We are all consumers in one form or another and we all have an opinion of how we want to be treated.
Credibility is key when retaining loyal clients.
If this is true, why do we experience poor service so often?
Are the people we deal with from another planet?
Is there a conspiracy on the unwitting public to make us line up, face forced smiles or lengthy processes to resolve an issue when something arises?
Hardly. The reason is much simpler, we don’t stick to the rules.
FIVE UNBREAKABLE RULES OF CUSTOMER SERVICE exist to ensure that your business keeps its credibility and ensures a fantastic buying experience:
1) Keep your promises (or, make promises you can keep) – This is the fundamental reason for customer dissatisfaction. Not meeting an expectation can stem from many causes i.e. poor communication of what your product or service does, not delivering on time or as specified, etc. Knowing your capabilities and selling on your strengths is key.
2) Listen to your customers’ needs & meet them – A Salesman once shared a simple trick with me. He said that you can almost be guaranteed finding out what your customers need when you “Use your ears and your mouth in proportion”. Of course, finding their unmet needs takes questions and investigation but this trick ensures that your customer gets their say and isn’t spending their time listening to something they may not be interested in.
3) Deal with complaints quickly, without hassle to the customer – People are reasonable. Most will accept an issue as long as they have a solution to their problem and know that you’re genuinely sorry for their inconvenience. Even the best companies, with the most engineered processes and the biggest budgets make mistakes. What sets businesses apart is how they then drill to the root cause of the problem and make changes to solve it. Do you find new problems every day or are you still dealing with yesterday’s?
4) Training, Review, Training, Review, Training… – Continuously assessing, determining opportunities and acting to improve your customers service is essential. We all know this is important but how many businesses actually do this? Take a systematic approach – Set regular reviews with staff, ask them what is done well and what isn’t. Take those suggestions and target training events to address knowledge and practical issues.
5) If ever in doubt, follow The Golden Rule – We’re all consumers and we’ve all formed opinions of how we want to be treated. This one’s easy, treat others the same way. Ever been told “I’ll have to check with my manager?”. Ensure your staff are empowered to make the decision to solve a customer complaint and avoid this credibility killing question.
We would love to hear your worst customer service experiences and how they could have done better.
(No names please – we unfortunately won’t be able to post them)Share This