Customer Service – Setting Yourself Apart in an Ever-Crowded Business Atmosphere
We are not shopping in our grandmother’s world anymore. Sure, 40 years ago many purchases were made as much on who you knew or simply what was available in your area as it was the price of the item itself. It’s just not that way anymore. In a moments notice with a quick search online from our computer or even our ever-present phones, we can see prices from not only our local area but even across the country and around the world!
So how can a business separate themselves to ensure customer success while obtaining as many of those customers and retain them as satisfied clients? Without a doubt, it is with excellent customer service. Here are a few pointers on what it takes to ensure great customer service and satisfaction.
Return Phone Calls
While none of us can answer every call every time, every call should be important. Strive to return each call as soon as possible and certainly by the end of the same business days. If there is a reason that you know you won’t be able to return calls promptly such as vacation, conferences or meetings, make a quick mention of it in your voicemail message. Customers expectations will quickly be adjusted and they will appreciate you not leaving them hanging waiting for your call.
Respond to ALL Emails
Look, we are all probably more connected than we should be. Even if it is quick “I’ll get back to you” or “thank you for your email”, it will go a long way in bringing a smile to your client’s face.
Do What You Say You Will Do
This may sound really simple, but it is often so overlooked. Recently, in a business dealing my representative sent me an early morning email to expect a phone call by end of day to pin down a few last minute details on a project I was extremely anxious to complete. All day in the back of my mind, with each phone ring I expected it to be her, yet the phone call never came. Looking back on this, I would have been fine if she would have said it would be next day but because she gave me her word and then didn’t follow through, it put a sour taste in my mouth. Not only will this help ensure customer satisfaction but also will help build future success as you build a reputation for being a person of your word.
Work Like It’s Your Mamma!
Treat each client like you were working for Mom. Make their priorities, your priorities and work as hard for them as you would want someone to work for your Mom!
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Hand-Written Word!
Ok, let’s be honest. It is so easy and quick to type a quick text or email. The customer knows that. Mix it up with a quick note or card in the mail!
I recently received a small package from an online service we have begun using. They are a small company and I have never met any of their employees. Yet, in the package was a simple handwritten thank you card. Not only did I, as a customer, take time to read it but I also thought about how much I appreciated someone taking time to thank me for my business.
Don’t Forget to Say Thank You and Don’t be Afraid to Say I’m Sorry
Remember there are thousands of businesses vying for your client’s business. When they have trusted you with their business, make sure they know it by telling them thank you!
Just as important, when things don’t go as planned make sure you say, “I’m sorry”. Whether it is an unexpected delay, a shortage of product, or just not enough hours in a day, when things don’t go as they should, don’t make excuses, make it right! Say I’m sorry then work to make it right!
With these few small steps, you can guarantee a great customer success platform and even better… a successful business!
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