Winning new business is vital for any company, but once a new customer is on-board, keeping them there is just as important. After all, it costs much less to keep a customer than win a new one. More often than not, that comes down to one thing: delivering great customer service. Here are five ways you can deliver customer service that keeps your customers happy and your competitors at bay:
1. Be there
This might seem obvious, but being available to customers 24/7 can make all the difference - especially when it comes to B2B. That can be difficult if you’re a small business or a sole trader, but, at the very least, during business hours, put systems in place that allow you to respond to clients within two hours, otherwise you’re giving your customer the opportunity to source their needs elsewhere.
Outside business hours, if you don’t have the resources to provide a round-the-clock staffing, respond as soon as practical, but certainly within 24hours. Otherwise, put procedures in place to let the client know that you’ve received their query and are acting on it. Which brings us nicely onto our second point...
2. One client, one contact
Providing a single point of contact, such as a dedicated account manager, for each of your customers means there’s someone there with the expertise needed to respond quickly and effectively to client needs. And when queries get resolved faster and more efficiently, the result is a satisfied client - one that’s happy doing business with you and will keep coming back for more of the same.
It also means you are able to build more of a personal relationship, collecting data and insights you can use to service clients better, as well as develop new products and services in response to customer needs.
3. Add value
While you’re there to provide a product or service, are you doing everything you can to help them achieve your client achieve their business goals? This is another benefit of having a single point of contact for each client, because this person will be able to form an in-depth overview of the client’s business needs, giving you the information you need to react to those needs in a more informed way. By doing this, your client will soon realise that you’re adding value to the service you offer to help them reach their business goals. As an added benefit, it also offers you cross-selling opportunities – just don’t overdo it!
4. Under-promise and over-deliver
It’s much easier to impress a client by delivering more than you promised at the outset than failing to deliver the impossible. Always be realistic and err on the side of caution when it comes to contracts and deadlines. Never promise what you can’t deliver.
Even with regular clients, keep offering discounts and deals. Remember, it doesn’t have to impact on profits if you’ve already priced them in. If an incentive keeps a high spending client on board, then that’s money well spent.
5. Invest in customer service
Finally, it’s vital to put time, effort (and money) into providing the best possible customer service you can. Aim to outdo your rivals and, again, that’s money well spent. Half of all B2B customers will avoid a vendor for at least two years after a bad experience – and that doesn’t take into account what that does to your reputation.
Providing truly great customer service is one way you can outdo competitors even if they are bigger and have the resources to deliver a superior product. Make a customer feel like a VIP and they’ll remember you when they need your services again.
Can you deliver?
As far as the client is concerned, the perceived value of your company goes beyond the service or product you provide. Great customer service with a focus on added value, convenience and flexibility will make sure your client stays with you longer and increases the likelihood that client will buy from you more regularly. Ask yourself what you can do to make it easier for your clients to do business with you and what ‘extras’ you can add on to demonstrate you’re prepared to go the extra mile. When they see the benefit to their business, you’ll see that reflected in your own bottom line.