Is Your Customer Service Really Serving?
Great companies always possess exceptional customer service. All things being equal, people do business with the people they trust and the people who make them feel valued. If you were given a choice and in this age of the internet, we all have a plethora of choices, would you pay the same or maybe even a little more to be guaranteed excellent customer service?
One of the three biggest questions anyone has in starting a new business is, “will you be there after the sale?” Customer service is imperative, not optional.
When was the last time you did a blind test of your own customer service? Call and purchase something from your own company. Call and speak to your own customer service. Granted, if you are a sole entrepreneur or a new owner of a network marketing business, this will be challenging. If you are that new or that size company, you probably have more time to focus on exceptional service to each of your clients. The old golden rule “do unto others and you would have them do unto you” never goes out of style.
Business week compiled a list of the top 25 customer service companies. Shop one or two of those companies and test their customer service against your customer service. No one ever thrills 100% of the people 100% of the time; however, that remains a worthy goal.
Hold training for your employees to determine how well you rank on the ten basic rules of customer service:
1. Exceed the customer’s expectations by striving for a positive experience for each one.
2. Educate yourself on your products and services in order to convey the information clearly and succinctly. Don’t build the watch when they ask you for the time.
3. Listen to your customers and learn what they need and want. It is not about what you sell, it is all about what they need to solve their immediate issue or desire.
4. Courtesy and respect are never out of fashion. Demonstrate by your words, tone and actions how much you value their business and value them as a person.
5. When you are wrong, admit it. When they are wrong, find a way to allow them to save face and go forward to work together. Sometimes it takes more finesse but it always costs less to keep a customer than go find a new one.
6. Follow up and do what you say you will do when you say you will do it.
7. Be honest about what your product or service will or will not do. Honesty up front saves problems later.
8. Give your customers the benefit of the doubt; it may be a simple misunderstanding. Handle it with courtesy with sincere questions.
9. Happy customers tell three people and unhappy customers tell ten people. Your reputation is always your golden asset; protect it.
10. The easier it is for your customers to purchase from you, the more likely they are to purchase now and return in the future. Eliminate cumbersome hoops whenever possible. In this day of credit cards providing a “buy now” clickable link increases sales.
Customer service beings in earnest the minute they decide to purchase from you. If anything, be more available after the sale than you were in the process of seeking the sale. Remember the best leaders are servant leaders and the best companies value their employees and customers; they not only value employees and customers but demonstrate that attitude constantly. Treat each customer as if your business depended on their continued loyalty; it does.
For the list of the 25 best companies for customer service and tips and techniques to improve your customer service, join me at http://www.Elaine4Success.com.