Too often our customers and potential customers can see the holes in our first impressions much easier than we can. As a matter of fact, we are so familiar with our own business that it is hard to see with the eyes of an outsider.
What pleases one customer may easily disturb another. But you’ve got to do something. So what should you do? Should your customer service culture be reserved and polite, or outgoing and friendly? Should you be fast and efficient, or personal and attentive? Should you initiate contact and offer immediate help, or wait discreetly until you are asked?
Customer service gives your company an opportunity to build a strong relationship with customers at a critical point. If they’re calling for help, then they’re likely frustrated. All too often, customers are greeted by “customer service robots.” Everyone’s familiar with this type of representative.
An April 2013 Customer Service Study by Dimensional Research pinpointed what makes customers of mid-sized companies happy and what leaves them in dismay. This is the first in a series of blog posts about the important results of this study.
It’s easy to get caught up in designing new things that are “cool” or “elegant” or “hot.” But if you don’t keep your customer in mind throughout, you could end up with an investment that’s “not.” Keep clients in the forefront of your mind with every decision and you can improve customer service quality.
Customer conflict is often generated by one of three things: Company Error, Customer Error, or Policies and Regulations. Your staff needs to be trained on how to react and respond to these specific conflicts, as each demands a different strategy.
When it comes to customer service, hope is not a strategy. Customer service must be purposeful. You can hire the nicest people in the world, but you still must give them direction, teach the best practices, and continue to reinforce your customer service strategy so that employees are continuously reminded and motivated on what and how to deliver your brand of customer service.
When accounts go quiet, don’t assume the customer is going away. Use excellent customer service skills to find out what is going on. They may be waiting, occupied with something else, or have simply forgotten where you are or how to reach you! One effort at reactivation can make the difference between a customer who comes once and disappears forever, and a customer who comes once, is invited back and stays with you forever.
Small Biz Club is the premier destination for small business owners and entrepreneurs. To succeed in business, you have to constantly learn about new things, evaluate what you’re doing, and look for ways to improve—that’s what we’re here to help you do.