy and exceed customer needs and expectations. Employees serve their customers as if they are running their own personal business."
Also noted by a CEO in one of their studies...
"Courtesy without empowerment, is doomed from the onset. Our employees cannot be expected to have greater accountability without greater authority."
The Key to Success is Knowing if You Were the Customer; You Would Be Happy with the Company
Ask yourself, if your customers are mostly to completely satisfied with your product or service and customer service.
If you were a customer, what would you change about how you receive the product/service and customer service?
Going back to customer service importance, is your customer service up to standard where you feel comfortable with the employees being the face of your company?
If you were in the customer's shoes, would you be completely satisfied?