Thursday, 11 April 2013

10 Cast Iron Customer Service Tips

Providing great customer service is essential for any business, from the local high street shop all the way up to the largest multinational corporations. Customer service however is not about simply providing countless sales and promotions; it is about building relationships, strengthening your reputation and ultimately achieving a healthy bottom line. But how do you build these relationships? Here are ten practical tips on how you can deliver the service your customers demand.

  1. 1. Give your customers a exceptional experience
    Ultimately, your customers want two things. The first is for you to meet a need that they have. The second is to meet this need whilst delivering an exceptional experience.
  2. 2. Keep your word and over-deliver
    Only promise what you can deliver and do everything you can to keep that promise. Broken promises breed distrust, so keeping your promises helps to build loyal relationships with your customers.
  3. 3. Apologise when a customer complains
    The first step of resolving an issue is to always apologise to your customers if the company has made a mistake. Then try and ask them if they have accepted your apology so that you can go forward and find a solution.
  4. 4. Treat customers as individuals
    Every customer wants to feel as if they are being treated like they’re the only customer in the world. Treat your customer as an individual, don’t generalise because of the limitations of your processes, at the front line, personal service is essential.
  5. 5. Give them that WOW Factor
    Do something to wow your customers, something out of the ordinary. For example, keeping your contact centre lines open 24/7 so your customers can contact you at the time most convenient to them.
  6. 6. Make them feel secure
    If you can prove that you can deal with queries quickly and efficiently, showing that they will always encounter a good helpful member of staff, your customer will feel more secure with keeping their business in your hands.
  7. 7. Never ever say No
    Never say No to a customer. Use language wisely, for example you could instead say that the request is outside of your service and that you will try your best to find the right person to fulfil the request.
  8. 8. Listen to your customers
    Nobody likes being ignored and customers who do not feel like they are being heard will go elsewhere even if your product or service is best. Subsequently, you can try to take on board their comments and work them into your service, at the very least, make them feel like they are being listened to.
  9. 9. Pay attention to the little things
    In the day to day delivery of customer service it is easy to become complacent. For a customer however this is an important interaction meaning they will notice the little things. So pay attention to them and the big things will take care of themselves.
  10. 10. Do something extra to create a positive memory
    When you’ve finally resolved your customers complaint, do something extra for them to leave them with a positive impression of you and the brand i.e. give them tips on how they can use the product or service better.
These are just ten of the considerations you can make if you want to deliver great customer service. Ultimately, if you make your customers feel special, deliver on your promises and listen to them when they comment you are setting the foundations of a solid relationship that over time will achieve repeat custom and positive word of mouth.