We all want to be given 5 stars by our customers. But, how do you practically do that? The obvious answer is that you’ve “Got to give the people what they want”, but that’s not always possible. Top regarded companies across any industry tend to have core competencies that unite them in being, well, awesome. One of these competencies is good, if not exceptional, customer service.
Good customer service derives from many different elements: respectful representatives, honesty, company integrity, responsiveness, compassion, active listening, and the list goes on. Here are 7 ideas to ensure that your customers receive an exceptional customer service experience every time.
1. People Love to Talk to People!
We have all called companies and received the inevitable prerecorded answering service. There is nothing worse than an answering machine taking you in the wrong direction or messing up your service request.
For larger corporations, recordings can be necessary for directing customer traffic. However, as a small business, keep it personal! Have people answer phones directly; it’s a great way to improve your customers’ experience with your customer service.
2. Let your Employees’ personality shine through!
Happiness can be infectious along with friendliness. Encourage your employees to show their personality and be engaging with your customers. Customer service representatives need to uphold the standards of your company along with your service polices. However, employees adding personal touches can be that little element that sets your company apart from the competition.
3. Actively Listen and Engage!
Everyone loves to really be listened to and engaged with. If a customer is calling about an issue they are having with a product or service, ensuring they are being heard is especially important. Encourage customer service representatives to actively listen and respond to customers. A good tactic is to have an employee listen to an issue, repeat the customers concerns back to them, and then offer solutions.
4. Offer a Surprise Upgrade or Gift!
People love a good value and free products. If you are a service company, offer discounts or free upgrades to customers. Try adding a surprise gift within a purchase order or offer free shipping after a monetary value has been met. Little touches this make customers feel like you care about and value their business.
5. Be Timely!
Time is money these days and your customers do not have time to wait hours on a service call. Being timely with your responses to customer calls and emails. Set aside time to email each individual customer back. Implementing this practice adds a personal touch and will set you apart from the competition. Also, give customers accurate windows they can expect responses to their concerns.
6. Make Your Customers Feel Good!
The ultimate goal of good customer service to make them feel satisfied. Making your customer’s feel validated and understood is a great first step. Start by asking them what they want as an end result to resolve an issue. Send personal follow up emails or, better yet, a personal phone call to see if they were satisfied with the outcome. Happy customers, after all, are more likely to be repeat customers!
7.Go above and beyond!
Satisfying your customers is a great goal, but wowing them is even better! Little touches of kindness and compassion set companies apart from others. Giving gifts, discounts or upgrades are a great starting point.
Following up directly with customers makes them feel valued and that you care. Encourage your customer service representatives to follow polices, but also individualize responses. Set your company apart by using these ideas and keep fine-tuning so that your customers can have the best experience possible!
Exceptional customer service starts with the drive to provide your customers with the best experience possible. We hope that these ideas give you inspiration for exceptional customer service practices! For more ideas check out these resources:
Zappos: The Zappos Effect
Entrepreneur Magazine: 5 Best Customer Service Ideas
Our very own, Bob Farrell’s book: Give ’em the Pickle