When it comes to running a successful business, great customer service should always be a top priority. A happy customer is increasingly important in this social media based world, where when one thing goes wrong, the whole world can immediately know about it. How you handle a customer, especially an unhappy one, says everything about you and your business’s reputation. In addition, maintaining a relationship with your customers is vital for customer loyalty. Customer service is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be hard. Here are simple things that you can do to improve your customer service.
Always Be Pleasant
One of the most important rules of customer service is to always push aside any troubles or annoyances you may be experiencing and put a smile on your face when dealing with customers. You always want to seem approachable and friendly, so let your attitude reflect this. This goes for when you aren’t in person too. Just because a customer can’t see you doesn’t mean that they can’t pick up on the vibe that you are putting out. If you are smiling and pleasant, your customer will know this, even if they can’t physically see your smile. It’s easy to drop your positive demeanor when you are tired and dealing with complaints all day, but it is so important to actively remind yourself and your fellow employees to be pleasant. You want your customers to go away with a good and positive feeling rather than feeling like you didn’t care about them or that they were annoying you. It may not come naturally to always smile at first, but once you get in the habit of doing so, you will find that simply smiling will actually put you in a better mood!
Listen, Listen, Listen
When a customer is describing a problem that they may be having with your company, be sure to really pay attention to the issues that they are having. Think of how much you hate having to repeat yourself- your customer is no different. Make sure to respond when appropriate to indicate but don’t interrupt, as that can also indicate that you weren’t really listening. This may seem simple, but it is actually different from what many people do. Believe it or not, your natural instinct is to jump in with a solution whenever it comes to mind. By doing this, however, you may not fully understand the problem or come up with the best possible solution. By waiting it out and fully hearing out the problem, you will have a better understanding of where your customer is at and the best possible way to help them, and they will notice that they have your full attention.
Respond to Complaints Accordingly
If something is wrong and it is your fault, take responsibility. Customer service is one area where you must always be able to admit when you were wrong. Haven’t you heard the saying, “the customer is always right”? You want to make sure to always right your wrongs.
One new area in which one must address complaints is through social media. Companies are often curious on how to handle the public criticism. The answer is to always respond and see if there is a way you can help to fix this customer’s problem. Ignoring it could seem like negligent customer service, and deleting it can seem dishonest and can anger customers. A good response to any complaint is to apologize and ask how you can fix this for them.
Go Above and Beyond
If you want to have more than just good customer service, you are going to have to differentiate yourselves from others. The way you interact with your customers should involve something special that they will immediately associate with your company. For instance, you could send out thank you notes, send out cards for birthdays and holidays, give a small gift to new customer, or anything you may think can set you apart from others and show your customers appreciation for doing service with you. These are the types of gestures that customers will remember and appreciate your company for. They may seem small to you, but that’s the point. Something small and inexpensive can really go a long way in maintaining relationships.
These are some of the many vital aspects to great customer service. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments below!