They are central to any business. Get it wrong and you're in trouble. Yes, we're talking about your customers. Here are a handful of things that you can do to take your service up a notch.
Delivering customer service is first and foremost about attitude. Having the right attitude towards your customers is incredibly important. Choose the wrong attitude then nothing else matters.
Next comes behaviours then skills. Behaviours are the things that customers see and hear. Skills are the things we need to learn and practice to deliver a better service.
Here are some top tips linked to the above to help you to improve your service:
Be Quick and Accurate: Some customers like to spend time chatting with you. Others just want you to be brief and bright. No-one likes service that takes too long. Be efficient but friendly. Use questions to engage with your customer, but make sure you continue to service the request.
With speed comes mistakes. Be sure to concentrate on what you're doing to make sure you get things right. Get something wrong, your speedy actions may lead to a longer problem to solve.
Be Empathetic: Telling a customer 'you understand how they feel' isn't being empathetic. Its's fake and it's patronising. Instead, take some time to listen to your customer issue. If they are stuck, take time to understand what they want. Be patient, listen and respectful. Being empathetic is about understanding the customers situation, not trying to feel like they do.
Follow Up: If you say you are are going to do something - do it. If you say you'll get back to them - do it. One of the biggest annoyances for customers is being let down. Be specific. Ditch the 'I'll get back to you ASAP'. Instead, provide specific times. Don't promise it will be fixed in that time scale. Instead, tell them you'll provide an update in that time scale.
Take Responsibility: If you make a mistake then own up to it. Passing the buck can cause more problems than its worth. Customer want to feel that someone has ownership for their problem, concern or issue. Use 'I' statements and not 'we' statements.
Its About the Customer: It's not about money. Sure, customers bring the money in, but if there are no customers, there is no revenue. By being customer centric and not revenue centric you'll keep them coming back. Look at it this way:
Happy Staff = Happy Customers = Healthy Revenue = Healthy Business = Happy Staff = Happy Customers (and so on and so on).
Cutting corners, not taking time, rushing, making mistakes and not taking responsibility will drive customers away.
Find out more about delivering great service. Grab a look at our customer service training course. There's some great tips, ideas and techniques in there to help you and your business improve service.