There are many things that are always going to be important to businesses of all kinds. One that is likely to be particularly necessary to focus on is the fact of being available for your customers at all times. This is an essential part of ensuring that your customer service is as good as it could be, and it is something that most people are going to want to think about if they are keen on ensuring that their business is good for its customers. Of course, you first need to know what is really meant by being available for your customers, and then you need to make sure that you are putting those things into place. In this article, we will look at both of those, so you can make sure that your business really is available for its customers at all times.
Being Available – What Does It Mean?
First of all, it will be helpful to decide on what exactly we mean when we say that a business is available for its customers. On the face of it, this is merely a fact of showing that you are there for your customers at all times, and that they can count on you to respond to them in a timely and engaged manner. It is also to do with showing that you care about them, that you want them to have a good experience with you as a company, and that you are keen to look into what kind of things you feel you might need to change to make all this better and easier for them. A big part of it is listening to them to see what they think about what you should improve.
If you can focus on all of these in some way or another, it is likely that your business is going to be a lot more available for its customers much of the time. Of course, that alone is just theory so far, and we are also going to need to know what kind of things you need to do specifically to make sure you are doing this for your customers too. So let’s look now at some of the practicalities of being available for your customers.
Good Answering Service
One of the most important parts of this is always going to be the answering service. In particular, you need to make sure that your customers are able to call you to speak to you at many times of day. That doesn’t mean that you are going to have to have your phone lines open at all times – most customers expect there to be some closing hours, and will even appreciate that your staff have to clock off at some point or another. But you do need to provide enough hours on the phones for your customers to be able to call regardless of what their own daily routine looks like. So that is one important aspect of a good answering service.
Beyond that, you will also need to ensure that the people answering the phones are actually highly respondent not just in terms of answering the phone quickly but also in terms of how they speak to your customers. They should be experts in the field in which you operate, which is why it is often best to get a specific answering service for the industry you work in. If you run a lawyer’s office, then you will need to hire the services of an Attorney Answering Service, and so on. As long as they are knowledgeable and keen, you should find that you are able to keep your customers much happier indeed.
You should also make sure that the customer is aware of how to get back in touch with the specific person they spoke to, should they wish to follow up their call. All in all, you can make sure that your customers are able to phone your business in a way which is suitable for them, and that shows that you really are available for them.
Many customers will prefer to communicate by email, or even those who don’t will need to do so sometimes in order to send you information and so on. As such, you need to put just as much effort into this side of things as you put into your phone calls. If it shows that you are not really putting care into the email communication that you have with your customers, then you are going to struggle to keep them happy, so this is something that you are going to want to think about. There are a few things that most customers will expect from email communication with your company.
First of all, you should make sure that all emails are responded to in a timely manner. This will depend on the size of the business and many other factors, but a general rule of thumb saying that you should return the email in 48 hours is probably good, 24 hours if it is a pressing issue. You should also retain strong professional communication skills at all times, and don’t allow the whole thing to become informal just because it’s an email communication – unless, that is, that you want to try and fit it in with your branding, if that branding is relaxed in that way.
Good email communication is also to the point, brief and honest, so be sure to follow those as well.
As well as call and email, you want to make sure that you are available for your customers in many other ways as well. In fact, the more of these that you make sure of, the more that your customer will feel that you are really there for them. That could mean being accessible via Twitter, it could be a contact form on your website, or even face to face. As long as you are available for your customers, that is all that really matters.