We all can remember a time that we’ve received excellent customer service whether it was how helpful an employee was when answering all your questions or a moving staff that went above and beyond when helping you move. However, it usually is the bad customer service that is easier to remember. In order to consistently provide excellent customer service, you should follow several dos and don’ts.
Do: Anticipate Their Needs and Wants
As a business, you not only need to listen to your customers’ needs, you should also understand their unspoken desires and anticipate their next moves. If you give them what they want before they even ask and know what they need before they do, you will stand out from all your competition. This builds invaluable customer rapport and makes them feel truly valued (Forbes). Not only will they want to come back, but they’ll also tell all their friends about your exceptional customer service.
Jeff Noel, Disney Keynote Speaker, has an excellent TEDx Talk on how Disney “goes the extra inch” to delight guests at their theme parks. It’s well worth the watch. His advice can be applied in a scalable fashion to all customer service scenarios!
Do: Show Genuine Interest
It’s nothing new that customers want to feel appreciated and seek to have authentic relationships. If your staff can emulate customer service that builds, sustains, and manages relationships with your customers, you’re winning! You can build a relationship simply by making them feel special by genuinely caring about what they have to say. Listen to their complaints, show sympathy, laugh with them, and don’t be afraid to get to know them on a personal level.
Little things like memorizing the name of your customer’s grandson or asking about their recent trip to Europe will help strengthen your relationship. In terms of the digital world, doing this means utilizing social media to engage in conversations online while being open and transparent! Your online customer service is just as important, if not more important than in-person interactions. When it comes down to it, customers want to spend their hard-earned money on businesses that care about them!
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Do: Have the Answers and Deliver
Although it’s up for debate on whether or not customers are always right, remember that you are the expert, not your customer. Always have the answers and be ready to deliver. Product and service knowledge is a crucial skill that customer service representatives should possess (TeamSupport.com). When you don’t have the answer, find out or direct the customer to someone who can answer their questions. As much as possible, try to avoid the phrase “I don’t know.” Don’t forget that you’re the expert. When you have the answers and deliver them quickly, you will build trust and the customer will feel confident about doing business with you.
Don’t: Restrict the Customer
Customers hate hearing the word, “no.” Although you can’t always say “yes”, it’s best practice to be flexible and accommodating when dealing with customers. What a customer hates to hear more than “no”, is that something is “company policy.” Why? Customers don’t care what your company policies are. They don’t simply see you as a customer service provider that has to follow policies, but as a company that is restricting them from getting something they want. You want to avoid saying this since it’s like putting a big roadblock in the conversation and you’re likely to go nowhere. It can also damage your relationship with the customer.
Don’t: Make Things Overly Complicated
Getting help and service should be easy for your customers and it shouldn’t be more painful than the problem itself. That’s why an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is so useful! If this isn’t your style, you need to make your customer service staff very accessible. If you take care of customer issues right away, it will prevent bad reviews. Speaking of bad reviews…
Don’t: Ignore Feedback or Complaints
Feedback in all forms is useful and helps you make improvements. Customer feedback is the most important since you wouldn’t be in business without your customers. Embracing the good and the bad reviews that take a hit on your ego will be beneficial in the long run as you strive to become better. It will allow you to better understand your customer and become better at identifying and solving your pitfalls which will help your business grow! So when you have the opportunity to receive customer feedback, don’t avoid it. Instead, see it as a chance to improve.
Great customer service will always be a crucial part of running a business. It allows your customers to connect with you and builds their trust in you as a business or brand. Delivering exceptional customer service is often more effective than any advertisement. Follow these customer service dos and don’ts so customers can only rave about you.
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