8 Must Do’s for Giving Good Customer Service
Posted on January 12, 2015 | By The BIG Man | Leave a response
Customer Service is easy right? We all know the basics and know how to keep our customers coming back for more right? Well not necessarily. A lot of businesses assume they tick these boxes, but almost all have many areas for improvement, which is why we’ve put together this list of 8 must dos for good customer service!
Having printed promotional products for many many years now we’ve been through our fair share of customer and client service experience both bad and good and we realise now more than ever how important good customer service really is!
Lets begin by saying that it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time, but you can come pretty close! Once you are keeping the majority of clients and customer happy, there’s nothing stopping your business from growing in every direction and receiving top service plaudits! So let’s skip the very basics of being polite to your customers and jump right in to the nitty gritty!
1. If You Are Ever Unsure; Under Promise and Over Deliver!
This is a rule that can save you a lot of grief in the long run. One of the biggest and most unforgiving mistakes of a business is that they promise too much; offering the world and ending up delivering far less; the favoured act by many a star of BBC One’s hit TV show, Rouge Traders! The most sensible thing to do right from the start especially with demanding clients is to manage expectations! We cannot stress this enough!
If expectations are managed accordingly from the beginning then there will be little grounds for the client/customer to have issue with what you deliver. Deal with a little pressure from the client early on in your communications and under promise in the event of uncertainty, even if this means less impression on a demanding client, you won’t regret it in the long run, as you will end up delivering more than they expect most of the time, giving you a better reputation!
2. Be Timely!
Another important and simple point that is too often overlooked and the cause of much aggravation to clients and customers is the lack of punctuality. Whether it’s business meetings or delivery times for clients. As a part of delivering good service you should do your utmost to meet the deadlines that you promise to clients and customers. If you are unsure or realise it will take longer than you thought it would don’t be tempted to promise an earlier time for the sake of appeasing a client / customer or to look favourable and buy time, this will come back to haunt you and you will be wasting everybody’s time. An accurate time-line allows everybody in the chain to manage their own workload and expectations sensibly instead of madly rushing to complete something they had longer to do, or alternatively taking too long when they had a shorter amount of time.
In a nut shell, don’t say 5 minutes, when you know it’ll take 20!
3. Keep Your Promises!
If you promise a client or customer something, make sure you follow up on it and don’t forget. Forgetting to complete a task is something that you just cannot afford to do as a business. That’s what all those branded office notes and paper is for! Don’t have any? Then call us!
So whether it is you or your team that deals with customer service, ensuring that promises are fulfilled is a big . We’ve seen many a circumstance when a client has phoned back to realise that their order or request has not been completed simply due to negligence on the part of customer service not remembering the task that was set for them. This is a one way road to bad customer service and complaints!
4. Get The Basics Right!
Make sure you get the basics of normal conversation right, that means getting a name regardless of how hard the pronunciation may seem. If you are faced with a client and having a difficult time understanding their name, it is better to struggle and ask them to spell it twice over than to misspell it or ignore it completely. There are few things sweeter to a person than the sound of their own name so give it to them on a plate and sing it throughout your conversation with them! (Don’t actually sing it, your already irate customer may not respond well to your personalised power ballad).
We’ve witnessed bad examples of this often, even when phoning suppliers (people who want our cash). Customer service teams will often not ask for a respelling of a name even though they sound less than sure over the phone, then resulting in an email not being sent or to the wrong address. This is a gross oversight and if your customer service teams are doing this then you should be putting a stop to it. It will minimise client engagement and, in the end, can lose all parties business.
5. Don’t Burn Bridges!
Regardless of the outcome of an exchange with a client, always try to avoid ending on a sour note. Although they may not buy from you again, remember that every client can be an influencer of your business and one person’s experience can be shared with an entire community of people and quickly develop into a PR disaster! Social media has the ability to amplify this effect and makes bad experiences very shareable, very quickly to other people and potential future customer / clients.
6. Listen Well!
When a client or customer is on a call to you, make sure you listen to what they are actually saying. The last thing a customer wants is to be spoken over, when the whole objective is for them to phone and speak to you. Take in what they are saying and have the ability to keep up the conversation while listening to their points. Being a good listener is a primary trait that any good customer service provider should possess.
Finding it hard to sympathise with a client or customer? Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel dealing with the customer support that they are receiving from your end? Empathising is a good customer service trait that will allow your organisation’s customer representatives to show that they truly care about your customers / clients.
8. Use initiative!
A lot of the time, customer service issues are escalated and drawn out because authorisation or further discussion is needed and advice from other employees on how to deal with the matter is required. If your customer service team has the ability to think on their feet, which a good team will, then give them the option and training on how to deal with queries and show initiative by solving the issue as quickly as possible. This will save valuable time and money for the organisation.
Round-up and Social!
So we have 8 must dos for great customer service beyond the initial hello and good bye. Make sure your business is up to scratch on all points and your customer’s / client’s good experiences should be translating into more business for you in no time. An infographic below from www.getambassador.com outlines the importance of customer service in this social age and has a useful best practice list for getting social with customers!