7 Keys to Great Customer Service
Every company promises great customer service. But how many deliver it? Being one that does can make your business successful, so make sure you follow these tips and put yourself ahead of the pack.
1. Make It a Priority
The most important step in great customer service is making sure you value customer service. Don’t make it an afterthought or just another expense. Fixing problems for your customers, satisfying their requests, selling them your products, these are the most important things that happen in your business. They are what your company is about, how you make your money, how you stay in business. Emphasize customer service in every department. If it’s clear a company values customer service, the employees will as well, and your customers will see it. And you will all benefit.
2. Know Your Business
You may know everything there is to know about your own business, but you won’t always be the one dealing with an irate customer. Everyone who deals with customers needs to know as much as possible about your business and how it operates. Specialization is fine, if some people have in depth knowledge of the area they work in and support, that’s excellent. But they should still know your brand, your field, your business enough to communicate effectively with customers. Never put untrained customer service representatives on the phone with nothing more than a support script. They should know enough to understand and explain why they are following that script.
3. Know Your Customers
Every interaction with your customers increases your knowledge about them. Make sure you don’t lose that knowledge. CRM for customer service can help you gather information from each contact, organize it, and make it available to everyone in the company. As you knowledge base grows, you will find ways to better serve your customers and to apply solutions to problems experienced by one customer to another in a similar situation. Tracking every contact with a customer, and their most recent status, can make it easy for another employee to support them when their main point of contact isn’t available. And the lessons learned can drive improvements throughout the company.
4. Be There for Them
In this modern technological age, customer expectations are high. Answering the phone rather than ending up on voice mail can create an immediate impression of your business’s attitude toward customer service. Making contact again within an hour of an email or web message shows how much you value your customer’s time. And performing with that speed no matter the time, twenty-four hours a day, every day, emphasizes your understanding of the global nature of business.
5. Promise and Deliver
Make it clear to your customer what you will do for them. Then do it. Tell them how the process will go and what they can expect from you in terms of how long it will take, how much it will cost, and how often you will give updates. And always follow through on it. Breaking a promise to a customer can permanently damage a relationship. But also realize making no commitments can mean there is no relationship to start with. Realistically, customers remember two kinds of service: Amazing and Terrible. Amazing service will win you lifelong relationships. Terrible service will lose you customers. Anything in between lets them drift away. Always be amazing.
6. Solve the Problem
Make sure you fix what the customer feels is broken. Addressing the wrong problem can be as bad as not solving it at all. And ignoring what the customer sees as the main issue can convince them you aren’t listening to them. Find a solution, explain it, and check to be sure they are satisfied. If they aren’t, find out why and fix that problem as well.
7. Recover Gracefully
If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. Let your customers know you want to fix it, then do so. And then follow up with them to explain how you will prevent that kind of problem in the future and find out what you can do to make up for your mistake. Sometimes the offer to ‘make it right’ is sufficient, but be prepared to do what is necessary to satisfy your customer. Remember that retaining a good customer is much less expensive than finding a new one.
Great customer service doesn’t come easily, it’s a companywide commitment to acknowledge you are there to provide for your customers. But try to think of a highly successful company that isn’t known for its great customer service. They are few and far between. So make your company stand out. Get an edge on the competition. And make your customers loyal for life.
Did you find this article helpful? What are some other ways to offer excellent customer service? Leave us your thoughts and comments in the section below.