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5 Simple Tips to Level Up on Customer Service

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

I was talking to a department head and staff recently during my run for Mayor (yup! I'll give you the entire rundown about that later, but I ran for Mayor of my hometown because as small business owners - especially of nontraditional businesses - we must get out of our comfort zones to ensure that taxation and city ordinances remain inviting for small business to thrive. You will see solutions others cannot see and you will understand if and how “theoretical” policies work practically. )

Trickle-down is not trickling. That time is over when we thought the "powers that be" would do the right thing for all of us. “Small businesses across the country are facing an existential threat. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 48% of American jobs and 43.5% of GDP. Yet while these smaller firms are an essential part of the U.S. economy, they’re often financially fragile, with little cash on hand or resources to buffer even a minor financial shock,” according to the Harvard Business Review.

But I was sharing with them that their reputation sucks, quite frankly. And when he asked what I would do differently, I told him I’ve never held a public office, but the city is a business. And in our business, Jesse and I are hands-on with two things intently: product and customer service.

I believe that's true for most businesses. Think of customer service as the way you take care of the people who buy your stuff or use your services. When you give great customer service, it makes your business stand out. It builds trust and confidence. People will remember how well you treated them and choose your business over others. Plus, it helps you build a loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more. So, if you’re ready to rock the customer service game, here are 5 free and simple tips to help you get started:

customer at Tacos Olé Food Truck window
Tacos Olé Food Truck in service

Tip #1: Call customers by name

You know how it feels when someone remembers your name, right? Well, it's the same for your customers! Take a look at their card or check to get their name correct. And hey, if you've got a team member with an incredible memory, put them in the spotlight! Let them work at the front of the house and show off their natural talents. Of course, make sure everyone on your team shines in their own unique way. And remember, training is super important, so show your employees exactly how you want them to do their job. Don't assume they know it all already. That means, you’ve gotta be the example. Trust me, I need to remind myself of this too! We’re blessed to have had delightful team members at the register over time, but none can touch Mr. C! His welcoming demeanor was built just for this.

Tip #2: Handwrite thank you cards

Now, this tip might seem a little old-school, but trust me, it works like magic! Take a few moments to write a personalized thank you card for your customers. After every catering, I send two things: a handwritten note and a link to review us on our Google Profile. The handwritten note shows them that you deeply appreciate their business. Plus, it adds an individualized touch that goes a long way in making them feel special. It’s the little things that make customers aware.

Tip #3: Refer your competitor

Wait, what? Did I just say, "refer your competitor"? Yup, you heard me right! Sometimes, we can't always accommodate every customer's request, especially when we're super busy. In those cases, instead of leaving the customer hanging, why not refer them to a competitor who can help? It's a win-win situation. Help the customer out. They’ll remember the gesture. Your customer gets the help they need, and both you and your competitor earn goodwill. Pretty cool, huh?

Tip #4: Leave the space better than you found it

Now, this tip is especially important if you provide a service at your customer's home. When you're done, make sure to clean up after yourself. No food crumbs, no footprints, no trash left behind. Leave the place even better than you found it! Trust me, some people out there can be pretty sloppy, but you're better than that. Your job isn't finished until everything is complete and spotless. Remember, your goal is to make the entire experience pleasant from start to finish. You want to take it up a notch and make it even more amazing!

Tip #5: Add Value

Listen up, folks! Your income and success depend on how much value you bring to the table. And I'm not just talking about meeting expectations; I'm talking about blowing them out of the water! Great customer service is all about going that extra mile to make your customers feel valued and special. It's about genuinely caring for their needs and making sure they walk away with a huge smile on their face. So, let's make it our mission to add value wherever we go!

There you have it. Five simple tips to level up your customer service game. So, let's rock the world with amazing customer experiences!


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