We’re sure you already know this about us, but here at Help Scout we make customer service our #1 priority.

It’s easy to say “you can’t win ‘em all,” and resign yourself to the mentality that dissatisfied customers are just part of running a business. We don’t subscribe to that mentality, so we’re putting it out there … we think you CAN win them all.

We’re #2

When I was a kid we used to eat at a restaurant called Uncle Bud’s. I remember that all of the servers wore huge buttons that said “I’m #2.” Naturally, the first time I saw the button I fell right into the trap and said, “Who’s #1?” The server lunged upon the opportunity to say what she’d practiced in training—“YOU ARE!”

Yes, it’s cheesy, but it’s also effective. It made me laugh, I felt important, and as marketing campaigns go, it’s definitely worth noting that I well remember this clever tactic almost 20 years later. So our simple, steadfast advice to all of our friends in the customer service industry is to remember the customer is #1.

Make them feel like #1

You can tell your customers they’re #1 all day long, but unless you back the statement up with top-notch customer service, they won’t buy it. Below are a few tips you can use to impress upon customers how important they are to your business:

  • Be cheerful (and sincere) in your interactions. A good customer service experience can make someone’s day, so make it your goal to always greet customers with a smile and a helpful attitude. If you’re communicating with a customer online, put a little pep in your email. For example, use language such as “Good morning! We’re really looking forward to…” By ‘pep’ we do not mean communicating in all capital letters, emoticons, or a multitude of exclamation points.
  • Follow up.  After a job interview you would likely touch base with the interviewer the next day to offer thanks and exhibit your enthusiasm. Transfer that idea to customers as well. However, take care to not be a nuisance with multiple emails or calls. A single brief email to offer thanks for their business and ensure your customer is happy with their new purchase will do the trick.
  • Be available. If a customer tries to contact you via email or phone, make an earnest attempt to respond as soon as possible; at the maximum, respond within 24 hours. This self-imposed standard is particularly important to small businesses, where customers are relying upon expectations of personalized service.