Customer Service Tips

How to Get to Really Know Your Customer: Understand Them

By Ann Connor

Know your Customer

As a business owner, we all know how important it is to know your customer. It’s a phrase that’s used in countless marketing books and across many advice columns. So okay, great, you’ve figured out how old your customer, is where they live, what their incomes are—all that good stuff. But do you really understand them? Can you predict what they need, what moves them, what inspires them? These are the types of questions that really matter when it comes to success, so we’ve gathered five ways to better understand your customer.

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Customer Service is Not a Department

Customer service” is an overused phrase that has little meaning any more, but customers still want their needs met. To accomplish this requires that customer service is the responsibility of every employee, whether they have direct customer contact or not.

Customer service is different from any add-on service you offer for sale. If you charge money for a service, it’s part of your product mix. Customer Service is free.
Customer Service enhances your main offering – it’s not your main offer – but a pleasantly unexpected bonus that reinforces your message that you care.

It may include services such as free educational seminars. It may be the offer of free setup or an introductory period of technical assistance or maintenance. It could be the availability of credit or financial services, or simply a routine follow-up call that confirms a customer’s satisfaction. Whatever it is, it has to fulfill your customers’ deepest needs.

Customer Service opportunities are endless. It is a major area that can give you a competitive advantage – especially if you are seen as a commodity with numerous competitors. So, when you start thinking about the customer services you might offer, think beyond the obvious.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What attributes of your business lend themselves to better customer service? Don’t be afraid to experiment and then elicit feedback from the people who know best – your customers.

See our Customer Service Course for more great tools and resources!

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