Companies cannot succeed without customers, and companies providing both products and services ultimately must be focused on pleasing those who pay for their products. As a result, every business needs a focus on providing top-notch quality customer service.
While it can seem easy on the surface to provide good service that customers will appreciate, excelling in the field of customer service does not always come naturally and is not always intuitive. Professionals in every field, from marketing to business to retail, need to understand the keys to quality customer service. Some of the essential factors that impact a customer’s experience include:
Customers need to feel as if they are being hurt and customer service representatives need to hear them in order to understand how to meet their needs. When a customer is sharing a comment or complaint, listen actively instead of focusing on what your response will be. Ask questions of the customer and take the time to truly understand what the customer is seeking from you.
Anticipating the needs of customers:
While listening to customers and learning about their needs is important, it’s also ideal if you can anticipate what would make a customer happy without the customer having to ask. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer: what would you want your experience to be in buying a product or using a service? Provide this type of experience to every client you encounter. And, if you have a regular customer and know what they’ve asked for in the past, try to provide it automatically without even having to be asked.
Making customers feel important:
Customers generally like to do business with people who they believe actually value them. You want your customers to know that they are appreciated. This means you need to show your appreciation in your interactions. This could involve doing something as simple as sending holiday cards and remembering the names and preferences of regular customers who come in to see you. Everyone who walks through the door of your business or who you have a professional encounter with should feel as if you took the time to try to understand them and to meet their needs.
Using appropriate body language:
Body language can send a strong and powerful non-verbal message. It is vital that you show customers with your body language that you are listening to what they are saying and are eager to speak with them. Make eye contact, lean forward in your chair when talking face-to-face, and don’t fidget, yawn, or cross your arms when having a conversation with a client.
Acting with empathy and understanding:
If customers have an issue, you want to make sure you understand why they are upset and you want to demonstrate that you empathize with their feelings. You can dispel a lot of frustration if you simply make sure customers know that you recognize they have a reason to be upset and that you’re working to solve the problem.
Working to get to yes:
Your goal should be to find a way to meet the customer’s demands when it is feasible to do so. This means if you have to go outside of protocol slightly or bend a meaningless rule to help ensure a customer is satisfied, you should try to do that when possible. If a customer is asking for something you cannot deliver, don’t just say no but instead offer alternative suggestions that you believe would accomplish the same objectives but that are within the purview of acceptable options from your perspective.
Knowing when, and how, to apologize: Customers don’t expect perfection, but they want an acknowledgment of when something has gone wrong or when a promise was not delivered on. Don’t offer a non-apology apology, such as saying that you’re sorry they were upset. Own up to your mistakes and explain how you’ll make things right in the future.
Whatever your customers expect of you in terms of products or services, try to do better. If you can consistently exceed the expectations of your customers, you will earn a lot of repeat business and you will often get referrals that can help your company to reach new audiences.
Are you looking for top-notch staff for your growing business?
The McIntyre Group can help in ensuring that you and your staff are providing the best customer experience possible so your business can continue to grow and thrive. Contact The McIntyre Group today to find out how we can help you to hire customer service professionals who will excel at making your customers happy.