Great customer service is the lifeblood of any business. A company’s most vital asset is its customers and without them, we would not exist in business. It is an integral part of our job and should be seen as an extension of it. A satisfied customer would not and could not only help us grow by continuing to do business with you, but would recommend you to friends, associates and other businesses.
Good customer service is bringing customers back and sending them away happy. Happy enough to pass on positive feedback about your business to others, who may be willing to try the product or service you are offering and in turn become repeat customers.
There are multiple facets to great customer service as listed below:
- The customer is the boss. You are in business to service customer needs. To accomplish this, you need to know what your customer wants and understand the needs of the customer. When you truly listen to your customers, you can satisfy their needs and requirements by providing the level of service and expectation they deserve.
- Be a good listener. By taking the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is saying. Listen to the words, body language, the tone of their voice, facial expressions, and how they feel. Basic rule of thumb is to identify and know three things that are most important to your customers. Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important factors when identifying customer needs.
- Identify and anticipate needs. Be proactive rather than reactive to your customers by communicating regularly so that you are aware of any problems or upcoming needs. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The better you know them, the better you become at anticipating their needs.
- Always treat your customers with professional courtesy and make them feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and initiate ways to compliment them in a sincere manner. Most people value sincerity and integrity, so always be truthful and honest with your customer. It creates a great feeling and a bond of trust for both of you. Thank them every time you have an opportunity.
- Ensure customers are aware of your systems and policies. An organization can have the best systems implemented, but if customers don’t understand them, it can create confusion, impatience and allow the customer to be angry. Take the time to explain the process and policies within your organization to simplify transactions.
- The power of “yes” is always a way to find ways to satisfy your customers. Always ensure you are forthright when they make a request, and tell them you can do it within reason. Figure out how afterwards, but do not lie or make promises you cannot honor. Always do what you say are going to do.
- Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, take responsibility and be accountable by apologizing and initiating a resolution. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you are going to do and what has been done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints and respect how they feel. As much as we dislike complaints, it is an opportunity to improve. Even if a customer is having a bad day, make it a point to make them feel comfortable that you care.
- Always give more than expected. All companies infrastructure lie in ensuring customer satisfaction. With that said, it is imperative to think of ways to elevate your company and yourself above the competition. Consider the following:
What can you offer customers where they cannot acquire elsewhere?
What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy?
What can you offer customers that are totally unexpected?
- Obtain regular feedback. Encourage and welcome any suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways in which you can find out what customers think about the level of services and products you offer.
Listen carefully to what your customers are saying
Follow-up and check back regularly to see how things are going and if they need anything
Provide a method that would invite constructive criticism, comments, or suggestions
If you apply these simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. The best part of this, the irony of good customer service is that over time it will bring in more new customers than any promotion or price slashing ever did. The one secret to remember is this, “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”