Companies all over the world realize that ensuring good customer service is essential in maintaining and sustaining a winning business advantage in order to remain competitive. Good customer service is what attracts customers to you, and it is essentially what causes them to decide to be lifelong customers. An experience that leaves a poor taste in a customer’s mouth will cause them to look to your competitor instead of sticking it out with you. If you follow these simple strategies, your business will be on the road to success!
Here are the top 10 tips for creating good customer service:
- Listen to What the Customer Says, Every Time: Have you ever talked to a person over the phone that was busy doing something else? You found yourself repeating what you needed, over and over again? You were probably very frustrated and likely came away feeling that what you had to say was unimportant. When a customer feels heard and understood, they are less likely to walk away upset. If you make it a practice and a policy to listen, your customers are more apt to return to you as a result.
- Train Your Employees as Soon as they are Hired & Don’t Delay: Give your employees the best training possible on what you want done and how you want it done. This will ensure your employees are properly representing your business and they will instill confidence in your customers. It will also allow your employees to take ownership of their jobs.
- Provide the Best Quality Product & Service: What is best quality? It is something that is of a superior or high grade. If our products and services stand up to this criteria, the quality will speak for it. Providing the best will allow you to draw repeat business with ease and build trust and dependability with your customers as opposed to fielding constant returns. Isn’t this better than having dissatisfied customers who will choose to walk with their feet rather than telling you they are not satisfied? Did you know that it takes five times the amount of effort to obtain a new customer as it does to get a new one? Why not get it right the first time and nail it with your very best?
- Learn from your Mistakes and Recover Promptly: If you have ever dealt with difficult people, you probably have made some mistakes on how you have handled the situation. Learn from these mishaps and make adjustments for the future to prevent them from happening again and again. As Wayne Cotton, business strategist says, “If you have a problem, make it a procedure and it’s not a problem anymore!” If you plan to recover, or do something about your customer’s dissatisfaction sooner than later, loyalty can increase by 85%! How soon? As soon as possible!
- Knowledge is the Foundation: Know your business inside out. The more you know, the more you can help others quickly and efficiently. I remember once feeling embarrassed, when I was asked where a product was located in the store and I could not answer the customer. I felt horrible! I made sure that the next time this situation arose; I would be able to direct them to the right place. Furthermore, I bet the customer had an ‘average experience’ with my ‘help’ and this can put you and your company at risk if some other business does better! Why not minimize the gap and ensure you are up to speed?
- Treat your Employees Exceptionally Well: Your employees can be your best advertising, and they are also your greatest asset, if you train them well (if not, they can be your greatest liability!). If you treat your employees exceptionally well, loyalty will occur and you will attract more customers because they will see themselves as part of your business, not on the outside.
There was an employee who worked for a training company and she felt involved. Her ideas were listened to, they were used, and she was treated with respect – the top three employee motivators by the way! One day she was in the grocery store conversing with her friend about the company she worked for, and she ended up attracting a person in the check-out line to inquire about the company. This brief encounter finally resulted in the person becoming the company’s largest client…ever!
- Practice the Golden Rule: Treat others, as you would want to be treated! If someone is standing in front of you waiting to be served, or calling up on the phone for some service, do not make them wait. Promptly respond to them, helping them in a manner that you have been trained for. This will show the customer that they are valued and important, and it will keep them coming back because of your exceptional service. Ask, ‘What would this customer want right now’ and ‘ what would I want’? Chances are they might be the same!
- Believe: How do you expect your business to succeed if you do not believe in it? The first sale is to yourself. I recently heard a story of a salesperson who was selling a certain product. However he did not own one himself – he owned the competitor’s product! I suggest he switch jobs. He will sell more of the product he believes in. Invest yourself– your time, effort, heart and money in your offerings. This will show your customers that you are behind your business 100%.
- Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions! Ken Blanchard, customer service guru and author has said this for years. Create a survey in which customers can provide feedback for products (what you offer) and services (the way in which you deliver your products). Be willing to take a risk to find out what your customers believe about your business – whether good or bad! This will help you know if you need to make any changes or keep things just the way they are. Respond to your customer’s feedback in a timely way, showing your customers you value them; the true mark of service.
- It’s not Personal, it’s just Business! If we can remember not to take things personally when dealing with difficult people, it will give us an upper hand. And thereby avoid being defensive and argumentative, and instead, focus on the customer. Remember the customer is not always right, but the customer is king!
Practicing these tips on good customer service consistently, will allow your company to move toward becoming becoming more successful. It will also cause you to become a service leader in your market. As companies try to attain a competitive advantage, remember to have all your staff engaged in these good customer service tips. Because, at the end of the day, it is great customer service that will create customer loyalty for your business for years to come!