What’s the #1 reason you don’t have repeat customers?

Your customer service sucks.

The average person will tell 9-10 people about a great customer service experience. A bad one? They’ll tell TWICE as many people (nearly 20).

Provide shitty service, then word travels fast + your sales drop.

It costs 6-7 times more money to get a new customer versus maintaining loyalty with your current customers (who are worth up to TEN TIMES what they paid for their 1st purchase).

Ready to master the customer service aspect of your business?

This guide will show you how.

Customer Service 101

Customer service is more than questions in an email.

Less than 10% of your lost or dissatisfied customers will actually reach out for help.

In your business, customer service is comprised of EVERY way your customers (potential, current, or former) interact with you: your website, social media, blog posts, webinars, workshops, worksheets, + every single email you send them.

Nearly 90% of customers will abandon a business because of a bad customer service experience.

Think about how many ways someone can experience what you have to offer:

  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (among others)
  • Online Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Website
  • Blog Posts
  • Webinars
  • Post-Webinar Sales Funnel
  • Free Opt-in Gift
  • Welcome Emails
  • Purchase Emails
  • FAQs
  • Support via Email

The list goes on, but that’s at least 14 different way right there. 14 opportunities for customer service success or failure.

80% of businesses think they have mega-awesome customer service, but less than 10% of their customers agree.

You Need a Little K.I.S.S.

Take a breath – that was a lot of intense reality!

While customer service is the make-or-break element of your business, it’s easy to master.

Just K.I.S.S. it = Keep It Simple Silly, in 7 steps:

  1. Use the Golden Rule + Heaps of Patience
  2. Good Over Fast
  3. Keep it Clear + Positive
  4. Pay Attention
  5. Personalize
  6. Sell Time, Not Savings
  7. Welcome Feedback Easily

1 : Use the Golden Rule + Heaps of Patience

More than 20 world religions + spiritual faiths have a version of the Golden Rule.

The basic principle is if you want someone to be nice to you, then you should be nice to them (aka reciprocity).

There will be times where holding fast to the Golden Rule will seem nearly impossible, and that’s where heaps of patience come in.

From curious or chatty to pissed off or overwhelmed, your customers will come in all shapes, sizes, and moods.

Developing patience takes time – seek to offer the same level of service + attention to EVERY customer, no matter their mood. And “kill them with kindness” if the situation calls for it.

2 : Good Over Fast

Since we’re on the subject of classic phrases, how about this one: “15 minutes in paradise is better than 5 minutes in hell.”

If all your business focuses on is the adage “time is money,” then your customers aren’t happy.

When it comes to customer service faster is NOT better.

Customer service has + always will be a quality over quantity situation.

If you can provide high-quality, friendly customer service is an efficient way, that is fantastic.

If you have to choose speed over quality, quality will win your customers’ hearts.

3 : Keep it Clear + Positive

Let’s keep the phrase game going with, “making assumptions makes an ass out of you and me.”

Assuming that your customer understands what you’re saying can lead to uncomfortable situations.

Instead, focus on providing clear, simple answers + solutions. This may sound a bit strange, but I make sure that a 5th grader could understand what I wrote, especially when it comes to solving tech issues.

While using simple explanations, you’ll notice a more positive response from your customers if you use only positive-focused language (there’s that Golden Rule again).

This is a vital tip that I picked up from working customer service for Marie Forleo during the annual B-School rush.

The key is to avoid negative words (i.e. never, can’t, won’t, unable to, don’t), which sound abrupt, impersonal, + insensitive. Instead, using positive words + tone make customers feel understood + taken care of (we all like that!).

Here’s an example:

  • Negative: I can’t answer that question for you, but you should read the FAQs on our site – it covers that.
  • Positive: I’m delighted to help you with that. The FAQs page on our website has a lot of great answers, including this one: [include answer to their question].

4 : Pay Attention

Go ahead, call me Captain Obvious. One of the best ways to provide top-notch customer service it to listen/read attentively … and that includes spilling the beans when you (or someone else) f*cked up.

Imagine you were talking to your grandmother or your best friend – you would give them your undivided attention, no? Do the same with every customer tweet, comment, email, or phone call.

Paying attention also means making a note of any trends you’re seeing from your customers – the same issues, questions, or concerns. They can help you rewrite your FAQs, weed out tech glitches, and create new products your market is eager to buy.

5 : Personalize

I know I’m not your ONLY customer, but I want to feel like your most important customer when I ask for help.

Personalizing your customer service experience (whether via social media, email, or over the phone) takes less work than you might imagine.

The easiest personalization? Use their first name. Yep, it’s that simple. Our brain sends out positive signals when we hear our first name, so use it often.

While we’re on the subject of names, give a little personality to your customer service email address. What do your customers see when you reply to their customer service email? If it’s an email address that starts with “DO-NOT-REPLY”, that needs to end TODAY!

Even if you use a customer service email reply system, you still want your customers to know that there is a live person helping them out + they’re far more than just a “case number” or “support ticket.” (I recommend Help Scout)

6 : Sell Time, Not Savings

The “time is money” phrase is back, with a surprising twist.

Your customers care more about time than money.

Customers appreciate + spend more money with brands that focus on “time well spent”, meaning having good memories is more important than how much money they saved.

On the flip side of that, when the focus is on money, we instantly become more selfish + less interested in others.

Free time matters more to your customers than free money.

7 : Welcome Feedback Easily

Feedback from your customers can shape EVERY aspect of your business, so make it easy for them to share it with you.

At the bottom of every customer service email (in the signature), include a link to a survey or feedback form that they can fill out. Give them the option of including their contact information (not requiring it), saying that if they do provide it, you may follow up for more info (two words: MARKET RESEARCH).

I don’t recommend including a feedback form openly on your website. You want to make sure that the feedback you’re getting is from your actual PAYING customers, not random people who come across your site.

On the flip side, I do recommend having a link to a contact form or your customer service email address on every page (even easier: put a link in the footer on your website).

Make it easy for customers to contact you so they don’t air their dirty laundry on social media.

HOW to Accomplish It All

It can be argued that customer service is THE MOST valuable aspect in your business.

This is not the place to cut corners or “cross the bridge when we come to it.”

Make sure you have at least one team member dedicated to customer service (there are great customer service Virtual Assistants out there!).

What Do You Think?

What’s ONE of the 7 tips you can use to improve your customer service?

COMMENT below + let me know what you think about the 7 K.I.S.S. steps of customer service (+ share this post with your fellow entrepreneurs!)

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