Customer service is vital to any business. You can run promotions and discount prices to attract new customers, but unless those customers return, your business will not be profitable.
Good customer service keeps customers coming back. And about making them happy enough to tell others about your business, so they can try your product or service and become repeat customers.
You can sell anything to anyone once you’re good at it. But how you treat your customers will determine whether or not you can ever sell them anything else. Forming a relationship with customers is the essence of good customer service.
How do you establish such a bond? “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say,” is the one true secret of good customer service.
To truly provide excellent customer service, simply follow the six rules listed below:
1. Take Calls
The first rule of good customer service is to answer your business phone. Enroll in call forwarding. Hire help if needed. But make sure someone answers the phone when customers call (A live person, not a fake “recorded robot”!). Read How to Answer the Phone. To ensure that customers are delighted rather than put off by the way the phone is answered at your business.
2. Take time to Listen to Your Customers
Is there anything more vexing than telling someone what you want or need, only to have them ask you again? Customers don’t think so. Can sales pitches and products babble? If you truly want to provide excellent customer service, let your customer speak and demonstrate your interest by summarizing what he has said and suggesting solutions.
3. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
This is perhaps the most vital of these eight customer service rules. Not intend to keep your promises. Keep them. Good customer service is no exception. Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday. If not, don’t say it. The same goes for client meetings and deadlines. Think twice before making any promises, because nothing annoys customers more than broken promises.
4. Handle Complaints Very Well
Many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please everyone all the time.” But if you listen to the complaint, you might be able to please one person – and position your company to benefit from good customer service. Complaints can be turned into opportunities. They allow you to identify and correct problems, thus improving customer service. According to research, customers who have successfully complained about a product or service are 70% likely to order from the vendor again.
5. You need to take the Extra Steps
If someone comes into your store looking for something, don’t just say “It’s in Aisle 3”. “Let me show you” and lead the customer to the item. Wait to see if he has any questions or needs. Take the extra step to provide good customer service. People notice when people go the extra mile and will tell others. And good word of mouth attracts new customers.
6. Staff Training is Essential
Train your staff to be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or hire a trainer. Discuss customer service with your team on a regular basis. It explains how to ensure positive staff-customer interactions. Most importantly, empower your employees to make small decisions that please customers.