Everyone can recall a time when they’ve received excellent customer service. Whether it was the sales clerk who was extra helpful or the hotel staff member who went above and beyond — we’ve all experienced it. However, its the bad customer service that is almost always recalled more easily.
When pursuing excellent customer service, several dos and don’ts should be followed.
Do: Anticipate Their Needs and Wants
Instead of merely listening to your customer’s needs, a business needs to understand their unexpressed wishes and anticipate their next move. Staying one step ahead of them —literally giving them what they didn’t know they needed — is how you will stand out from the rest. This builds exceptional rapport with your customer and makes them feel like you really, truly value their business (Forbes). They will want to come back, and what’s more, they’re going to tell their friends all about your customer service.
Do: Show Genuine Interest
If you haven’t heard it yet, here it is: customers want to feel appreciated and they value an honest-to-goodness relationship. If your customer service staff can build, nourish, and manage relationships with your customers, then you’re golden! One way for you to build relationships and make your customers feel special is by genuinely caring about what they’re telling you. Listen to their frustrations, show sympathy, laugh when they laugh, and don’t be afraid to get personal (Inc.com). Something as minute as memorizing the name of their kid or asking about their last trip to Hawaii will help solidify your relationship.
Digitally speaking, doing this well means using social media to engage in a conversation and being open and transparent online. Your online customer service is as important as, if not more than, face-to-face interactions. At the root of it all, the customer wants to feel that they’re spending their hard-earned money on a business that actually cares about them.
Do: Have the Answers and Deliver
While it's heavily debated whether customers are always right, the fact of the matter is, you are the expert on your products and services and they are the expert on their expectations.
Knowing this, you should always strive to have the answers to their questions — and if you don’t have the answer, try your best to find it out or direct them to someone who you know does. Remember to avoid saying the phrase, “I don’t know” at all costs — they trust you to be the expert.
Don’t: Restrict the Customer
Customers hate to hear the word, “no.” Who does? And although it’s not always possible to say “yes,” best practice dictate that you should be as flexible and accommodating as you can be (Customer Service Manager).
And if there’s one thing a customer hates to hear more than “no,” it’s that something is “company policy.” Why? First of all, the customer likely doesn’t care what your store policy is or else they wouldn't be reaching out for support working outside of it. Second, they don’t hear that and see you as a customer service provider following policy, but rather as the company standing in the way of getting the help they need.
These types of responses frustrate your customer and put a huge road block in the conversation — pretty much ruining the interaction, and possibly the relationship.
Don’t: Make Things Overly Complicated
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that getting assistance and service from your business should not be more painful for the customer than the problem itself. And while that sounds easy, many businesses can't seem to consistently follow that practice. Behold! The wonders of a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page! This can save you a lot of time and can be both an internal and external point of reference. However, if this isn’t really your style another idea is to make your customer service staff incredibly accessible. No one wants to spend a lot of time searching for how to contact customer support. Would you? Remember what they say, a quickly diffused customer service issue keeps the bad reviews away. Right?
Speaking of which…
Don’t: Ignore Feedback or Complaints
Feedback, no matter its form, is always a plus. Who better to hear from than your customers?
Embracing the good, the bad, and the ego-deflating will ultimately help you to strive for better in the long run, we promise. You’ll be able to understand your customer better; identify and solve your pitfalls; and grow bigger and better (MinuteHack). So, the next time a customer wants to give you their feedback, don’t brush it off but see it for what it is — an opportunity to improve.
Good customer service will always be an essential part of any business. It’s your customer’s first point of contact with you and allows them to connect and build trust with your business or brand. In today’s world, delivering excellent customer service has the potential to have more of an impact than any ad could.
Follow these customer service dos and don’ts provided by Two17 Marketing so people talk about you for all the right reasons.