Managing customer service issues can be very time consuming, yet it is an extremely important part of running your interior design business.
Without responding to your clients in a timely manner and meeting their needs, your interior design business will not thrive successfully. Just as word of mouth marketing can benefit in a positive manner from happy customers, people also speak their mind when they’re unhappy with their experiences from an interior design business, or from any type of business for that matter.
In fact, according to statistics, 68% of customers leave because they feel poorly treated. (Source: TARP)
The best way to make sure that you offer great customer service to your customers and clients is to make a high priority when you do your interior design business planning. Planning in advance how you will effectively meet and maintain issues will make a real difference in dealing with customer issues in a timely manner as well as assuring that your business continues thriving successfully.
Here are some tips and ideas for managing your customer service:
1. Automate as much as possible.
It’s important to automate everything that you possibly can as long as your quality of service will not be diminished. Autoresponders are most efficient in delivering information automatically. A good shopping cart software can automate the total sales process of delivering digital products that were just purchased and sending the customers receipts. There’s also software that can help you maintain an online support desk where customers can create personal tickets to submit their issues, and is very handy for keeping track of all dialogue between customers and service representatives. You’ll find a few open source software downloads available online for maintaining a help desk: osticket.com and eticketsupport.com are just a couple among many that are available.
2. Communicate effectively.
Many customer complaints are caused by a simple misunderstanding of what they thought they would receive. When you communicate effectively and represent your products and services clearly you can avoid many misunderstandings. Express exactly what they will receive in detail and be honest about what they will NOT receive if you’ve had other past issues of wrong assumptions. If there are many customers who feel shortchanged because other interior design businesses have included a service that your company does not, consider pleasing your customers by implementing the additional service.
3. Create an FAQ page.
An FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is your friend indeed and can save you hours of personally responding to customers’ questions. Many online users are accustomed to consulting with a business’s FAQ page, relieving them the time of having to write an inquiry email. For this reason it benefits both parties. As you take note of common questions that you are receiving from customers, add them to your FAQ page to continue optimizing the benefits of your page.
4. Hire a customer service representative.
If your interior design business has been growing quickly, you may soon need to hire someone who can quickly respond to customers’ questions and complaints. The faster you deal with customer service issues, the happier your customers will be and will remain as loyal customers. Keep track of your response rate and the rate of which you are able to deal with issues so that you can easily evaluate when more workers are needed for hiring.
As you seek to continually improve any weak areas of your business, your customer service issues will also be reduced and kept at a minimum. By keeping your customers a top priority and keeping a good attitude while dealing with them, they’ll more than likely be more patient because they know that they can trust your business in taking care of their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.
5. Invite feedback.
Listen carefully to complaints and deal with them quickly to cut down on future problems. Use customers’ complaints for the benefit of evaluating your products and services.
Customer feedback can help you improve any areas that need improvement and can supply you with new ideas of adding additional products and services. Caring about your customers’ concerns is the backbone of keeping a business running successfully.
Staying in touch with your clients to build relationships is absolutely vital today. Do you send out a monthly or weekly email newsletter? If not, you should be! Email newsletters can go a long way to keeping in front of clients on a regular basis. Do you need help coming up with great content and articles? Check out our Ezine Article Packages for Interior Designers and start getting more clients knocking on your door!