If you want to be able to stand out from the crowd and offer
truly great customer service instead of just empty promises,
here are ten great tips that will help.
There are two ways to fix every problem. The immediate solution
is to take care of the customer, leave him or her happy, and go
on with your day.
However, there's a reason this problem happened. You need to
consider how to prevent it from happening again. Your business
will be more efficient and you'll have happier customers
Treat your customers like human beings. That means treating them
with dignity and not being annoyed at them for interrupting your
day. This also means expecting them to act like responsible
adults. Too many businesses believe that good customer service
means bowing to the whims of every customer with a complaint.
That solves the immediate problem of an angry customer, but
sometimes it's not for the best. Know when there's a real
problem that needs fixing and fix it well, but don't let people
walk all over you.
Go beyond the minimum to make your customers love you. If
there's a real problem, and you can do just a little more to
make a customer's day, he or she is going to remember it. You'll
get a lot more repeat business and word of mouth advertising if
you over deliver.
Don't make excuses. If it's your fault, say so. Don't try to
blame it on the customer, the circumstances, another vendor, or
the position of the moon in the sky. It's amazing what a
difference it can make if you just say "An error has been made,
but I will make it right". Your customer will see you a lot
differently if you don't make excuses.
Don't take it personally! This one's easy to forget because the
customer is directing their frustration at you. However, the
customer is angry about the situation, not angry at you,
specifically. Taking things personally just introduces anger
into the situation and makes it harder
to fix the problem.
Listen to your customers. Don't assume you know what they want.
They may have some good things to say, even if they're not
Think about what you're promising. It's easy to get carried away
and offer more than you can easily deliver. If your business is
racing from one project to the next, you can't offer true
quality of service. Don't let this happen. Always pay close
attention to what you're promising, and don't let a customer
talk you into the impossible.
Allow the customer to feel like a priority. Don't answer the
phone while filling out a spreadsheet - you'll sound distracted.
Spend the few minutes it takes to really pay attention. Your
customers will know the difference and the results will be worth
Get to problems right away. No one wants to deal with
something unpleasant, but if you let a complaint sit, it's not
going to get any better on its own.
Follow up! Call after a problem's been dealt with, or after a
customer has received a particularly big order, to find out how
things went. Don't try to sell anything during this call or
email. Just find out what you need to know and wish your
customer a good day.
About the Author
Bill Hogg is a dynamic, results-oriented speaker on the
importance of a customer-focused culture. Bill understands the
principles, processes and tools that create engaged teams and
customer-focused cultures that improve business performance.
http://www.billhogg.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.