Good customer service is first and foremost about keeping your customers coming back.
It’s also about ensuring you are sending them away happy so they spread the word to others about how great your customer service is. Happy customers are the roadmap to more happy customers who ultimately become repeat customers.
If you reflect back on times when you received great customer service, you knew and felt it immediately. There was no second guessing. You felt immediate gratification that the person providing the service to you listened to your concerns, understood and made a concerted effort to identify with them, and then went above and beyond to ensure your concerns were addressed to your satisfaction.
Sadly, in today’s hectic world, more often than not we find there to be little focus on providing good customer service. However, when you have received excellent service you always find yourself saying ‘Now that was great customer service!’
So, what are the key elements to ensuring that you/your organization deliver good customer service every time? We at team 1Source believe it’s these four fundamentals:
Take the time to ask questions so that you are clear on what the customer is saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly how they feel. Be sure not to jump to your own conclusions.
“Use your good judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.” (Nordstrom Inc.)
- Identify with your customers
Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to their problems. Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes so you are able to better relate and empathize to their situation from their point of view. Treat customers as individuals and make them feel important, appreciated and valued. Thank them every chance you get.
“Spontaneous service brings joy to both receiver and giver. Good customer service has to come from people who like people and enjoy being nice to them. It starts at the top.” (Neiman-Marcus)
- Be helpful
Always deliver on your promise. Think before you make any promise, but once it’s given, stick to it. Nothing annoys a customer more than disappointment. Always look for ways to help your customers. ‘Yes we can’ is such a powerful and comforting message for customers to hear. You can figure out the ‘how’ afterwards.
Give more than expected. Customers are the backbone to your business and the future of that business relies on them being happy and coming back. Think of ways you can go above and beyond the competition in terms of delivering customer service excellence: What can you give customers they can’t get somewhere else? What is unexpected that you know will mean so much? Ask for feedback to learn how you can improve for the next time.
“Positively Outrageous Service is a matter of choice. It involves giving of your time and talent while performing your job; it is a true reflection of how you live your life day to day.” (Southwest Airlines)
Research shows that consumers remain with a company that goes above and beyond to create a fantastic customer experience. Also, most customers who have a negative experience tell 10 or more people. Attracting new customers will cost your company five times more than keeping an existing customer.
Your customers are your biggest asset and you should never give them any reason to take their business to your competition. For that reason, customer service needs to be a company-wide priority in order to keep your customers happy.