When it comes to customer love, it’s got everything to do with it. It seems these days as corporations get bigger and competition is wiped out by acquisitions, serving the customer is becoming viewed more as a company expense than it is a necessary and vital part of doing business. Pushing a zillion buttons in an attempt to reach a human, or yelling “HELP” at the phone as it navigates you through a series of options while the computer automated system attempts to solve your problem is not a good example of serving the customer. These systems were created to streamline customer service and minimize the actual interactions between humans. But what they have really created is a series of frustrated customers who just want things to be simpler.
Isn’t it so refreshing to do business with a company who goes out of their way to serve you? Over the top customer service is one of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy. Having a great, unique product or offering a much-needed service is one thing. But making your customer’s experience doing business with you incredible will outshine whatever it is you actually sell them. Consumers and businesses have unlimited options when it comes to making buying decisions. Your business is just one mouse click away from your competition.
What is it that will help them choose you and keep them coming back again and again? Stellar customer service. An experience that makes their life easier and makes them feel good will create loyalty and in turn, more business for you. Providing a memorable customer experience is not as hard as it might sound. Here are a few simple ways to improve your customer service and create a loyal client base.
Seems obvious, right? Well amazingly, I’ve had my fair share of experiences where the person who is supposed to helping me and trying to get my business just isn’t nice. We all have our bad days and understandably we can’t be “on” all the time, but being nice goes a long way. When I am in the market to buy something, I’ll buy it from the nice person over the grumpy person any day.
Whether you are selling in person or over the phone, smile when you talk to your customers. It’s amazing how it will improve your mood and help keep your tone positive. Plus it just feels good.
This is so important. Listen to your customer’s needs and concerns. If something went wrong, let them tell you their experience without interrupting. Sometimes all they want is for someone to listen to them. They might not be 100% right, but if they are able to vent and have someone legitimately listen, oftentimes resolution is that much easier to find.
This goes along with listening. Don’t make assumptions about what someone wants. Listen to what they are asking for and respond accordingly. You may have expectations or procedures for how situations should be handled, but in the end each situation should be handled unique to the customer’s needs.
Even if it’s not part of your job description. Make your customer feel like they are the most important thing in that moment. Do whatever you can do to help them. If you truly aren’t able to help them, try to steer them in the right direction…even if that means sending them somewhere else. They will appreciate your help and the next time they need something that you can provide them, chances are they will remember you.
It’s hard to find common ground with an automated message system. But it’s easy to do when you are standing face to face with a person or talking with them on the phone. Finding out a little bit about their interests or asking where they are calling from can help you get a little more personal with someone and makes the sales experience more enjoyable for both of you.
Understand the need
When working with a customer, make sure that you fully understand what they are asking for or needing. Repeat back to them what you heard and get agreement from them before moving forward with solutions or ideas for them.
Empower your people
Allow your customer service staff to be empowered to make decisions to resolve issues or to negotiate a sale. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get something resolved and hearing that the person you are speaking with doesn’t have the authority to make anything happen. Give your employees the ability to make sound decisions that are in the best interest of both the company and the client Swift resolution is often the best course. Getting passed up the chain of command is just down right annoying. Let me tell my story yet another time, as I get angrier about the situation. That’s called stoking the fire.
Taking a few steps to improve your customer service level will do wonders for your business. After all, your business isn't much if you have no one to sell to. Your customers are the life blood of your business. Treat them with the respect and appreciation that they deserve and it will benefit you in the end