Setting customer service policies can be one of the most daunting tasks a small business faces when starting up, but it’s one of the most critical. We all know that exceptional customer service is what keeps a customer returning time after time, but how do you provide it without compromising your bottom line? With a documented, thorough customer service policy!
It’s likely that you have a ton of other projects on your plate, but taking the time to set up customer service policies can help you in the long run: it sets the bar for employees who provide the customer experience and lets customers know what to expect for issues like returns or damaged products.
We’re sharing some tips on how to come up with customer service policies.
Think About your Customers
Above all else, your customer service policy should keep your customers and their happiness in mind. Consider implementing policies such as having your employees greet every customer that enters the store with a hello and “how can I help you?” Think about the customer service and shopping experience your customers will want to have every time they step into your store. Do the products you sell require a sales associate to walk customers through the buying process, or can customers browse items themselves? Customize your customer service policies to reflect the products you sell.
Create Basic Policies – and Post Them!
Every store needs to have the basics covered: a return policy, damaged goods policy, warranties and more. Take some time to jot down any and all issues you think customers may return to your store with. Then, write down how you are prepared to fix the issues. This will form a loose base for your standard policies. Refine those into an easy-to-read document and you’ll have your standard store policies. Make sure that you post these at a register or print them on the receipt for customers to see, and that they are one of the first things new employees are trained on.
Create a System to Document Issues and Complaints
Creating a system to document issues and customer complaints is extremely important for a variety of reasons: it can help support you if any issues turn into legal problems, can keep you aware of any problems that may occur when you’re not present and keeps a running log of these issues that you can review for trends or themes.
The system can be as simple as a piece of paper a sales associate fills out documenting the customer complaint, the customer’s contact information, date and time, the steps taken for resolution and if the customer was satisfied or if further action is needed. Encourage employees to provide as much detail as possible.
It’s never too late to revise your policies, and the best way to determine what to revise is to get feedback both from your employees and customers. This can be done in a variety of ways such as a customer satisfaction survey, asking employees for feedback each month and even just asking customers yourself how their experience was when they are actually in the store. Ask open-ended questions that allow customers and employees to voice their concerns and issues. You may also want to review the top three customer service issues each year, and implement policies to address those common problems.
Exceptional customer service is one of the keys to happy customers and a successful business. Taking the time to implement these important policies can set you up for years of success!