With any luck, as a business owner, you will have read this blog title and have a strong opinion as to your response.
Customer service is the lifeblood of any business and is as diverse as the many industries and businesses that rely on good service to survive.
What do you think about when you hear the words ‘customer service’ though? Is it the period spent with your consumer as you try to confirm a sale, or perhaps it’s the phase you spend working with your client on an ongoing project? Do you consider the time after the deal is done, the project is over, and the client has left just as important?
For the majority of us as both consumers and business owners, we should expect the same standard of customer service whether we’re buying a latte or a Lamborghini.
What’s the key to good customer service? We asked our Socially Shared members to share their thoughts and here’s what they said:
Service with a smile, giving that little bit extra, and service where they look like they enjoy their work are important factors for Stephanie Rix.
‘Mutual respect,’ adds Michelle Abrahall. ‘As a customer, there's nothing worse than being made to feel like a hindrance. As a service provider, I aim to be friendly and pleasant to deal with.’
Relationships and integrity are essential for Karen Ramsay-Smith.
Listening and observing to work out what is important to the individual customer so that the extra mile you go is their journey are vital skills for Julia Hart.
Here are our top five tips for turning your customer service skills into a unique selling point for your business.
Answer the phone/respond to the email. If your client can’t get hold of you or doesn’t have a prompt response to their enquiry, then you risk losing that customer. Being approachable and professional in your dealings will keep your clients coming back.
Being helpful. I recently had to call an electrician to look at a faulty light switch. He fixed the problem but didn’t charge me as it was a simple task that took him five minutes. I always remembered that and later booked him for a much larger, paid job.
Listen carefully. When we feel like we’re not being heard, it can be incredibly annoying. Understanding what your client needs by listening to what they say, and what they want is vital to your business relationship.
Be honest. If you can’t deliver what you have promised, then you could damage even the most solid of business relationships. Your clients are putting their faith in you and your products or service and therefore need you to be reliable in return. If you can’t meet a deadline, or struggle to complete a piece of work, it’s crucial that you keep the lines of communication open between you and your customer and remain honest at all times.
Be memorable (but for the right reasons!) Taking that extra step, offering something extra, being warm and friendly as well as professional and sincere will keep you in the forefront of your customer's mind.
Can you add to the list? Share your key to good customer service with us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sociallysharednetwork/