If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur you know how frustrating it can be when clients are not happy with your product or service whether or not it’s you or your company’s fault, especially with websites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Google reviews.
Customer service is more important than ever. To get right it can literally crush your business. If you screw it up, within minutes hundreds, thousands or even millions of prospective customers can see your company’s bad reviews. On the flip side they can also see your good reviews which is what we will focus on. Providing excellent customer service that will exceed client expectations give you loyal customers with repeat business and eventually increase your revenues and grow your business.
In this article we are going to highlight seven essential elements to excellent customer service which will build that loyalty and repeat customers for you and your brand. So let’s get started:
1. Be aware of the three things every customer wants when it comes to your customer service.
Your customers psychology plays a key role in how they perceive your company’s customer services. First your customers want to be heard, especially when they have a problem, for example, if you have a customer that’s just heated and steaming mad, just let them. A lot of times that’s all the client needs. They’ll get it out of their system and they’ll love you again just for listening to them.
Second your customers wants to be understood. Make sure that you ask questions and confirm your customers concerns or needs. Your company needs to fully understand your customers situation. A lot of times miscommunication takes place and your staff is working to solve a problem that is totally off the mark and not addressing the issues your client actually has.
Your client wants to be cared for, they need to feel important. You need to show concern for them and show an effort to solve their problem and accommodate their requests, they want to see the effort being made.
This is an acronym. It only takes a “sec” to do but it’s so important in your customer interaction that it can make or break your sale and determine whether or not your customers will even come back. S-E-C, sec stands for Smile, Eye contact and Comment. Smiles are contagious when you’re greeted by a smiling representative of a company that appears happy and glad to see you and you know it’s your instinct to smile back. Even if you’ve had a crappy day and the rep does it right you will smile back.
Next make sure you and your reps make eye contact with the customers. Eye contact shows that you’re ready to engage them and ready to help them. In some way it shows you care about what they’re about to tell you and you are listening to them. Make sure you use eye contact in combination with the smile because you don’t want to freak anybody out.
3. Excellent customer service is to listen to the customer.
Remember your clients want to be heard and understood. The only way to do that is to really listen to what they’re saying, acknowledge what they said and repeat it back to them so you are sure that you are addressing the right issue.
Most of the times angry customers will stop pursuing further action on your part after they know they’ve been heard in that you care about them and their need don’t sounds too good to be true but, it is they sometimes actually feel guilty for causing you grief and will apologize to you at this point, when that happens you know you are doing this right.
4. Empathize with your customers when they are having issues.
Listen to what they’re telling you and then confirm you understand what the issue is. Tell them that you understand how they feel, this will usually allow them to let down a guard and calm down. If they are really angry and you know you cannot deliver the exact outcome you should empathizing with them and their problem, this way they are more likely to accept a more reasonable solution and that’s best for everybody involved.
5. Create solutions for your clients issues and complaints.
Consult your company policies. Take a look at the customer’s history. Whatever you need to do to come up with a solution for them. A lot of the times you have to get creative and do things that you may not have thought of before. If a client is so dissatisfied with your company’s product or service that the only remedy is to give a full refund, it will most likely be in your best interest just to do it. Now I’m not saying you want to lose money on a regular basis but hopefully this is a rare thing. And if it’s not, you need to make some serious changes in your organization.
6. Clarify the situation with the client.
You need to make sure that the customer is a hundred percent satisfied. Once their issues been resolved, review the remedy with them then again, gain agreement that the remedy is sufficient. You don’t want to provide a solution for a client bending over backwards. You don’t want to go thinking they are happy and then find out later through Yelp or Better Business Bureau that the client actually was not satisfied with your solution, so clarifying the remedy for your client situation will save you a lot of grief.
7. Follow up with all your customers.
You want to make sure each of your customers had a great experience with your company. Your brand’s reputation depends on it and can affect future business, so even though more companies are starting to follow up with clients after the sale, still most companies do not. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, they are missing out on referral business, repeat customers and positive reviews. You can follow up with a simple phone call asking them one or two questions about their experience, that alone will send your customers through the roof with excitement. I mean they’ll realize, “hey this company actually cares about me”. One of the three crucial psychological elements is that your customers need to feel cared for.
This will increase your customer loyalty and get you more repeat business and referrals. One, be aware of the 3 things every customer wants: to be heard, to be understood and to be cared for. Two, memorize the acronym S-E-C, which stands for smile, eye contact and comment. Three, listen to your customers. Your clients want to be heard and understood. Four, empathize with your customers. Confirm that you understand what they are feeling. Five, create solutions for your clients’ issues and compliance. Six, clarify the situation with the client, make sure your client is a hundred percent satisfied with your remedy to their problems, that they had with your company and seven, follow up with all your customers via phone calls, email surveys or some other means.