Consistently providing five-star customer service is a challenge for many businesses. It involves offering a good experience to customers and having a well-trained team handling such interactions efficiently. Not to mention, owning up to your mistakes and going above and beyond to resolve any issues your customers are facing can take quite a toll on your organization's finances.
Keeping your customers satisfied, however, remains a key objective for any company that wants to grow and make a profit. These six entrepreneurs share their tried-and-true tactics to help you to provide top-notch customer service -- even if you're facing budgetary or workforce constraints.
Always ask if you can do better.
"At the end of every interaction -- whether positive or negative -- we ask our clients if there's anything else they wish we did better," says Passport Co-Founder and COO Aaron Schwartz, underlining the importance of getting actionable feedback.
"At this point, the customer is given free rein to say, 'You know, I wish you did X,'" Schwartz explains. Often, you can deliver that ask and impress your customer. "And when you can't, you learn something you can improve on for all future interactions," he adds.
According to Nicole Munoz of Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc., the old "the customer is always right" adage holds true. "It's really important to make sure that you take good care of your customers for all of their issues," she says.
Munoz defines what a company needs to do in order to deliver the best possible customer service: "Not only are they sure to do their best to resolve every issue, but they truly take care of their customers and go above and beyond the problems that they are trying to solve."
Offer speed and empathy.
Being empathetic to your customers' needs is important, as is how efficient you are in solving their problems. Simplr CEO and Founder Eng Tan says, "Speed and empathy are the most important -- and most affordable -- ways to ensure a top-tier customer experience."
According to Tan, even the angriest customers can have a change of heart if they feel like they're being heard. "When we had an angry customer, we were able to respond to his complaint instantly, empathize with his frustrations and solve his problem, which resulted in a stellar review," he recounts.
Provide multiple contact touchpoints.
"You could have amazing customer service, but if you're not contactable within a short space of time, there's a problem," says FE International CEO Ismael Wrixen.
To address this issue, Wrixen emphasizes that businesses should provide their customers with multiple ways to contact them and make sure these touchpoints are effectively manned. "We use social media as a touchpoint just as much as other channels, as that's where our customers are. People are often more relaxed in a semi-public forum," he adds.
Train employees to use polite phrases.
Great customer service is not just about efficiency, but also making the customer feel good about the interaction. That's why politeness is a crucial trait for any client-facing team, insists Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms.
"I once worked at a company that had us say 'my pleasure' whenever a customer said 'thank you.' It was instilled throughout the organization and we were all trained to say it instead of 'you're welcome,'" Atchison recalls. "Train your employees with certain keywords that will make the customer happy."
Just care more.
At the end of the day, what matters most when delivering five-star customer service is caring about your clients and your community more than your competition, according to Under30Experiences Co-Founder Matt Wilson.
"Our team works extra hard to keep every single customer happy, and this has created incredible five-star reviews and word-of-mouth marketing," Wilson says. "Small companies may be understaffed, but if your team carries themselves with a mentality of being flexible, your customers will appreciate your effort to do the right thing."