7 Small Customer Service Tips that Mean the World
Providing exceptional customer service is an integral part of every business. Most implement formal communications plans and provide technical training on their products and services to educate staff on the importance of customer service. As a complement to what you’re already doing, here we offer small tips to providing meaningful interactions with customers. Make these things a part of your company culture and you will surely reap the benefits!
It should go without saying that a pleasant disposition is the first step on your way to offering a good customer service experience. But, since it’s so important, it’s at the top of our list. A smiling face (even when talking on the phone) is welcoming. It makes you approachable and sets a positive tone of conversation. Always remember, there is no substitute for a positive attitude.
Customers reach out to be heard. Take it all in before responding. By listening, we learn and are able to solve problems more effectively.
Say Thank You
Without customers, there is no business. Learning to give thanks is a very small but powerful tool. Saying “thank you” after each interaction acknowledges appreciation and over time builds trust. Consider dropping a thank-you note in the mail (postal mail, not email) for a special, personalized touch.
Some businesses thank customers through loyalty rewards programs; this is an example of how giving thanks can be achieved at various levels within an organization. From verbal thanks over the phone, to a card in the mail, to a formal rewards program, all methods are meaningful in their own ways.
Engage Online Tools
Not only is it important to keep your company website up to date, offering online assistance is a small way to take your customer service to the next level. Help desk and live chats can be life changers if most of your business is done online. Anyone with an online store, online forms, or any other interactive tool, should consider offering a chat on instant-messaging feature to show customers they care about the experience they have on their site.
Respond in a Timely Manner
The best way to keep customers is to respond to questions, concerns and inquiries in a timely manner. During business hours, reply to emails and voicemail message within a couple of hours (or sooner, if possible). In a world where we are so tethered to communication devices, customers expect prompt replies.
Don’t know the answer to a question? Respond anyway. Let your customer know that you will find the answer if you don’t already know it. Or, better yet, connect them to the person who you know can help.
On that note, if you facilitated a connection, you should check back with your customer to make sure they were satisfied with the result.
We are taught early on as we enter the workforce that “the customer is always right;” even when they’re wrong or behaving poorly. This mantra is sometimes hard to live by when you’re in the bowels of serving customers. And, what we’re not always taught are the small, simple things we can all do as customer service reps to improve our own well-beings without sacrificing our integrity. An angry customer can easily put you on the defensive. My tip here is to BREATHE. Take a breath, and think about how you are going to respond calmly before you speak. When you know the customer is wrong, don’t argue with them; instead educate.