8 Tips for Consistent Good Customer Service

December 30, 2014 by  

Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and reduce prices to attract new customers, however unless you can encourage some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

Good customer service is all about retaining customers for repeat business and referrals. It is also about sending them away happy – if they do not leave feeling satisfied, customer service is a misnomer. You want them sharing positive feedback about your business with others, who may then be enticed to try your product or service for themselves and in turn also become repeat customers.

The essence of good customer service is forming a solid relationship with customers – one that the individual customer feels he would like to retain and grow.
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.” Providing good customer service IS a simple thing.

If you truly want to have good consistent customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently does the following:

1) Always answer your phone.
Have call forwarding, an answering service, or staff if you necessary. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when a customer calls your business. People who call want to talk to a live person, not an automated message taking device.

2) Don’t make promises unless you will keep them.
Reliability is one of the main keys to this consistency. If you say, “Your new unit will be ready for occupancy on Tuesday”, make sure it is ready on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t promise it. The same rule applies to appointments, deliveries, etc. Nothing annoys customers more broken promises.

3) Listen to your customers.
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? The most important skill you require for consistent good customer service and long term meaningful relationships: active listening! Allow your customer to talk, show them that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, and ultimately suggesting possible solutions to their problem or directly addressing the concerns expressed to you.

4) Deal with complaints.
No one likes hearing complaints, however if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please the person and that will indicate your willingness to provide good customer service…..that will make you memorable in a positive way and possibly put your business ahead of the competition!

5) Be helpful – even if there’s no immediate profit in it.
Doing something nice for a customer to solve a simple problem will leave a very favourable impression on that person, especially if you do it for free. Then when they actually need something in that realm they will be most likely to think of you and what you offer because the memory is positive.

6) Train your staff to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or hire someone to train your staff so that they are all dealing with issues in the same consistent manner achieving positive win/win outcomes. Emphasize the importance good consistent customer service and what they should be doing to accomplish it. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and the power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so they can be flexible enough with company policy to provide a solution that allows the customer to walk away happy.

7) Take the extra step.
If someone is looking for an item in your establishment, don’t just tell them: “It’s in Aisle 3”, rather take them to the item and see if they need anything else. Whatever that extra step may be, be sure you and your staff do it! People notice when someone makes an extra effort and will be likely to tell others about that pleasant experience.

8) Throw in something extra.
It could be a coupon for a future discount, additional information or a demonstration on how to use the product, or a genuine smile. Human beings love to end up with more than they expect. It does not have to be anything big to be effective. An art framer could attach a package of picture hangers to the back of every picture framed……a small thing, but greatly appreciated.

If you employ these 8 simple tips regularly, your business will become known for its consistent good customer service. The interesting twist about good customer service is eventually it will attract more new customers than promotions and price cutting!

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