Top 10 Customer Service Tips for Businesses in a Downturn Economy

Last month I appeared on Richard Naylor's TV show "The Money Factor" to talk about business strategy. I was asked ahead of time to provide what I considered to be the Top 10 Customer Service Tips that businesses could employ to survive a downturn. The following are my thoughts. What are yours?

  1. Answer your phone. We’re all tired of voice mail and "press one".
  2. Get personal. There are fewer customers to go around, take care of the ones you have. Find out what’s important to them and do it.
  3. Return phone calls immediately. Everyone’s busy but as a customer, I don’t care about everyone else—only me.
  4. Be upbeat but forget "have a nice day." We are all worn out with that expression, so change it to "I hope you get your shopping done" or "take some time out for yourself."
  5. Throw in something extra; maybe it’s a great or a sincere "hello, how is your day going?" or a small gift. A cup of tea or coffee would be great.
  6. Treat customers like friends, not customers. The world is more transparent, show your customers you care. Find out about their families, their children and their hobbies—that’s what friends do.
  7. Go the extra mile—even if there’s no immediate profit. We remember when someone is nice to us. Letting a customer use the phone or the bathroom.
  8. Listen to your customers.
  9. Take care of perceived issues immediately. Since 96% of customers never complain and just go away mad, going the extra mile to show the customer that you really care will help tremendously.
  10. Reward customers for being customers. Send them thank you notes, a holiday or birthday card or plan a holiday event and invite your past customers.

What are your tips for businesses in a touch economy?

If you're interested in watching my TV interview from "The Money Factor," click here. Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel as I'll be posting video soon!

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