Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. … Customer support is more than just providing answers; it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers. If you are in retail here are some great tips
Good customer service typically means providing timely, attentive, upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business.
Before we continue I want you to think about what customer service has excited you and what we put up with and why. There is an interesting info graphic
that covers a lot of the key areas.
Let’s start with expectations. You know you have to call a service company and expect to be put on hold for how long? Spectrum
does tell you the wait time and how long it will take, and will call you back , however Once you get the right person they can only solve one issue then they transfer you someplace else for a 15 minute hold time; during which you hear how important your call is. Compare this to Wayfair
that answers almost immediately, solves what they can and the transfer to another department is also immediate. Unfortunately one of the items I want will take 30 weeks; not waiting for it, but they did try to find alternatives.
Here’s another expectation; medical appointments. Unless the doctor is a surgeon on call or and obstetrician why do they make you wait and why do they double or triple book. One doctor told me it was because people cancel and don’t tell them. My response to him was don’t penalize me for their bad behavior and my time is just as valuable as yours. See me on time or I’ll go someplace else. He was much better after that at least for me.
Who are your competitors? How do they handle customers; be it inquiries or complaints.? How is your website? My husband needed an x-ray. and we were referred to Rolling Oaks. Their website lists a site that does walk in x-rays in Westlake village; it’s closed and if you try to call the number doesn’t even ring. They listed another site and to call takes you back to the main number which tells you to go to the website which gives you the main number. Fortunately, it was a walk in and the doctor had already sent the order so we were able to be seen right away. Not impressed.
If someone has an inquiry and you don’t have the answer at hand do you call them back? How long does it take? How well are you communicating? Do you effectively answer the questions or are you incoherent and using buzz words? Never mind I’ll try somebody else. The customer may try to explain their need or want and not be clear. It is important to make sure you understand what is being asked. Clarity is key. Keep asking questions and carefully listen for the response. Don’t talk over people or assume.
Does your staff have all the right information to answer questions correctly? Going back to Spectrum,
because we were moving out of LA County and into Ventura County I had to change the office line It is now 805-262-2603
I was told when I did the preliminary order that there would be a message on my old number for 60 days stating that number was no longer in service and the new number is 805-262-2603 It was a lie. nobody ever heard of that policy. Was i upset? YES!!!!!!
Problem solving is the most important aspect of customer service. Sometimes it’s finding the right product at the right price. Other times it’s solving an issue about a previously purchased product. When you are dealing with upset customers, never talk down to them, tell them they are wrong or belittle. Listen to what they are saying. Follow it with the phrase I am sorry that happened to you , how can we fix this? Note the “we”. It’s important to show collaboration. If they are shouting respond firmly and slowly lower your voice, they will lower theirs. Never shout back. Ask questions to lead to a solution. Be patient.
Remember your customers are not just the people who buy from you, they are your staff as well. Make sure they feel valued and you appreciate what they are doing. Something to ponder. If your staff doesn’t feel you appreciate them they will complain to friends and family who when given a chance to purchase something may not go to you based on how you treat you staff
Remember your staff can impact hiring, retention and customer loyalty.
To differentiate yourself from your competitors know what your customers want and need give them value, and treat them as they want to be treated. Same for your staff.