When was the last time you had a not-so-good experience with a product or service? Did the product or service fail to live up to its billing? Or did your company fail to answer the phone calls or emails of concerned customers? Maybe you gave an unpleasant ‘run-around’ when a problem was reported or concerns were raised by a customer?
Any or all of the issues above revolve around only one thing – bad customer service! And it is the number one reason customers will continue to leave to patronize other brands. But how can you provide excellent customer service? How can you show them you care?
Know Your Product or Service
In order to ensure quality customer service, you need to know the products you sell, inside out. Ensure you – and all of your customer service representatives – have good knowledge of how your products and services work. Be well acquainted with the common questions customers ask and develop strategies to articulate your answers and solutions to ensure they are satisfied.
Know Your Customers
Knowing your customer is just as important as knowing the product or service you offer. Customers love the personalization and some companies do this really well; by recognizing with them – taking note of their names and previous conversations – they can better identify with your brand. If necessary, make a note of what you discuss with your customers so you can do an effective follow up the next time you meet.
Respond as Quickly as Possible
Speed is one of the biggest factors that determine the quality of an organization’s customer service, especially when a customer makes a time-sensitive request. Being put on hold is one of the biggest frustrations for today’s customer. An ideal example of this is when the Lexus ES 350 series was recalled due to steering issues. Rather than asking customers to sit in a waiting room and wait for their cars to be fixed, Lexus gave them brand new replacements instead.
Listening is a simple yet effective customer service strategy. Listening means you pay attention to what your customers say, whether the communication is verbal or non-verbal. Watch out for any indicators that show they are unsatisfied, and ensure you listen to what they tell you directly.
Fix Your Mistakes
Accepting responsibility is a great way to build a good reputation. Transparency is key to the success of any business, and customer service is no different. Always work to deliver high-quality output as this serves as an indicator that you uphold a high level of standards. At times, however, you may not be responsible for the resulting hitches, but taking responsibility instills confidence and belief in your customer.
For instance, an Amazon customer ordered for a new PlayStation to be delivered for his son ahead of Christmas. When his order arrived, the customer was not available and had a neighbor receive and sign for the package. But the package was left outside the client’s apartment, and soon disappeared. While this was not faulted of the e-commerce giant, they quickly resolved the problem why delivering a new PlayStation, without any extra shipping charges – and this was achieved just in time for Christmas.
Go the Extra Mile
The goal is to keep your customer happy, even if this means going the extra mile. This will not only result in a happy and indebted customer but will go a long way to position yourself for more business in the future.
Ask for Feedback
Do not underestimate how much more you can learn about your customer and their needs – and how this can lead to an improved product or service delivery. You can use questionnaires, feedback forms, and customer surveys to reach out to your customers and ask what they think or your business. You can also make it a practice to request first-hand feedback from customers as they complete their orders.
Use the Feedback
The feedback you receive will be worthless if you do not put it to good use. Take time to review your feedback on a regular basis, identify areas of improvement, and effect the necessary changes in your business.
Customer service plays a big role in the success of any business today. Providing good customer service often comes down to how consistent your organization is in checking with your customers to ensure they are happy with not only your products and services, but the processes involved in placing an order, making a purchase, and working with you. Your organization is in business because of the customer. If you successfully show that you value them, you are on your way to providing quality customer service – and position yourself for future business.
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