A happy customer is a customer for life. Regardless of how great any product is, a customer always remembers the interaction they had with a person, whether over the phone or in person. It doesn’t matter if the business is small with one person or large with 100 employees, customer service is the key to success. Customer service reps (even if it’s just you) are the face of any company. A happy customer will not only return, but will also tell others and refer you more business.
Below are several Customer Service Tips that will help you to make and keep customers.
As the saying goes, “Customer service starts with a smile.” This is true even over the phone – a smile can come through in your voice. Always have a warm, friendly greeting for your customers whether it’s face-to-face or over the phone. This is their first impression of your company and you always want it to be positive. This seems like an obvious point, but it’s easy to forget if you’ve had a long day, are tired, or are having to deal with an already difficult situation.
Listen to Your Customer
Listening to what your customer is saying is key. This means actually hearing what they are saying as well as the tone of their voice. If you are face-to-face, be sure to watch their body language. Make sure that if they are saying they agree to something or they are happy, that they truly look and sound happy. Otherwise, they may be dissatisfied and scared to tell you. Always let your customers know that it’s okay to voice any concerns they have at any time.
Know Your Product/Service
To provide great customer service, everyone in the company that is customer-facing must know your products/service inside out. You can start by learning the answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have a large company, you can create a Question & Answers document so that everyone is giving consistent answers to your customers. If you don’t know the correct answer, be honest. Don’t ever make up an answer. It’s always best to say you don’t know the answer and will find out. Then, make sure to get back to the customer with the correct answer quickly.
Train Yourself and/or Your Employees
This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your products. You must know how to use/install your products, as well as talk about them. This includes knowing how to problem solve in a rare situation where something goes wrong. Make sure to update everyone’s training as new products or techniques are introduced. You should always keep up with the “latest and greatest” in any business. You never want to fall behind on skills or new innovations.
Communicate with Your Customers in a Timely Manner
Communicating with your customers takes many forms, including being honest and responsive at all times. Nothing is worse than being told a price or timeline for something, and then getting a bill for a higher amount or having the product take twice as long. Always be respectful of your customer’s time and budget buy sticking to deadlines. If something does change, inform the customer immediately. If possible, provide a second option for completing the project as close to on time and within budget as possible.
Be sure to respond to all inquiries quickly, even if it’s just to say that you are getting a quote or looking into a solution. Make sure the customer knows you are doing your best to accommodate them and that their business is important to you. You never want a customer to feel ignored or unimportant.
Always Say Thank You
This should be obvious, but gratitude is memorable. Your customers will remember if you are appreciative of their business. It’s always a nice touch to check-in with your customer a week after they have received their product or the service was completed. Ask if they are happy with the outcome and if you can do anything else for them. And remember to again thank them for their business.
Happy customers are return customers. Remember to always to look at ways to improve your customer service skills. Learn from what works or doesn’t work. It will have a direct impact on your business’ success.