7 Key Fundamentals of a Great Customer Service Philosophy
Great customer service doesn’t have to be impossible to figure out. A well-crafted customer service policy is something businesses of all sizes should practice, day in and day out. Make sure everyone, from the CEO to the newest hire, understands these 7 ideas to ensure your business can manage its customer service approach better and make it one that your customers love.
#1. Utilize common sense
So many businesses fail to the things that seem obvious. First off, take care of your customers the way you would want to be treated and make sure you prove your sense of customer centricity through your actions. Understand that what you think may be the answer is not always what your customer is looking for. Make sure you deliver on all levels and don’t think that poor quality products or services or uncompetitive pricing will go unnoticed. At the same time, your team must show customers how important they are – even if your products or services are great, if your team doesn’t show your customers how much you value them, they’ll eventually choose to support another business.
#2. Practice flexibility
Do not let “business policy” get in the way of making your customers happy and creating customers who want to be loyal to you. Bending over backwards to ensure customer satisfaction is one of many ways to stand out among your business competitors. There can be a point that you will stick to the policies and can’t give your customer exactly what they are looking for, but still base your actions on the saying that the customer is always right. When they are wrong, it’s okay to let them stay that way politely. Make it a point, though, to take the necessary steps to make every customer happy as often as possible. Empower your team to be flexible through proper training. Remember that every employee has an impact on the customer. Ensure your team knows how to handle each situation so they can satisfy your customers and continue to bring profit to the business.
#3. Strive to solve issues
There are various issues to solve during a single day, and they either fall into the category of business or non-business issues. Business issues may involve meeting the needs of your customers or managing customer complaints. Customers often find reasons to need assistance – and your job is to help them. Some businesses go above and beyond and allow their customers to contact specific individuals within the company instead of emailing a general address. Personalize the customer experience through dedication to satisfaction – make sure your customers know that relationships matter to you. Remember that this isn’t about reducing effort; it’s about delighting the customer.
#4. Listen to understand
One of many strategies to land repeat customers is to simply listen. It’s common for people to listen to compare, but make sure your team listens to understand and help the customer. A customer-focused culture realizes that each customer is unique and has his or her own reason for seeking help. Don’t automatically assume that you know the issue your customer may have. Listen so you can solve problems and answer questions for each customer as an individual and don’t let your team turn into robots that fail to act accordingly.
#5. Don’t say the first goodbye
It doesn’t matter if you feel that you’ve answered the customer’s questions. You aren’t the one who should end the conversation. Let your customer be in charge of ending the call or conversation. The customer will decide that a conversation is over when he or she is content. The customer comes first, always. Their satisfaction is top priority and if he or she isn’t satisfied, there’s a problem. The customer is more important than the company. Never be the first to say goodbye.
#6. Show your generosity
One mindset you should always have before contact with your client or customer is that your business is secure. Even if it’s not totally secure, you have to believe that it is and act that way. You and your business can afford to act generously. Think of the times you’ve experienced great service, from a free refill on coffee to a coupon for a complimentary sandwich. Then think about the times you’ve had a poor experience. Maybe a time a restaurant did not replace your cold food or charged extra money for a side of sauce.
Bad service stems from a sense of scarcity – when a business feels like it can’t offer anything more and must protect the bottom line with every ounce of its being. If you, as a business owner, feel secure and that you have plenty to share with your customers, this feeling will flow into your interactions with customers. Take a small loss on occasion, be nice, and share. You can afford to because that dollar you lost can win you the loyalty of a customer who will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars with you over the course of your relationship.
#7. Prioritize recovery
This is a big one. You will gain the ability to keep a customer happy for a long time if you have an excellent recovery approach. Research tells us, hands down, it’s much less expensive to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. Do what you can to bounce back from any issues you may have. Give your customers a fresh dose of confidence so that their decision to continue to support your business is crystal clear. If something you did turns a customer away, you have to do more than simply fix the issue – you have to offer complimentary services and a sincere apology in an effort to keep that customer on board.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or what industry you are in. Customer service is always there in every aspect of your business. Adopt these features of an excellent customer service philosophy; they are simple yet potent tools you can turn to that will help you attract new customers and retain them for years to come.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media. When she’s not publishing a weekly newsletter to educate small businesses on the vast importance of building up their web presence, she likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, apps and other reviews. She also keeps tabs on the foremost events for small business owners to attend. Megan spends much of her time building partnerships and establishing new relationships on behalf of ChamberofCommerce.com. With a strong suit for managing business partnerships and developing partner relations, she often cultivates topics around the partnerships she’s established by reviewing and highlighting what makes each business unique. She prides herself on keeping up with the diverse variety of services each business specializes in to spotlight new offerings. With her extensive repertoire, Megan regularly contributes to a growing number of publications, like Business.com, Disability.gov, Vistaprint, Yext, Infusionsoft, among many others. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Read Full Bio