In the world of retail, it’s a given that customers are top of mind. So, what are the best areas to focus on when it comes to customer service strategies? Does it stop at the point of purchase? How do staff factor into this idea? We’ll answer these questions and more in this article.
Start with a solid business plan
For some businesses this may be completed at the fiscal or calendar year. Either way it’s important to include KPIs to help you and your team keep accountable and focused on continuous customer service improvements. If you need some help, the Australian Government provides a great resource for business planning.
At Officeworks, this inspiring content piece ‘Ask an Expert: How to Write an Effective Business Plan’ is great to refer too. Alternatively, if you’re needing to further elevate your efforts, there is more help available for your small business. A marketing plan can be extremely beneficial too.
It’s important aspect of your business and marketing plan is defining your target market. Even though not everyone will want your product or service, for many businesses, there are various target audiences to consider. Think about building out numerous customer personas to ensure your communication is targeted and effective.
Keep it short and sweet
Tell your customers what they want to know. Clear, concise, timely and relevant communication tailored to each target audience is key, so spend time thinking about what is referred to as ‘channels to market’.
Is social media the best platform? Are regular eDMs targeted to customers interests the best method? Is your post-purchase communication leveraging the opportunity to build stronger brand loyalty?
Keep your communications consistent, with the right tone of voice and always share information that will make your customers life easy, build a relationship with your brand and even inspire.
Make payments easy
It’s 2022 and increasingly customers want to use digital means to make payments. One of the most critical pieces of technology small business customers need is reliable point of sale terminals.
As a business, you may be taking payments at the markets or visiting a customer on their premises. To accept on-the-go payments, we suggest using the latest mobile credit card readers with inbuilt SIMs or Bluetooth. It’s a sure-fire way to improve customer service and satisfaction.
Outsourcing makes sense
Saving money AND time while building your business, yes please! The benefits of doing this are endless, whether it’s to improve your own efficiency, reduce costs and overheads or to free up your time. As noted in this article, there are better things to do with your weekends.
When it comes to roles like accountants, lawyers, HR specialists or PR and marketing experts – outsourcing makes sense. It might be hard to relinquish the control or the budget, but in the long run, it will benefit your bottom line and the customer experience greatly. Use your time and energy on things like developing strategy, leave the rest to people with the right skill sets.
Your ‘other’ customer service channel
Social media takes a dedicated resource to keep creating engaging content and given it has become the go-to way to communicate with brands, from DMs to PMs and customer comments on a post, it has become critical to respond regularly and within a good timeframe (think 4 hours and up to 24). This shows you’re approachable, trustworthy, dependable and human. Australian brand Birdsnest is a good example of this.
And what about negative customer complaints? In this article ’10 ways your business can smash social media’ there are many examples on how to best approach this.
Are you stuck on which social platform to use? You might be best to choose one (or two at the most) to focus on. Check out this article for some help in choosing between Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Each have their benefits and nuances, whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand.
Lastly, make sure your social icons are clearly visible on your website, email signatures, business cards, packaging, signage etc. Make it easy for customers to interact with you.
Happy team, happy customers
When your team is being acknowledged or given opportunities to thrive, a productive workforce is fostered, and motivation levels rise. Upskilling staff in areas they’re interested in generates loyalty which ultimately helps your business flourish.
You could encourage healthy eating like weekly fruit basket deliveries or healthy lunch clubs, a written acknowledgement in the company newsletter or gifts for those that have gone the extra mile in their customer service approach.
Give staff the choice! They may want a gift card or prefer a fitness tracker or sports smart watch . This might seem unconventional, but the latter can provide reminders to move from your desk, or some friendly competition between the team to get their steps up.
Small investments like noise cancelling headphones or double ear headsets are actually a way to increase revenue. Now we’re dealing with a hybrid workforce, this extends to the home too, where blocking out sound is helpful for your staff’s ability to concentrate and therefore provide great customer service.
We hope this has provided you with some inspiration in how to tackle your customer service strategy. For more ideas, please head over to the NOTEWORTHY Hub.
This article was supplied by the team at Officeworks, an ARA partner.
Officeworks is Australia’s leading retailer of office supplies, technology, furniture, education resources, art supplies and Print & Create. Officeworks offers more than 40,000 products on its website, catering to micro, small and medium business customers to help them start, run and grow their business. With everyday low prices on quality products and services, including tech-support by Geeks2U, you’ll find everything you need at Officeworks.