Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently follows the following rule:
1. Answer your phone
Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business.
‘Someone’. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a fake “recorded robot”. And then, make sure that customers calling your business are thrilled with the way you answer the phone rather than put off.
2. Don’t make promises unless you will keep them
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again?
From a customer’s point of view, I doubt it. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.
3. Deal with complaints
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time – and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
Properly dealt with, complaints can become opportunities.
4. Train your staff
Train your staff – if you have any, to always be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. )
Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at…”
5. Take the extra step
For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in the 3rd drawer”. Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs.
Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
Good customer service pays big dividends!
If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? Over time good customer service will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever did!
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