CUSTOMER SERVICE • April 30, 2015
1 minute Read
There is one powerful edge that you can offer: superior customer service.
It takes a healthy customer base to keep your business alive and growing, and in order to attract and keep customers you have to show them that you can offer something the big competitors can’t. Here are three tips that can make you stand out and inspire customers to come to you first.
1. Be super-responsive. In these extremely impersonal times, going the extra mile to “be there” for your customers can give you a genuine edge over your competitors. Make sure you’re adequately staffed to handle the customer flow, and be sure each and every member of your team is trained not only in product knowledge or delivery of services but also in customer relations. Superior product knowledge/expertise and personalized service can be powerful magnets for repeat business, prompting customers to choose you. When customers send you an email, you should respond within 24 hours, but preferably sooner (set up an autoresponder to acknowledge the email as soon as it comes in). Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are also a great way to remain in contact with customers and potential customers, almost in real time. Whether a customer has a complaint, a question, or a compliment, every customer deserves a polite, professional and prompt response.
2. Always keep your promises (and try to deliver a little more than you promise). This sounds so basic and obvious, but we often forget this. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or both, reliability is one of the foundations of a successful business. If you tell a customer that their product will be delivered on the 25th, make sure it is delivered on the 25th. Think carefully before you make any promise or commitment, and train your staff the same way. Few things annoy customers more than a broken promise. When you can, always deliver a little more than you promise. Instead of over-promising and under-delivering, strive to err on the side of under-promising and over-delivering. Your customers will be pleasantly surprised and will remember you for it. Don’t just be reliable… be unforgettable.
3. Do your absolute best to resolve complaints. Dealing with customer complaints is a fact of life when you’re in business. For the sake of good customer relations, it’s almost always better to err on the side of believing that “the customer is always right.” More than likely the majority of customer complaints you’ll get will be legitimate and can be resolved by listening carefully and empathetically to the customer, and offering to make things right. The key word is empathy: put yourself in the customer’s shoes, without taking the complaint personally. Do everything you can to keep the problem from escalating. A customer complaint may seem like a problem, but in most cases it’s a chance to salvage a valued relationship. Take advantage of that opportunity.
Photo credit: ivosar/shutterstock.com
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