Here are some of the most important things that customers want from you. Fulfill these needs and you will be well on your way to creating “raving fans”.
1. Customers want you to be quick!
Customers want their products and services yesterday, not tomorrow or 3-4 days down the road. In today’s fast paced world, if you take more than 24 hours to respond to a request from a client, there is a very likely chance that he/she will find someone else to take your place. Be quick and be energetic, or you will fall behind in a flash.
2. Customers want you to be very available.
Customers are tired of automated message machines or the words “Press 1 for Bob Smith, press 2 for customer service, press 3 if you speak Spanish…press 4 if you want to hire another company!” There is very little excuse for not being available. Provide your customers with your business phone, mobile phone, e-mail address, social media contacts and your physical mailing address. Your customers want to know that they can reach you when there is a problem or a concern with their product or service.
3. Customers want a friendly voice and a warm smile.
The first rule of customer service when you meet any person or when you answer the phone is to grin from ear to ear. If you are not smiling, this will come across over the phone and will definitely be seen and noticed in public, so get busy being happy when you are out and about and when you are engaging in a phone conversation.
4. Customers would rather you under-promise and over-deliver.
Customers never forget a mistake or your delaying their product or service. If you promise something for delivery on Friday, and you deliver it the next Tuesday, they will tell the world about you…in reverse referral. They will tell everybody they know that you were late, and there won’t be one thing you can do to reverse the negative publicity around your delay. Do not make promises that you cannot fulfill. Let the customer know that you will get them their product or service beyond the time that you know you can actually make it happen. When they receive it early, they will be pleasantly surprised, and will tell the world how wonderful and quick you are!
5. Customers want you to help them…they don’t want to be sold.
Customers do not like pushy people. Your job is to continue to add value to the lives of your clients without pushing a new product, service, or extra fee on them before they are ready. The bottom line: Don’t be a pushy pest! It will drive folks away.
6. Customers want to hear you say “Yes, I can do that.”
Customers don’t want to hear dumb excuses. Clients of today are smart and savvy, and when they call for help, the last thing they want to hear is:
“That’s not my job.”
“I can’t answer that, because I don’t know the answer.”
“Can I put you on hold?”
“My policy does not allow for that.”
“I’m sorry…that is the best I can do. I am only human.”
And the frustration begins to build.
Customers don’t want to hear your problems. They want their problems fixed. There is always some sort of solution, even if you cannot fix the problem! You will win points forever with comments like:
“You are absolutely right. I will get the answer to your problem by the end of the day.”
“I thank you for your concerns. I am going to incorporate your idea as a way so that it works for us all.”
“This is Sally Jones. How may I help you today?”
“I do not provide that service, but I have 15 people on my team who do work with that. May I refer you to one of these men or women?”
7. Customers want to know that you are highly trained and skilled.
Are you continuing your training? Are you working with a coach? If not, your customers will know it in a heartbeat. Your clients want to know that you are on the cutting edge and that you are constantly devoted to the highest level of learning and training made available. To begin with, incorporate training monthly, then let your clients know what you are learning. You can show your clients how you continue your training through announcements in your newsletter, e-mails about your schedule, and through blogging.
8. Customers want you to drop the “nit picking.”
If you are charging nickels and dimes for added extras such as an additional ten minutes on the phone or for each document you send a client, you will be viewed as “cheap,” and this will leave a bad taste in the mouths of your clients. Remember…these nickel and dime expenses can add value to the lives of your clients and will create walking billboards for your business.
9. Customers want to hear the magic words “Thank-you.”
This is music to a client’s ears. Say it with sincerity, and say it often. Your clients are allowing you to operate your business and to earn money doing it, so thank them again and again for what they add to your life.
About the Author
Alicia Smith is a professional Coach and Trainer. © Copyright by Alicia Smith.