Tips On How To Provide Customer Service That Outshines Your Competitors
Do you want to win more business without dropping your price? Here are time-proven techniques to ensure that your customers always think of you, before they even consider your competition.
There’s no real secret to getting your customers to come back. All you need to do is provide customer service that exceeds your customers' expectations and outshines your competitors' customer service.
Acumen Research Group surveyed more than 1,000 Canadian retail, banking and telco customers to determine what made them behave loyally and what made them leave long-term relationships; 43 percent of respondents abandoned a provider to which they declared themselves loyal because of a negative experience with a staff person, and 30 percent of respondents reported that having the feeling they are not treated as valued customers by the staff has been the main reason for taking their business elsewhere.
Talk less about yourself.
The most common mistake that companies and individuals make is talking about their own emotions, like "We're happy to announce..." or "We're excited at the opportunity..." Customers don't care how you feel. They care about how you make them feel and people feel good when they talk about themselves. Let your competition have the "Me Me Me" messages.
Interview customers who don't buy.
When it comes to selling, there is no more valuable piece of information than what you learn when you ask: "Why didn't you buy?" Way too much sales energy goes into replicating success when the real issue is avoiding the errors. Correct those errors and your competition will keep spinning their wheels.
Know Your Product or Service
To provide good customer service, you need to know what you're selling, inside and out. Make sure you and your customer-facing staff know how your products or services work. Be aware of the most common questions customers ask and know how to articulate the answers that will leave them satisfied.
Customer service starts with a smile. When you are in a face-to-face situation, a warm greeting should be the first thing your customers see and hear when they ask for help. Even when handling customer service requests via telephone, a smile can come through in your voice, so make sure you're ready to be friendly.
Say Thank You
Gratitude is memorable, and it can remind your customers why they shopped at your store or hired your company. Regardless of the type of business, you have to say thank you after every transaction is one of the easiest ways to start a habit of good customer service.
Train Your Staff
It's important to make sure all of your employees, not just your customer service representatives, understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and otherwise assist customers. Provide employee training that gives your staff the tools they need to carry good service through the entire customer experience.
Customer service often can involve emotions, so it's important to make sure you and others you have handling your customer service tasks are always courteous and respectful. Never let your own emotions overtake your desire to see your customer walk away happy.
Listening is one of the simplest secrets of customer service. It means hearing what your customers are saying out loud, as well as what they are communicating non-verbally. Watch for signs that they are displeased, while listening to what they say to you directly.
There may be nothing worse than nonresponsiveness to a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what you're selling. It's important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none so the customer doesn't feel ignored.
Ask for Feedback
You may be surprised by what you learn about your customers and their needs when you ask them what they think of your business, products, and services. You can use customer surveys, feedback forms, and questionnaires, but you also can make it a common practice to ask customers first-hand for feedback when they are completing their orders.
Use Feedback You Receive
You need to do something with the feedback you receive from customers to make it useful in your customer service process. Take time to regularly review feedback, identify areas for improvement, and make specific changes in your business.
Excellent customer service often comes down to consistently checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with the products and services you're selling and the process of purchasing, ordering, working with you. If you do that successfully, you are on your way to becoming known for providing excellent customer service.
Reward Your Customers' Loyalty