Have you ever dreamt of developing a company? It can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have little experience establishing your own business. However, with my help you’ll be running a Michelin 3-star operation in no time.
All you’ll need to start is 500 dollars. That’s it. Don’t believe me? Just listen to my story. I began my business, FitFoodFresh, from nothing. I didn’t have a single penny, yet now I have Florida’s best rated meal plan company in my name. I had no experience and no funding. If I was able to jumpstart my venture, then certainly you can as well.
I’m not saying this will be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever comes without some heavy lifting on your part. But what I can promise is that you will have fun, and you will succeed if you subscribe to my channel and my fundamentals.
So let’s jump right in. Raise your hand if you like interacting with difficult people...Okay, so I can’t actually see if you raised your hand, but chances are you’re shaking your head. No one likes having to deal with a rude customer. However, good customer service is a huge aspect of running a successful business.
In the beginning, the quality of any given customer’s experience starts with you. You are the customer service. If you receive a bad review, that’s on you. Luckily, you get all the credit for the positive reviews as well.
So let’s take a look at the basics: the foundation for any high quality experience is some high quality software. This will help to automate your services. Keep in mind, “high quality” does not necessarily have to mean “expensive,” especially when you’re first starting out. You simply need a database to store all of your customers’ information. This is crucial. To appear responsible, you need to operate responsibly. Keeping track of orders, addresses, phone numbers, and other information you receive will be made a whole lot easier if you have software with which to do so. In any business, this is integral. Personally, I would recommend either Insightly (which offers three FREE log-ins utilizing a simple program, as well as a paid, more customizable program) or HubSpot, which is the software we are currently using (which includes a FREE version as well as tiered programs you can pay for).
On a more personal note, let’s discuss how you might deal with a customer who has had a negative experience. How will you interact with them? I wouldn’t suggest you yell and scream and have a fit. Remember, you are the professional in this situation. Act like it.
One of the ways I keep my “I’m the professional” hat on is by seeing every complaint as an opportunity. “All press is good press,” right? When you make a mistake, you are suddenly on everyone’s radar. How you recover from that mistake will make or break how they perceive you, and by extension, how they perceive your business.
Here are the basics that I teach my team: First, start with an apology. Make it sound genuine. Even if you’re right (which, trust me, we all like to think we’re right), make them feel heard and satisfied with your apology. This will appeal to your customer’s Ego every time. This also gives them a chance to calm down and will diffuse the situation.
Next, be relatable. Not “hey, wanna go out for drinks?” relatable, but be empathetic. Everyone wants someone to take their side sometimes. Hear your customer out, make sure they feel like you’re on the same team.
After that, you have to rebuild the trust that has been broken by you accidentally replacing their muffin with a brownie. Yes, this seems like a small thing. But to a hangry, dieting customer, that muffin was the only thing that was going to save their Monday. Do not make excuses; you’re dealing with the Incredible Hulk here, making excuses will just make him angrier. Instead, talk the Hulk (AKA your customer) down from the muscley, green edge. Take responsibility by using “we” statements. “We messed up, we are so sorry.” Explain the situation in a simple but respectful manner. This proves to your customer that you are knowledgeable enough to realize what went wrong with their request, you know it was your company’s fault, and you will personally make sure it never happens again (or the Queen will chop off your head).
Lastly, you’re going to have to thank your customer. This may seem extreme, but it can be the deciding factor in whether you have an angry Hulk or a peaceful Bruce Banner. Thank them for being patient, for making you aware of your mistake. Your “thank you” should come with a gift of some sort, whether that be a refund or a coupon or some other physical form of apology. Money can change your customer’s mind in two seconds flat.
In conclusion, let’s summarize. This is your time. You can start this business and make your dreams reality. Download some respectable software to keep track of the details. Be the best customer service-er you can be (apologize, empathize, explain, reassure, and thank). And watch your business flourish. Rock on!