Customer service is forever evolving. Current processes are constantly being improved, and the recent pandemic changed the way many businesses operate.
Curbside pick-up isn’t a new idea, but it has certainly increased in popularity. This is because it provides a safe, contact-free collection system.
Even as we move towards normality, it’s unlikely we’ll see an end to this collection operation.
Due to its convenience, it has been improving the customer service performance of many organizations. It would be foolish to discontinue something so beneficial.
It would be smart, in fact, to add this collection option to your services. It could boost your sales figures and increase your website traffic. What’s not to love about that?
So, here are seven useful tips to help you implement and improve your curbside pick-up operation.
1. Improve your communications system
Communication is key in all business areas. However, it’s especially important when it comes to curbside pick-up, as this process requires action from the customer.
Your customers must be aware of their order status as it’s crucial that they know when to collect their items.
But what’s the best way to notify your customers?
Email is fine. But there’s always the possibility of your email updates being filtered in junk folders or deleted altogether. Jazz up these emails to ensure they stand out and are noticed.
It’s also a good idea to add more methods to your notification procedures. SMS is a good addition.
83% of the time, texts are read within 30 minutes of the recipient receiving them. It would seem silly not to take full advantage of this and ensure that your order updates are acknowledged almost instantly.
2. Learn from your mistakes
In an ideal world, we would all get everything right the first time around. But that’s just not realistic.
Everyone makes mistakes. And when it comes to new operations like curbside pick-up, most organizations learn through trial and error.
Try not to sulk when you hit a roadblock. If you accidentally overbook collections and end up with five customers waiting 30 minutes, don’t stress. Sure, there may be some unhappy faces. But, if you take note of what went wrong, you can make changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Customers will appreciate you owning your mistakes and vowing to do better in the future.
Perfection may not be attainable, but you should never stop striving for it.
This may seem obvious. After all, how can you expect your customers to opt for curbside pick-up if they’re not aware it’s even an option?
Announce your company’s decision to add curbside pick-up to your services and confirm to customers why this is a suitable option.
Remind them in your marketing campaigns. Have plenty of information on your website, especially on the checkout page. This could convince a worried customer to finally place their order with the reassurance that they won’t have to enter a crowded store.
Include information on the curbside pick-up on your usual social media posts. Keep on top of your warehouse reports to ensure your inventory is up to date and advertise the items you have in stock. This will encourage your audience to visit your website if they see something they like.
Most importantly, make your audience aware that you’re introducing this for them. They want to know that they are valued, and they will appreciate your efforts to protect their health and safety.
4. Support your staff
It’s all fine and well focusing on your customers, but you can’t forget about your staff. They’re crucial to keeping your business afloat, so you need to show them some support and appreciation.
Ensure all members of staff are fully aware of the new curbside pick-up option. Offer training to make sure every employee completely understands each stage of the process and feels comfortable with it.
Try to encourage a friendly, supportive environment in which your employees can thrive. You should do everything you can to create a connected workforce that supports each other.
5. Make it easy for your customers
Ok, you’ve made your customers aware of the new collection option and orders have been placed. But there’s one problem. They don’t know where to go to collect their items.
Do they come to the front of your store? Do you have a dedicated warehouse for collections? Are customers allowed to exit their vehicles?
Customers need to know all this information. Be sure to inform them at the beginning of the ordering process and remind them at each stage throughout.
Take advantage of current technology to do this. There is a developing link between AI and customer service, so there are plenty of options to choose from.
You need to make it easy for your customers or they may give up and cancel their order.
6. Have structure
There are a few situations in life that can be breezed through with minimal preparation. But this is not one of those situations.
Plan everything, down to the very last detail. Divide the entire process into clear, simple stages and ensure everyone (customers and staff) is aware.
Who is going to package the order? How many collections can you fulfil at one time? Will you have a dedicated admin team to communicate with customers?
And don’t forget the small tasks. The mundane jobs of completing a bank reconciliation checklist or creating timesheets still need your attention.
Meticulously plan everything and be organized. You don’t want to be caught out by any surprises.
7. Follow up with the customer
The work isn’t over when the customer drives away. You need to continue to provide a first-class experience to make sure they return.
Follow up with the customer by sending an email, or text, asking how they found their experience with your company. Ask them to rate your service or leave a review. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on what they thought worked and what could be improved.
This is the only way you can develop and grow as a business. And people will like that you value their opinion.
Give it a go
This is not a foolproof guide to guaranteed success, but it will surely help you. Try these seven tips and find out what works best for you and your brand.
Remember, everyone is different, so it may take a few tries to get it right. Just be patient and keep in mind that there’s no one way to provide good customer service.
Learn what works for your company and run with that.