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Great Customer Service

The key to good customer service is building good relationships with your customers. Thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more and refer you.

Excellent customer service involves meeting and surpassing expectations. It means showing the customer how important he or she is to you and the business by interacting with he or she in a friendly- helpful and positive way.  Ultimately providing a solution to your client, that helps them.

To do this you need take an active interest in their life, work, hopes and dreams. You need to understand how they think about things and make decisions.

The more you understand and get to know your clients the more you can see matters from their point of view, which in turn helps you do your very best work for them.

Exceeding customers’ expectations i.e. under promising and over delivering, is beneficial for businesses as it often results in repeat sales and free advertising through word of mouth.

And the best form of advertising is a customer referring you – there is no greater praise, as people like to work with business and individuals that have been recommended to them, who they know, like and trust.

How can you do this – processes what you do – provide an accurate, consistent level of service.

Remember it is more cost effective to retain a customer than get a new one – so why not look after your customers so they stay with you .

8 Rules For Good Customer Service:

Answer Your Phone

The first rule of good customer service is that your business phone needs to be answered. Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say “someone”. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a fake “recorded robot”.)  

First impressions count – when your phone is answered it may be the first impression a prospective client has of you and your business – so make it matches what you want to portray.

Don’t Make Promises Unless You Will Keep Them

This may well be the most important of all of these eight rules for good customer service. Not plan to keep the promises you make. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship and good customer service is no exception. If you say to a customer, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc. Think before you give any promise and make them carefully – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken promise.

Having a great process in place can help to ensure you do keep your promises and consistently every time.

Listen to Your Customers

Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again?

If you’re truly interested in providing the best customer service, let your customer talk and show them you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as summarising what the customer has said, asking questions and suggesting how to solve the problem.

Deal With Complaints

No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the compliant your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time – and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service. Properly dealt with, complaints can become opportunities. They give you the chance to discover issues and correct them, thereby improving your customer service not just to that person but all your clients. Market research has found that customers who have complained about a product or service and had that complaint successfully dealt with are 70% likely to order again. 

Be Helpful—Regardless of Profit

We are of course all in business to make money – but sometimes its about the long road.  Sometimes you may have to do something to help a client, to show that you care (and not just in it for the money), what you do may not bring in money on that occasion, but will ultimately bring more in the future as that customer – who will be grateful for your help will recommend you to others.   A loss leader to more profit in the future. Keep your eye on the customer, not on the profit.

Train Your Team

If you have staff, train them to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.  Do it yourself or hire someone to train them.

If you are the sales man – you will sell everything amazing your firm can do – make sure your team can keep up that momentum.  Talk to your staff about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Ensuring positive staff-customer interactions. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at…“

And have your teams back if they do something that was to help a client and not necessarily on this occasion bring in profit – show your support and understanding to their decision – they did it for a reason and it was probably human instinct to be helpful.

Take the Extra Step

For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3”. Add the extra step; say, “Let me show you” and lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to  provide good customer service take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people. And that good word of mouth will win you more customers.

Throw In Something Extra

Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. A local art framer attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated. Think about your product or service and find something extra that you can offer to customers. 

Good Customer Service Pays Big Dividends

If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? Over time good customer service will bring in more new clients than promotions and price slashing ever did!

Value Added Services

Adding Value – Think about how you can add value to your clients without adding a lot of extra cost to you?

In sales situations where it’s difficult to differentiate your solution from your competitors, you often win by offering your buyer extra services, or Value-Added Benefits. These are extra services over and above what you provide with your primary product/service. Adding value to your products/services is important as it provides consumers with an incentive to make a purchase, thus increasing a company’s revenue.

Database To Help With Customer Service

Database Systems are important as they provide information related to your customer profiles and purchasing history. Databases help to make your business stronger, raising your ability to increase your profits by having information easily to hand. Even just knowing their birthday so you can wish them well is a great customer service tool!

Finally….Be passionate about what you do!

When someone is truly happy about what they are doing – it shines through.

Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, happiness, excitement & anticipation. Passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything you set your mind to & experiencing work & life the fullest extent possible.

When you are passionate about what you do and how you want to help your client, they will know it stems from caring deeply about what they do and being personally invested in & motivated by a mission to achieve their goal.

Author

victoria sharp

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