Why is customer service becoming a fleeting quality!
We all love great customer service don't we? I don't care where you are in the world, it could be a spa, a clothing store, on a plane or in a drive thru, there's nothing like having great interaction with another person whose in business. Lately I've visited a few businesses that had very poor customer service. I mean straight up rude, uninviting and unprofessional. Now I realize everyone has a bad day or maybe your boss made you upset, however, any possible negative energy should never transfer from your mouth to the customers ears period!
When I think of what good customer service means to me, I think of it as helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner. It's essential to be able to handle issues or orders for customers and to do your best to ensure they are satisfied. Now every customer isn't going to be a model citizen but remember that has nothing to do with you personally. Providing good service is one of the most important things that can set your business apart from the others of its kind.
Case and point. There's a Dunkin Donuts near my house that I tend to frequent. You know a girl needs her caffeine and maybe a munchkin or 2. It's been several times I've went there that either they didn't have what I wanted, they had long wait times at the window when there wasn't a long line and they have been just down right unprofessional. I've tried to give them chance after change but even when I sent my boyfriend up there to get my coffee, low and behold he had the same experience! Come on man! Now fast forward, I went to another Dunkin Donuts today slightly further than where I live but I rather NOT spend my money with the one by my house anymore. The NEW location that I went to, not only was their customer service warm and inviting, she even put my cream cheese on my bagel and asked if I wanted it toasted. The other place NEVER asked me that! I thought asking if I wanted my bagel toasted was standard but apparently not...I guess.
The point is, no matter what business you're in or offer, you should ALWAYS display GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE if you want returning customer or even customers that will blast your business out to the masses because they love how you treat them. If you don't like talking, helping or listening to people then you should definitely seek a profession that doesn't require you to have face to face or phone contact. This is extremely important for entrepreneurs especially if you don't have a team. Here a a few basic tips to evaluate and implement in your business.
1. Respond as quickly as possible. One of the biggest factors in good customer service is speed, especially when a client is requesting something that’s time sensitive.
2. Know your customers. Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs. Customers love personalization. Remember their names and previous conversations if applicable. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet.
3. Fix your mistakes. Not taking responsibility of your mistakes is a sure fire way to getting a bad reputation. Transparency is important in business and customer service is no different. Always strive for a high quality output as it shows you have a high level of standards.
4. Go the extra mile. Going the extra mile will not only result in an indebted and happy customer, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business.
5. Think long term. When dealing with customers you should be thinking long term. By keeping customers happy, they will be loyal and through word of mouth, will do the marketing for you. In fact, according to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends (whereas an angry customer tells 3,000 and reviews are real!)
So I challenge you to take a look at your customer service practices to see if they are helping your or hurting you. It’s easy to forget its importance when you are building your brand’s web presence and marketing your website. Don't let that be you.