Each of us has different experiences with customer service; some are good while most that we hear about are just horrible. Businesses, no matter how big or small, need to evaluate how well they are serving their customers.
There’s already a new standard and it is not just to have “good” customer service, it’s about being great. In a very competitive market, business owners cannot just ignore the importance of service excellence.
A business book review, by Ivana Taylor, of the book “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us”, the primary intention of the author was to make a research on what goes on with call centers. Now most, if not all of us, have encountered talking to a representative who we feel does not (or would not) help us, their customers. Sadly, this does not just happen over the phone, it happens wherever we go and whoever we transact our business with.
The truth is, customer service makes or breaks your business. If you have bad reviews from customers, you can be sure that a percentage of your market will be lost. It may be small but those few people may start to patronize your competitor. You might not feel that it’s a threat at the onset but in reality, you might lose your business if you let it continue.
With that said, here are some best practices for you to ensure that your service isn’t only good, but it exceeds your customer’s expectations:
- Sometimes, it’s just the small things which can brighten up the rest of your customer’s day. Like your employees helping a customer to their car loaded with what they’ve purchased from your store or even a friendly, genuine greeting.
- Always have two people manning the service desk so that if your customer would need further assistance, there’s still another employee who can help the next customer in line. If you’re mainly operating an internet-based business, make sure that you are available for any inquiries or help.
- Time is of the essence. Yes, you might be busy doing hundreds of other things and your employees may also be busting up their chops to get their jobs done but once a customer asks for help or is just making an enquiry, drop what you are doing and start assisting. What their concern may not be an emergency to you but it is to them obviously, or they wouldn’t ask for your help.
- If your customer wants something done which is against company policy, break it to them gently that you cannot do what they are requesting and offer an alternative instead.
- Keep your personal life out of your business. There are bad days for everyone, particularly if something major has happened in your life that’s bound to make you put out for the rest of the day but you should have the maturity to handle it outside office doors. If you’re in a foul mood, chances are, it’s going to rub off on your customers. They might think you’re rude or antagonizing and it’s going to take more than discounts and freebies to make them shake it off.
- Go the extra mile.
Your customers may not remember all the products that you offer, they might not even remember who you are but they’ll definitely be going on about how someone made them feel and that is what would make your customers return and what would make them stay.