Did you know that 90% of Americans use customer service as a  deciding factor in whether or not they continue to do business with your company? The start of a new year is a good time to think about how your current and potential new customers experience your business, AND if they re-order, AND if they refer others to you. Businesses that score  “above average”  on customer experiences perform better financially than their competitors(The Temkin Group)

As you look at  the way you interact with customers, there are some questions to ask yourself as a small business owner:

“How can people reach me if they have a question?”

The more ways a customer can get in touch with you—phone, text, email, Direct Message, OR live chat—makes for better customer service, right? Not necessarily.    Embroidery For You STL has some clients that would not even know what a  direct message or “chat” is.   Others always request a phone call when ordering.

If customers are not sure which channel is the quickest way to get a response, they may (AND do) send the same message via multiple channels.   You may be responding to the same question two or three times.  This wastes your time and can confuse the customer. 

In 2020,  mostly due to the Pandemic,  62% of customers say they want to communicate with companies via email, 48% want to use the phone, 42% live chat and 36% “Contact Us” via a website or social media page.   If you cater to Millennials, they prefer “live chat” over every other communication channel.

 Narrow your social media platforms to those that you know your customers prefer to communicate with.   This will be based on their demographics and lifestyles.

As the business owner, am I (or my staff), “ready, willing and able to help customers in real time?”

Ninety percent of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and 60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less, according to HubSpot Research.

Depending on the size of your business and customer base,  determine if you need to hire a customer service team member whose primary role in your business is to handle questions and urgent concerns.  For the decorated apparel business, the primary  issues that arise  are: “I need to change my shirt sizes / styles” to “My deadline has changed, so I need to move the due date two days earlier” to “I got my proof and I hate how my artwork looks in thread media!”

“Do customers feel like you ‘know’ them when they contact you?

Being on familiar with  orders and knowing the status is a very important component of running an embroidery business   Time is money for you as the business owner as well as for your client.

Are your social media platforms and marketing efforts giving value to your clients?

There’s no doubt that your business needs to have a social media presence to be top of mind for customers. However, your social media channels are another way for customers to interact with you or reach you about an issue. 

While we prefer LIVE customer interaction, at times responding to a client via social media is quicker and less expensive.

For the decorated apparel industry, our Instagram site and business Facebook page  is the best platform to advertise our services.

“How easy does your website make it to find the information the customer wants or needs?”

When browsers land on your site, it should be easy for them to navigate and find the information they need to become serious buyers. Millennial buyers especially gravitate toward:

  • Modern-looking sites that load quickly and function well on their mobile device.   The majority of your customers under 28 will do all their information seeking and shopping via their mobile device.
  • At Embroidery For You STL, we strive to post content that helps to showcase our latest work and to show potential buyers what is popular / trending.   
  • Include client testimonials and success stories about how you’ve helped others.   Show the “why” they should work with you. Reviews are very important, especially if there is a good amount of competition in your area or line of business. 

It is important to make your customer’s experience a priority.  Remember, happy customers share their positive experiences in reviews and with their friends and family.