If you want to be recognized as an outstanding provider of customer service, you have to consistently exceed the expectations of your customers. This is how organizations build customer loyalty and keep customers coming back for repeat sales.
Customers that are merely satisfied with your performance aren’t angry or upset with you, but they still may choose to do business with your competitors. Loyal customers, on the other hand, will keep coming back to you and choose not to purchase from your competitors because they have come to depend on the outstanding service that you offer them.
Organizations that are recognized as exceptional customer service providers are the ones that have incorporated customer-centric behaviors into their way of doing business. You, too, can do this at your organization by focusing on a few key deliverables from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:
Make the Customer your priority — Always initiate a positive, initial contact and strive to consistently establish a rapport. Don’t keep your customers waiting or rush them through a sale. Let the customer proceed at a pace that is comfortable for him and always make him feel special. And of course, thank them and encourage them to return soon.
Maintain an Appropriate Attitude — Above all, always respect the customer even when it’s difficult to do so. Be professional and keep all communication positive.
Determine the Customer’s Needs — The customer knows what he wants, but may not be articulating it correctly. It is important, therefore, that you master good listening skills. If you don’t understand a request, use positively phrased, direct questions until you do understand. Always be respectful, and always ask how you can better serve the customer’s needs.
Strive to Build Relationships — The building blocks of strong relationships include thoroughly knowing your products and services, being fair with your customers, keeping your word when you say you’ll follow through on something, and admitting errors or lack of knowledge about a certain topic.
Implement a System for Effectively Resolving Problems — If a problem occurs, empathize with the customer, and apologize for the confusion. If the fault lies with you, take ownership of it. Don’t take problems personally, and recognize them as a learning opportunity. And of course, respond to problems in a timely manner and strive to formulate a win-win solution.
Remember that customer service is all about perception. If your customers don’t see your organization or representative as one that engages in customer-focused behavior, then no matter what, you are not providing exceptional customer service. Remember that every time someone who represents your organization comes in contact with a customer or prospect, your reputation is on the line. Adhere to the five key factors of service above and you’ll be well on your way toward cultivating loyal customers.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @micarnegie.
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici