Customers first

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August 29, 2017

Green Guides features a rotating panel of LCOs sharing their real-world experience on how to build and grow a successful lawn care business.

© Joseph Marranca

In today’s competitive marketplace, most businesses understand that if you don’t provide a high level of customer service, you won’t be able to keep your head above water. That being said, if a large number of companies are already enhancing the service they provide, is it really possible to go above and beyond? Is exceptional customer service truly attainable?

At Weed Man, we believe that it is. Customer service isn’t just about being polite anymore. It goes much, much further than that. It’s about making positive customer experience the very fiber of your business.

Make it company culture.

Customer service excellence should be an integral part of your company’s vision. In order to build a service culture within your business, ensure that all staff members are aware of your company’s mission statement, core values and customer experience policies.

This will allow you to build a deep-seated understanding of what your customers expect and why, which will promote patience and empathy among your team members. If you work hard to lead a culture that believes in exceptional customer service, then this will become a fundamental part of your company’s value system.

Have a customer-first mindset.

This is an area where many businesses fall short. While frontline employees may be trained to deliver excellent service, that attitude tends to fizzle out up the ladder. Ensure that all employees know your policies. That way, if a disgruntled customer wants to speak with a manager, you can be confident he or she is just as well-versed in customer service policies as your administrative staff.

look at referral numbers.

Referrals are an excellent indicator of client satisfaction. How many customer referrals does your company receive in a fiscal year? If you aren’t sure, track them.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most cost-effective ways to build leads. If you are keeping an official referral count but aren’t where you’d like to be numbers-wise, it may be time to change your referral strategy. It often comes down to something as simple as asking for them.

Survey your customers.

If you’d like to take an in-depth look at what your customers like and don’t like about your business, consider distributing a customer satisfaction survey. As a general rule, these allow recipients to rate your product or service using a specific set of criteria, such as a numerical scale (e.g. 1-5) or a language assessment (e.g. very good, good, bad, very bad).

These surveys typically feature multiple questions or indicator groups so that you can assess how your business is performing across various categories, including the cost of your product or service, the quality of your product or service and the level of aftermarket support.

Survey responses can help you analyze your business’ strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you can spend your time and dollars where they matter the most, increasing customer satisfaction in the process.

Monitor company reviews.

Online reviews can make or break your business. The good news? Negative feedback on sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook don’t mean your company is doomed. In fact, what truly matters is how you respond to those reviews.

Let’s face it, ignoring complaints about your product or service isn’t going to make them disappear – nor is it going to solve any underlying issues. Instead of shying away from angry customers, embrace their commentary as an opportunity to learn and grow. Always respond to public postings or messages, as the way you address customer concerns can greatly sway a prospective buyer’s decision.

If your company comes across as helpful and willing to make things right, you may impress someone who is on the hunt for good customer service.

It isn’t easy to achieve top-tier status when it comes to customer service, but it is possible. Making top-of-the-line support an integral part of your company culture will help you and your employees deliver the best in the biz.

Jen Lemcke is chief operating officer for Weed Man, USA.