One of the simplest and best ways to differentiate your startup is through customer service. I know this sounds basic but it is amazing how low the bar is set when it comes to getting help. Lately, I’ve had to interact with sales reps from two different companies — yes, people who are making a commission off my business — only to have them take 48 hours to respond to my emails. 48 hours for a response!
Here are a few customer service tips:
- Build high quality customer service into the core of your corporate culture
- Work to have customer service and sales questions answered within 15 minutes and no longer than two hours, if possible
- Set the tone that employees on the front line should use out of office autoresponders when they won’t be able to get back to the inquiry within a reasonable amount of time
- Celebrate and store customer praise for great service, put customer testimonials on the wall, and recognize employees who go beyond the call of duty
My recommendation is to deliver great customer service and make it a core of the business.
What else? What other customer service practices should be employed?
3 thoughts on “Customer Service Shouldn’t Be Hard”
Agreed. Customer service seems to be the elephant in the room in every startup. If startups are to rush out less than perfect products (“iterate, iterate, iterate”) there are CERTAINLY going to be customer service issues but investors hate spending money on “overhead”. These “issues” (read: problems) are either an opportunity to build a lengthy relationship with your customer or a compressor and nail gun for your company’s coffin-bound reputation. Only when customer service is embraced as the marketing opportunity it is will a company properly invest in the infrastructure needed to succeed.
Well said Patrick.