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How to be great at customer service

Keep customers coming back with great customer service

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.

Reflecting back on times when I received great customer service I knew and felt it instantly.  There was no hemming or hawing.  I felt immediate gratification that the person providing the service to me had listened to my concerns, understood and made a concerted effort to identify with them, and then went above and beyond to ensure my concerns were addressed to my satisfaction.

Sadly, in today’s hectic world, more often than not I find there to be little focus on providing good customer service.  However, when I have received excellent service I always find myself saying ‘Now that was great customer service!’

I also make sure I thank the individual for providing such great service and where/when possible let their manager/company aware as well – I think this goes a long way.

So what are the key elements to ensuring that you/your organization deliver good customer service every time?    Listen.  Identify.  Help.  Take the extra step.

Listen – 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 jumpto your own conclusions.

Identify – 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 are individuals and make them feel important, appreciated and valued.  Thank them every chance you get.

Help -  Always deliver on your promise.  Think before you make any promises but once 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.

Take the extra step – 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.

Research shows that consumers remain with a company that goes above and beyond to create a fantastic customer experience.

Forty-eight per cent of customers who had a negative experience told 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.

Customer service needs to be a company-wide priority in order to keep your customers happy.

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