Making your customers happy is a great goal, but some businesses have trouble doing it. Great customer service will always make them happier no matter what else happens. In fact, customer service might be the most important aspect of your entire business. But how do you it? Itís not that hard. Try these tips.
1. Follow the Golden Rule
Do you remember this one? Always treat others as you wish to be treated. Itís a great touchstone for interacting with customers. Just put yourself in their place. How would you feel, what would you want? Treat them with dignity. Just because they have a problem they canít solve doesnít make them any less intelligent than you, or any less worthy of respect.
If you can make it clear that you sympathize with them and want to help them solve their problem, youíve made a big impact already. Now they see you as an ally where they might have dreaded contacting you in the first place. Are they happy, probably not yet, but keep going.
2. Always Be There
Answer your phone. Itís really that easy. Make sure when someone calls, or makes contact through some other channel like email or the internet, there is someone there to respond, day or night, all around the clock and every day of the year.
There may be times where that just isnít possible, so make your backup system, like voicemail, as clear and helpful as you can. Tell them how quickly you can contact them and then do it. Just knowing they have reached someone helps. And knowing the next time they call they can reach someone again will help build that happy customer you are looking for.
3. Make Friends
Get on your customerís side. You are their friend here to help them out of a tough spot. Itís nice if you already know a lot about their situation, their prior calls, common problems, type of business. Customer service CRM software can help here, by providing a record of all their previous calls and any information collected in the course of those contacts. Even personal information can be included.
If you know what state they reside in you can ask about the weather there as you research their problem. As old-fashioned as it sounds, casual conversation can still make people more comfortable. And a comfortable, relaxed customer is more likely to be happy, arenít they?
4. Help Them Out
This is really why you are here, to help them out with their problem. Make sure they know it. If they understand they are not an interruption to your day, but the reason why you are there, it can relieve some of the tension that everyone brings with them when asking for help. Beyond that, work to find a solution for their problem. And keep in mind that the problem you diagnose may not be the one they want solved. That means ask what they want to have happen. Find out what it will take to make it feel solved to them.
This may not be exactly the same as the technical solution you need to apply. You might need to explain to them how that solution really does give them what they want. If they feel like you have just done some technological magic to make things look right, they arenít going to be happy. Once they believe youíve fixed it, thatís when happiness starts.
5. Make It Right
Your task isnít over after solving their problem, not if your goal is great customer service. Now is the time to, as they used to say, Ďeat crowí. Apologize for the problem. Tell them how you plan to prevent it from happening in the future. Ask what you can do to make up for their inconvenience. Be prepared to follow through and make it up to them. This can be key to turning a bad experience, having a problem, into an amazing one.
Not only have you been there when they needed you, treated them well, befriended them, and solved their problem, you are now offering to make up for the situation the problem caused. Itís possible just the offer will be sufficient, but that doesnít mean you shouldnít be prepared to follow through. The offer should be honest. But this is likely to cement your company in their mind as one that cares for its customers and is willing to go the extra mile to satisfy them. Satisfied customer are happy customers.
While these steps wonít guarantee all your customers will be happy and your customer service will be perfect, it will put you on the right road. With these basics you have a solid foundation on which to build. Keep exploring ways to delight your customers and you will both be happy.
What are some other good ways to improve customer service? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.