Great customer service is the lifeblood of any business. The goal of great customer service is all about providing a trusted and positive customer experience and ensuring they are happy and confident in their choice. They say a good salesperson has the ability to sell anything to anyone at least once. However, the customer service provided CAN be that significant differentiator and determine if they continue to be a client. By delivering a positive and trusted customer experience, you can not only increase the likelihood of up-selling opportunities, but also ensure your client will recommend you to others. The essence of great customer service is forming a solid and trusted relationship with your clients.
#1 - First Impression
Ensure that every one of your customer facing associates are capable of making a good first impression. First opinions are formed within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone new. Being on time, prepared, being yourself and presenting yourself appropriately are all important traits that will affect that first impression. You never have a second opportunity to make a warm and welcoming first impression.
#2 - Provide Timely Responses
Customer support response times can dictate how a client perceives your company and can affect the overall customer experience. Keeping your clients informed in a timely manner by answering your phone and responding to emails within a reasonable time-frame are essential to great customer service.
#3 - Listen to Your Clients
There is nothing more exasperating for a customer than to communicate and explain things multiple times because you truly aren’t listening. This can definitely have a negative effect on the overall customer experience. It is imperative to always pay attention and REALLY hear what your customer is saying. Let your client talk and show them that you are listening by reiterating what they’ve said and suggesting how to solve their specific problem.
#4 - Deliver a WOW Experience
A WOW experience is delivered by combining empathy and a true understanding of what your client is facing -- and then identifying and resolving that challenge. The best way to understand your customer is to look through the “lens of the customer”. But be careful to not promise anything unless you are able to follow through with that promise. Being prompt and taking the extra steps goes a long way in showing your clients you care.
#5 - Show appreciation to your customers.
Thanking customers in a meaningful and thoughtful manner on every customer encounter shows clients you care and appreciate their business. Showing our appreciation via a thank you note after a meeting, a “thank you” gift at Christmas, birthday greetings, taking a client to lunch or inviting them as your guest to a special function, etc. The key to customer loyalty can be embodied in two simple words: “Thank you”.
Providing great customer service is integral to any successful business. It is about doing the right thing to the best of your ability and being that trusted adviser. Taking care of your customers creates a trusted positive customer experience and helps encourage them to continue buying from your business through good times and bad.
Mitch Gipp is an experienced Client Engagement Manager who has worked in the telecom industry for over 22 years. For more information on Mitch’s tips, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.