All of us have customers/clients that we value and want to keep happy, so the best way to please them means making them your first and more important priority. The following are some tips to consider implementing in order to create and maintain consistently excellent customer service
Be Truly Accessible
When dealing with any clients, you want to make sure that you offer flexibility and agility in the delivery of your products or services. Whether you are a small, medium or large business your processes, systems, and structures should allow you to make sure that your customers get their needs attended to in a timely fashion without having to wait for a “committee” to deal with their issues. They should know that you have their best interests at heart and are doing your best to handle their request as quickly as possible.
Pay Close Attention to Your Customer’s Mood/Demeanor
People aren’t usually impressed by what you know or what you can offer until they see that you truly care. It is pretty impossible to demonstrate that you care in any meaningful way unless you have some insight into what that person is feeling and why. Next what you might want to try is to make sure that whatever happened before they arrived you make sure that they leave happy! In other words, be so helpful and sensitive to their needs and desires that even if their mood was caused by something that has nothing to do with your business because you were sensitive to their feelings, you went the extra mile to make them feel better.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Aside from being flexible and accommodating, the most important thing any business can do is to differentiate itself as having a deep expertise in your industry, as well as in product or services. Customers/clients will be impressed if you can address their needs because you have both done your homework as well as listened carefully to what they truly are looking for and will make their life easier or more profitable.
Make Sure Your Employees are Empowered
Your customer-service team is your frontline for ensuring that your customers are not just satisfied, but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person in the customer service department is your manager, as he/she set the tone for how situations are handled and usually end up dealing with the biggest problems. In addition, consider this, most employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover so you want someone who will last in this position to help keep the rest of the staff stable. The qualities you want to look for in an effective customer service manager are empathy, patience, consistency, problem-solving skills, and great communication skills.
Know Your Competition
Before you pitch a “great idea” to a new prospect, know what the competition has to offer and be sure yours is unique and special and totally suitable for the customer/client’s needs. The only way to be successful is to stay ahead of the herd so you have to be innovative and special in how you package offers and how you follow up with your customers to make sure they continue to be happy with your organization’s attention to detail and customer service.
Once you know your competition, you simply have to come up with something better for your customer than they would. The more creative you are with your offerings, the better chance you have of attracting and keeping the sort of clientele you know is best for your business.
Don’t be Afraid to Use Online Tools
Your website is usually the customer’s first exposure to your company, so your homepage should be personal, user-friendly and inviting. You can include staff bios, your Twitter feed, even short videos to introduce a product or service. All these elements can help to build a better relationship with your customer. People love to chat about their recent purchases and experiences, so it can be helpful to tune into what is being said in your industry or even specifically about your business. The more you offer on your site that will help your prospects and current customers to know about what you offer and how the easier it can be for them to do business with you. Be sure that your site is mobile friendly, as so many people are just on their phones.
Nurture Your Relationships
When companies build relationships with their clients/customers and suppliers, it can create a huge competitive edge. You can do this by keeping in touch with your customers/clients, offering informational opportunities with events, blogs or newsletters and special offers from time to time for long time customers. Showing appreciation is an excellent way to show customer service and build stronger, more loyal connections with your customer base.
Add Value to Your Relationship
Show your valued customers that you wish to retain their business by doing some special for them. It does not have to be anything regular, better actually if it is a surprise. Maybe extra product on their next order, or more services for the same price when they book more of your time. It can be the little touches that keep them coming back and keep you ahead of your competition.
When in Doubt, Just Ask Customers What They Want
Especially when something has gone wrong, say with an order or product, how you handle that issue is what will matter in the long run and if you find out directly from the customer what will make them happy, it will certainly be easy to fulfill their wishes. You may not be able to give them everything however as long as they get at least part of what they ask for, you can be assured that they will walk away feeling they “won.” That is the main issue… keep them consistently satisfied but be “gasp-worthy” when something goes wrong.
Originally published at Bizcatalyst360
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