Are you delivering the service your customers expect?
No matter what business you are in, there is one thing you can take for granted, the customer always comes first. It doesn’t mean he or she is right, it just means that we need to make them feel that they are special to the business. Frankly, without customers, there is no business and so it makes perfect business sense to provide great customer service.
Here are some basic tips on delivering great customer service.
1. Be approachable
When the customer enters your premises be it an office, a store or a recreational establishment, create that first impression by simply greeting or smiling. For example, Walmart employees apply this ‘10 foot rule’. When the employee sees a customer within 10 feet, they must smile, make eye contact, and greet the customer before offering their assistance. Through this way, the customer feels acknowledged, special and cared for. Last impressions are equally important, so before the customer leaves your premises, a simple “Thank you” and “Hope to see you again” makes a world of difference.
2. Be Knowledgeable
We all know that knowledge is power and that is strongly felt when you are with a customer. The customer should feel most informed before buying a product. He or she needs to be guided as to what is the most suitable product or service that will solve his or her needs. You will be surprised as to how much a customer relies on the salesperson to make decisions and a good decision could mean the difference between a happy customer who will keep coming back and one who will never step into your establishment again. Studying about different customer segments with their varying needs and preferences will always hold you in good stead and so take the time to do your own knowledge checks.
3. Be Emphatic
Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference and so showing genuine concern and empathy wins big when dealing with customers. No customer likes arrogant, condescending sales or customer service personnel. Customers are persons like us who are a bundle of emotions and they want to be heard and accepted just like we do. Listening with your heart instead of your mind can be a game-changer.
4. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
Every sales or customer service agent wants to quickly sell or solve a problem. However, how many times do promises at the point of sale turn out to be a bitter experience when the product or service is not delivered to our expectations? It is, therefore, better to promise less and deliver more than the reverse. A customer will always appreciate a delivery a day earlier than a day later, so why not build a buffer to make up for unexpected delays or snags? If it does take that much of time, the customer will understand but if you deliver earlier, the customer will love you for it
If unfortunately, the product or service is delayed, keep the customer informed by providing updates and progress until delivery. Customers are far more understanding than we give them credit for.
5. Ask for Feedback
Customer feedback is crucial for continual improvement. Ask for feedback through surveys, polls, reviews, or asking the customers directly. This will help you know which area needs improvement and which should be prioritized. Once a problem is addressed, use it as an opportunity to avoid similar problems that may come up in the future. When dealing with complaints and negative feedback, listen and acknowledge the issue, don’t go on the defensive. Customer feedback is a gift to make your business and offerings better.
These are the five basic tips for great customer service. Stay tuned for more pointers on this topic but till then keep delivering great customer service.