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Better Customer Service is 8 Steps Away

Better Customer Service is 8 Steps Away

Good salespeople can sell anything to anyone once. However, your approach to customer service determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything in the future. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers, specifically, a relationship that an individual customer feels that they would like to pursue.

How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

I know this statement seems a bit cliché, but if you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently does these things:

1) Always answer your phone

Get an answering service, call forwarding or even hire staff, if that’s what’s needed, but make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. People who call want to talk to a live person, not an automated system.

2) Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and yes, good customer service is no exception. If you say, “Your new living room furniture will be delivered on Monday,” make sure it is delivered on Monday. Or just don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines and return calls or emails. Make sure to think before you give any promise, because nothing is more annoying to customers than a promise that is broken.

3) Listen to what your customers say

There is nothing more frustrating than saying what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that the individual has not been paying attention, requiring you to explain it again? Let your customer talk and show them that you are listening by making the appropriate responses. One great way is to suggest how to solve the problem that they are describing.

4) Deal with complaints promptly

Does anyone like hearing complaints, of course not? We have developed a reflex saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time.” Well, maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person, this one time. It will position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service and probably lead to future business.

5) Be helpful – even without immediate benefit

The other day I popped into a local camera shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my camera strap together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that she thought she might have one lying around. She found it, attached it to my camera strap and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new camera accessories or even a new camera? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?

6) Train your staff to always be courteous, helpful and knowledgeable

You can do it yourself or hire a professional to train them. But make sure to talk to them about what good customer service is and is not on a regular basis. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and empower them to make those small customer-pleasing decisions. They should never have to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at…”

7) Make the effort and take the extra step

For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3.” Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if they have questions about it, or any further needs. If you want to provide good customer service, whatever the extra step may be, make sure to take it. They may not say it to you, but people pay attention when someone makes an extra effort. Usually, they will tell other people of their experience.

8) Throw in something extra.

Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, a genuine smile or a free report, people love to get more than what they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local painter that I use always includes a free can of touch up paint. A small thing, but so appreciated.

If you can apply these eight simple and easy-to-follow rules consistently, you will see that your business will become known for its good customer service. Good customer service over time will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever will!

As you know, good customer service is just one aspect of a successful business. If you want to grow your business even further, download our free eBook on 25 Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business. It’s a short easy to read guide that teaches you what you need to know.