Providing excellence in customer service is a key factor among successful businesses that retain clients and get customers coming back again and again.
Good customer service often is also the differentiation that encourages your clients to choose your business over the rest.
Principally good customer service is fairly simple in principle. But many businesses fail to incorporate actions into their customer relationships that will lead to business success.
Here are five tips to provide excellent customer service and become known for being a business that cares about customers and their satisfaction.
- Provide Lines of Communication
Part of outstanding customer service is being accessible, in all of the ways your customers may want to communicate with you. This is important whether you run a physical brick-and-mortar store or an online business.
At a minimum you should provide a telephone number, email address and mailing address that are regularly monitored.
- Respond Promptly and Thoroughly
Ensure you and your staff is responsive to questions, comments, feedback and complaints. One of the easiest ways to fail at customer service is by ignoring customer requests or waiting too long to resolve problems.
Whether the feedback you receive is positive or negative, work out a standard response process that addresses every customer individually in a timely manner.
A good rule of thumb is to provide of response within two business days, even if it is a statement telling the customer that you have received their request and will be back in touch with more information soon.
- Walk In Your Customer’s Shoes
Understand when receiving a complaint, the customer always thinks he or she is right. If you understand this and try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you are better positioned to listen and hear what an angry or disappointed customer is really saying without automatically becoming defensive. Once you get to the heart of the problem, and find out what went wrong you can work with the customer to devise an acceptable resolution.
- Welcome Feedback from your Customers
It’s vitally important to find out what your customers think of your products and services, accept suggestions how they think you can improve, and whether or not they would recommend your business to others. The key is to use any feedback you receive to improve your business, enhance your customers’ experience, and minimize the potential for future dissatisfaction.
Most importantly; always thank your customers for providing their input. Share the results to your staff or team so everyone has the same information and is involved in identifying areas of improvement.
- Focus on the Relationship, Not the Sale
Every business’s goal is to generate impressive sales, but you can’t do that without your customers. It is important to focus in your day-to-day activities on your current and prospective customers, distinctly separate from making the sale. Happy customers are repeat customers, and if you show them how important they are to you — before, during and after the sale — they are more likely to do business with you in the longer term.
Be patient! It takes time and consistency to develop a reputation for providing excellent customer service. With the right foundation of customer service excellence you will position your business for repeat clients and business success.