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Be impeccable with customer service and stand out, online or off

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Not long time ago, I was meandering through a utilized book shop and stumbled over an old article in a magazine from the 1950s about customer service. Treasure (OK, so, you have your quirks and I have mine.)

A portion of the counsel is as yet pertinent today – welcome clients by name, keep the store looking extraordinary, make certain to development. Be that as it may, some of it was – well, how about we be liberal and call it outdated: Men ought to have their spouses press their shirts daily, ladies should call clients sir and ma’am.

Obviously, the standards of business have changed a ton from that point forward and nowadays, client benefit has taken an advanced turn. What should your client benefit look like today?

WiFi: The best thing you can do

According to a recent small business survey by NETGEAR (a WiFi provider with whom I used to do some work), one of the best things you can do to foster a great relationship with your customers is to offer, not just free WiFi, but fast, free, secure WiFi. Today, customers both expect and appreciate finding WiFi where they shop and do business.

The survey says the need for great WiFi is growing. Nearly 44% of respondents said that their network performance had been impacted lately by increased congestion, begging the question: Why do these savvy small business owners offer free WiFi in the first place? Nearly 70% said that making WiFi available for their clients “improves customer service.”

What else can you do?

Review your reviews

Whether it is on Yelp, Google, an Internet forum, or some other platform, negative reviews can be the death knell for a small business. I know of a restaurant near my house in California that received so many bad reviews after a bad health inspection report that they had to close and re-open under a new name (and yes, with some new practices.)

The good news is that there is something that can be done about bad reviews: You can get them deleted.

How? Customer service.

Who leaves bad reviews? Folks who have had a bad experience with your business, that’s who. Your job then is to fix the problem. If you contact the negative reviewer, sincerely inquire about the nature of the problem and work to resolve it, you will likely find that the customer will consider taking the bad review down.

As Bill Gates once remarked, “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

The video library

Another digital idea for the digital age is to create a robust video library answering common customer questions. That’s what independent eyeglass retailer Warby Parker did when it decided that a Twitter feed didn’t really do the trick.

What about the simple and always effective art of written thank you notes? Yes, I know you are busy, and yes, you’re right, this is a column about digital customer service, so check this out: MailLift is an online letter-writing service that allows you to “set a template, select recipients, customize details” and then your handwritten letter, written by a real person, goes out and makes you stand out.

More: Text a retailer’s customer service department and you could get back money and time

More: Job opportunity: 5 top customer service jobs for 2018

More: Workplace tips: Customer service skills every employee needs

And what about using chatbots? This is an area where small business can learn a lot from bigger businesses. Chatbots are an easy, affordable way to interactively answer simple customer service questions.

And so yes, while customer service is decidedly digital today, the upshot is really no different than the advice in that old article I found – take care of your customers and they will take care of you.

Today’s tip: Want one of those new, super-fast WiFi systems for your business? Our pals at NETGEAR are having a “say bye-bye to bad WiFi contest.” Go here and you can enter to win a free Orbi Pro system.

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