One of the most important things that can set you apart from your competition is giving better service on the telephone.
Better service means that you have a genuine customer-friendly attitude. You view your customers as the most important part of your job, and you sincerely respect them and appreciate their choosing to do business with you.
A customer-friendly attitude means that communicating and establishing customer relationships are really the essence of your job. You can make a customer a friend or an enemy for life in just a few minutes. Every moment of customer contact is vitally important.
One of the most important part of customer service is your telephone response. When a customer calls your company on the phone and the telephone rings ten times before someone picks it up, your company has already made a bad impression before any business was transacted.
These contacts are simple and quick, and they are moments of truth for the customer.
Interactions by telephone are opportunities to create positive impressions and they include the following:
1. Answer the phone with a greeting before identifying yourself or your company. Start the contact the right way and create a good first impression.
2. Be aware of your facial expression when a customer approaches you. Always smile to give customers the impression that you are delighted to see and to help them when they approach you.
3. Never take a customer complaint personally. Rather, think of a complaint as an opportunity to get valuable feedback from your customers and improve your relationship with them.
4. Always offer options if you cannot give customers exactly what they want. Customers can accept a “no” if it is softened by alternative recommendations.
5. Never transfer a customer to another extension until you are sure that the other person is available and will give full assistance to the customer. Always stay on the line until you are certain that the customer’s needs are being handled and questions are being answered.
Customers love the companies that treat them the way they like to be treated every time they have contact with the company. Customers will choose these companies over competitors even if they have to pay more to obtain their products or services.
Be sure that every employee that has customer contact is well-trained in the best ways to provide excellent customer service.
About the Author
Jo Ann Joy is the CEO and owner of Indigo Business Solutions, a legal and business consulting firm. Indigo Business Solutions is a “one stop shop” for small businesses and can offer most of the professional services that a business requires. They work with clients to develop strategies that create value and competitive advantage.