Don’t Wing It With Customer Service – Plan It

Great customer service doesn’t just happen.

learn online training videos about small business customer service
If you’re unsure about what makes up the kind of customer service people rave about, then perhaps you should look into our EzyStartUp Course.

HOW TO PROVIDE REALLY exceptional customer service is just one of the modules covered in our EzyStartUp Course which teaches you all about how to start up your own business.

We handpicked this inclusion as our experience is that, time and time again, good, nay excellent customer service goes a long way to ensuring a business has longevity.

We’ve mentioned in a previous post the issues inherent with Zoho’s customer service, which wasn’t bad as much as it was hampered by geographical differences and the strength of Aussie customers dealing with Aussie customer service workers and telephone operators.

Defying customer expectations

For many, good customer service is something many of us have come not to expect. Most of the time when you go into shops to buy something, you come prepared – you’ve already researched the kind of TV you want online and why, and you know the sales girl will never tell you if your butt looks big in those jeans.

Is there too much churn and burn?

Is churn and burn a problem with the quality of customer service? Certainly in many chain or department stores now, where there’s a huge turnover of staff, many employers seem to have given up on trying to teach their staff the art of customer service.

And the ambivalence toward customer service has slowly crept into other areas of business, as companies downsize, move online, or shift jobs offshore.

As a business owner, I have always prided myself on providing the very best customer service possible. When I moved EzyLearn online, one of my major concerns was how would I manage the customer service side of the business, now that my customer service resources had shrunk?

Using a ticketing support system

That’s when I decided to use the Zen Desk ticketing support system to manage all of my online customer enquiries. Zen Desk does this in a way that’s professional for my customers and also easy for me and my team to use.

Incidentally, Zoho also offers a similar support ticketing service and, like most of the Zoho products, the most basic offering is free to use forever. But even if your business decides to use a ticketing support system like Zen Desk or Zoho, remember: It’s only as good as the customer service processes you implement for your business.

Good customer service is structured

Fantastic customer service — the kind that makes people tell their friends and keep coming back to you for their purchases — doesn’t just happen. This is why we cover customer service in our EzyStartUp Course. Most people don’t realise that, like everything else in business, you have to plan to deliver good customer service. And as the business changes, your strategy can adapt and change too.

This might take the shape of a policy which outlines things such as ensuring phone calls aren’t answered before the third ring (so as to not startle or fluster callers), replying to emails within a few working hours (even if it’s just to say you’re looking into the issue), or following up on sales enquiries with a phone call (which increases conversion rates).

Definitely use tools like Zen Desk to help you fine tune your customer service policies, but remember that good customer service starts with you. Develop your customer service strategy (our EzyStartUp Course can help you) and commit to it.

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Planning how you’ll provide great customer service — that’s what’ll give you the edge over other businesses. Good customer service is so rare these days that when people find it, they flock to it. So find your flock, and if you need help, take our EzyStartUp Course.


learn online training Xero courses videos for less

Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

Thanks For Loving Us

MYOB online training courses
We are thrilled that our customers appreciate our attention to good, old-fashioned customer service.

In a recent post we talked about how you can use referral marketing and LinkedIn to market your business to grow your customer base. But once you get those new customers, the most important thing is making certain you keep them. Great customer service is the key to ensuring you always have a happy customer. Providing consistently good customer service and being courteous to people in the way you communicate with them, be they suppliers or contractors, as well as customers, is also highly beneficial to your business in other ways.

Priding Ourselves on Customer Satisfaction

And speaking of happy customers, we’ve decided to blow our own trumpet a little and share with you that we have a 97% customer satisfaction rating! We use the a powerful customer support system called ZenDesk, which manages the thousands of EzyLearn students who complete our MYOB training courses, Small Business Management, Excel and other courses.

The Same as Face to Face

When we moved our training courses online, we decided early on that we wanted our online business to provide our students and customers with the same customer service experience that they would receive from a physical training centre. So we also provide our students with phone and email support, in addition to the Zendesk ticketing support system.

We think our customer service is part of what has made EzyLearn the successful business it is today, and we’re glad you think so too! Customer service is such an important aspect of any business, which is why we cover customer service in our Small Business Management Course.

Repeat Custom

If you think about some of the most successful small businesses, it’s usually their good service that has their customers returning time and again. This is important to remember considering small businesses usually don’t have the buying power that a big business does which means their prices are usually a littler higher. But if the service is good, customers will forgo what little savings they can get elsewhere.

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So if you’re in the process of starting a new business, it’s important that you make customer service a major focus, and then continue to work at it and find new ways to improve the service you give your customers, because it really does pay off — trust us!

Do You Really Need to Be Nice in Business?

Being nice in business
It may be difficult at times, but it really does pay to be nice in small business.

In our Small Business Management Course, you learn all about starting and managing a small business. One thing we don’t teach, however, is customer service. That’s because we think it’s a bit of a no-brainer. In fact, it’s often said that the golden rule of customer service is that the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong.

But what happens with your suppliers, when you’re technically the customer — does this give you free reign to be as demanding as you like? Or does it pay to be nice?

Kill ‘em with Kindness

There are a couple of reasons why this approach works best in business. First of all, it’s a lot harder to be mean to a really nice person — seriously, try it! Even when you’re asking a lot of someone, they’ll find it harder to decline your request if you’re nice about it.

That’s not to say that if you make an outrageous demand it won’t be swiftly turned down; nor does it mean you should take advantage of your suppliers’ better nature, either. But being nice certainly gets you further that being rude and demanding, particularly when you’re looking for a favour.

What Value Do They Bring?

This is particularly important for small businesses that often rely on other small businesses or sole traders to provide important services to them. If you treat your suppliers well, they’ll be more inclined to work for you — and do good work too.

Very often it’s the little things that count most. Paying invoices on time, for the cash-strapped sole trader, is usually greatly appreciated; even just sending them an email, thanking them for their hard work can make all the difference, especially if you employ a lot of remote workers.

Develop A Relationship

In fact, if you do happen to work with a number of remote workers, it’s sometimes pretty easy to forget that there’s a person at the other end of your emails. Rather than simply sending through your requests and nothing else, engage with that person instead.

Again, people are much more willing to work with people they know and like, so putting a little effort into your emails can certainly go a long way to forging a good working relationship with your graphic designer, even if they do live in Peru.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

If for no other reason than self-preservation, being nice and putting good vibes out into the universe can at least guarantee that you won’t have to sleep with one eye open for fear of reprisals from that supplier you gave a severe dressing down once (you have seen ‘Kill Bill’, right?).

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So yes, we do think that you should be nice in business. It may be a dog-eat-dog world out there, but it need not be a business-eat-business one. Just remember that there is a real person behind every faceless email address — so be nice! Learn more about the many facets of running a small business by checking out our Small Business Management Course.