Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. It is also 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. If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently follows the five golden rules:
- Answer Your Phone
The first rule of good customer service is that your business phone needs to be answered. Hire staff if you need to, but make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business and also answer properly to make sure that customers calling your business are thrilled with the way the phone is answered rather than put off.
- Don’t Make Promises Unless You Will Keep Them
This may well be the most important of all of these eight rules for good customer service. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you say to a customer, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc.
- Listen to Your Customers
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? Listening to everything your customer says or asks is very key
- Deal With Complaints
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service. Properly dealt with complaints can become opportunities.
- Train Your Staff
If you have staff, train them to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to your staff about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions.
Credit: Susan Ward