“Good customer service is making customers feel more important than they really are; and trust me customers are really important.”
I once had an issue with my blackberry subscription and I went to my network provider’s office to make my complaint. The agent was very apologetic and empathetic towards my plight. He listened carefully when I complained, tried to fix the problem and when he discovered it was beyond him, he promised to escalate it to their technical team. However, It was the next thing that really surprised me. I asked how I could keep track of the progress as I would not like to go through the stress of coming back and he suggested that we exchange numbers. The issue wasn’t resolved for another 72 hours but it wasn’t so bad because of his help all through.
A lot of companies are channeling efforts towards marketing and social media. While all of this works, it cannot replace the good old Customer Service. 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. Here are some tips on effective customer service:
Problem shared is half-solved as the popular saying goes. Hence, being attentive to a customer’s demand halves the problem. 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.
2. SOLVE PROBLEMS
It’s not enough to just listen and understand the customer’s complaints; you must be able to proffer solutions. Even when the solution to a problem is above you, you should be able to offer temporary respite to the customer.
3. DON’T MAKE PROMISES IF YOU DON’T INTEND TO KEEP THEM
Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you promise an order will be delivered on a certain day or that an issue will be resolved by a particular time, make sure it’s done within the specified timeframe. With customers, it’s always better to” underpromise” and “overdeliver”.
4. ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
Customers are humans and as such they have emotions. Be nice to customers just for the sake of it. Good customer service should be taken out of the manual and be inculcated into each team member’s way of life so that it’s effortless. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to please customers but be careful not to violate company rules or compromise personal safety in the process. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4 to 6 people about their experience. Once your business is known for good customer service, the testimonies will bring you more loyal customers than promotions and other marketing ever did!