Whilst discussing the two situations that occurred in Melbourne with a group of friends the question arose – What is Good Customer Service? There seemed to be as many answers as there were people in the group! However, whilst there were many differences, there was general agreement on a number of expectations of good customer service.
Firstly, it was generally accepted that customers wanted to be made to feel welcome. Simple courtesy and smiling scored high points. It was amazing how many stories there were of being ignored. Being acknowledged is a great start to building customer relationships.
Make sure you and your staff is knowledgeable about your company’s products. Customers expect staff to be able to answer questions. If you don’t know the answers find out and make sure you get back to the customer with the answer.
Customers expect their complaints to be dealt with courteously and competently. The old adage the customer is always right really does apply. Don’t argue with the customer – fix their problems.
Customers want value for money. It needn’t be cheaper prices – value can equal customer service. If you want long term repeat customers find out what their individual requirements are and meet them. Add something extra to the service. You know yourself if you get a little extra for nothing it makes you feel special.
Listen to the customer. Not only will you actually be able to determine what the customer wants but it fosters a good relationship. If the customer feels they have your total focus then they are going to feel wanted and special.
Customer service can make or break a business. If in doubt about the value of customer service or what level of customer service is right, think about your own reactions when you are the customer. Base your standards at the minimum you would expect and build on them.
If you promise a service – keep that promise. Customers are not going to stay or recommend you if you don’t follow through on the service. Keep in mind that old saying – the path to hell is paved with good intentions – well the path to lost customers is paved with broken promises.
So next time you are briefing your staff on customer service or you are involved with customers think about some of these tips for good customer service and implement them. You will soon see the outcomes you are looking for – repeat happy customers ready to refer you and provide testimonials.
Trish @ Trischel