Providing excellent customer service may be one of the most important things you will do in your business. After all, if you do this part poorly, you’ll lose current customers and perhaps future customers too when they find out.
Create Standard Policies and Procedures
Setting up standards of service that your customers will read before and after buying and that you can use as your basis for how you provide a solution to their problem will help tremendously. Ensure your return policy, terms of service, and expectations are very clear to your customers.
Let The Customer Speak First
When a customer contacts you due to a problem, let them talk first. You want to listen to what they have to say and let them know you’re listening by making the right sounds, giving the right looks (if in person) and parroting back to them what you think they meant by what they said in your own words. Most customers tell you what they want in the first minute.
Don’t Take It Personally
If you are the product creator or direct service provider, it can be hard to provide customer service for yourself because it’s so personal. If you can’t separate things and see them as not personal and only business, you may want to outsource to someone who can do a better job at providing customer service to your customers.
Don’t Be Negative
Even if you have to say no to someone, it’s imperative that you maintain your composure and don’t be negative. Don’t attack. Don’t defend. State policies that you plan to stick to in a matter-of-fact way. Repeat if necessary, always using a calm voice.
Be Easy to Find
Don’t make it hard for your customers to contact you. The emails you send to your audience should allow for replying and not be a no-reply email address. Big corporations do use these but as a smaller business, you’ll turn away too many people if you do it too.
Get a Mirror
If you’re talking to people on the phone, get a mirror that you can look at while talking. If you smile and talk to the mirror, you’ll come off as friendlier and more approachable, and this will help keep the person calmer.
The thing is, while you want to say that the customer is always right, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes customer service feels like harassment. Even so, you need to put it in perspective and try to listen to what they have to say and what their complaint is first. Try to listen through the anger and find the solution. Create policies that make sense but be willing to bend them.
If someone is extra angry, you may be better off giving them a refund.
If your company is going to succeed, you need a tried and true way to keep interacting with your customers. Putting systems in places like streamlining, outsourcing and automation your business can be more efficient and productive giving you more time to devote to your customers.
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