“91% of companies claim to be customer focussed – only 10% of customers agree” (Forrester Research 2012)
The key to good customer service is building good relationships with your customers. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more.
To ensure you provide the best customer service:
- Know what your customers consider to be good customer service
- Take the time to find out customers' expectations
- Follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive
- Ensure that you consider customer service in all aspects of your business
- Continuously look for ways to improve the level of customer service you deliver
- Make an effort to surprise and delight - In the blog image you can see the efforts a hotel went to, to cheer up a distressed child who had left his favourite toy in the room - showing the child that the Giraffe was in good hands and having fun before sending him back!
To build good customer relationships you need to:
- Greet customers and approach them in a way that is natural and fits the individual situation
- Show customers that you understand what their needs are
- Accept that some people won't want your products and concentrate on building relationships with those who do
- Help people - even just letting a customer know about an event that you know they're personally interested in is helpful
- Continue to keep customers aware of what's in it for them to do business with you.
If you want to provide the best customer service, all of your staff need to have good communication and sales skills. You will also need to show leadership by personally providing excellent customer service at all times. Learn more about the sales process.
Listen to customer complaints; you may learn something about your product or service. Let customers know that you appreciate feedback.
Overcome any objections. Listen to what the customer is objecting about (often price, merchandise or time). Confirm the validity of each concern and offer a solution.
Know your products - where everything is located, brand names, place of manufacture and price. The more you know, the more confidence you can build in the customer.
Recognise product features. Turn these features into benefits for the customer. Ensure your staff can tell customers about the product features and benefits.
No matter how good your products or services are, their success depends on your ability to sell them. Your business will grow or fail based on the success of your products and services, and how well you persuade your customers to buy them.
“Customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are, it’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”