Customer Service: Part Three
Making a Difference
Receiving amazing, professional service seems to be a rarity in this day and age. More often than not, companies preach a customer service policy that they cannot or do not live up to when it really counts. As discussed in our last segment, if you want to have an impact on a customer or potential client, then it is important that you deliver on your promises without exception.
It all comes down to making a difference in your customers’ lives. Think about the countless number of similar companies within your industry and how many of the same products and services all of you sell. What is going to set you apart from the competition?
While good customer service is the cornerstone of any business, it is turning into somewhat of a dying breed. Can you even remember the last time you received service that went above and beyond – that left you feeling GREAT and made a difference in your day? More than likely, the answer is no. That’s where you come in.
In today’s world of call centers, disgruntled employees and auto-reply e-mails, customers are placing increased value on human contact and comforting, old-fashioned service. If your company has expressed a commitment to excellent customer service, then you have a clear cut avenue for out-performing the competition on every level.
Think about it in these terms: if there are two restaurants on the same block that serve equally tasty food, and yet one boasts amazing service while the other features rude waiters and long wait times, which restaurant are you going to choose each and every time? It’s an easy decision – and it will be for your potential customers as well.
How do you go about making a difference? It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Read below for a list of tips from Weed Man:
Listen. Your customers want to be heard, especially when they’re unhappy. Be a good listener and lend an ear before offering a response. Make sure you don’t interrupt a customer while he or she is speaking and do not get defensive under any circumstances.
Provide Solutions. Provide timely, thorough solutions that make the customer happy. Go above and beyond basics whenever possible. Remember – you’re on damage control, and how you react to an unfavorable situation will remain in a customer’s mind for the long term. Don’t bother with excuses…just make things right.
Care. Show your customers that you care. Unfocused, indifferent employees are a constant source of frustration and will only upset your customers. Remember: every customer deserves your complete and undivided attention until they are satisfied with the results of the transaction.
Build Relationships. Learn about your customers’ needs and wants and find ways to build on the basics. Customer service shouldn’t ever mean a cold, calculated transaction. Rather, it should be a friendly, courteous interaction that your customers will find memorable.
Train Your Staff. You can’t make a difference if your staff members aren’t properly trained in how to handle a variety of people and/or situations. Advocate honesty, integrity, kindness, courtesy, patience and empathy as the absolute pillars of your business. Monitor customer service interactions to ensure that all team members consistently live up to the high standards set out by your company. Encourage all staff members to put themselves in the customer’s shoes at all times.
Excellent customer service is more of an art than a science, and should be a central aspect of your company’s culture. Striving to be the best in the industry when it comes to client relations will earn you an honorable reputation in the long run. Make a difference in your customers’ lives, and referrals, repeat business and increased profits won’t be too far behind.