How do you deliver excellent customer service in your business?
Looking for advice from people who serve people well. Customer service is something that ensures our customers hang out, continue to buy from us, and keep coming back.
Customer service continues to be one of the highest impacting factors of why people do business with a chosen vendor or retailer. The number one thing that people remember about doing business with you is how you made them feel.
Treating customers with empathy and urgency in serving their needs and goals should not be compromised. Price and quality can even be minimized when a consumer enjoys doing business with you (to some extent). Know your customer and care about them.
It's impossible to deliver excellent customer service until you know what the customer values. And, it may not be the same for every customer.
For some customers, excellence is on-time delivery, or just plain "speedy" delivery (get it tomorrow if you order by 10 AM today).
For other customers excellence may be in the way your Web site works, how you arrange your merchandise in the store, the greeting they get at the cash register or when they walk in the door. For still others, it may be "concierge" treatment they get when they call or sit in your waiting room.
Chances are, if you get to know your customers, you can begin to segment your market based on what they truly value about doing business with them. When you have done that, you can begin offering all the varieties of "excellence" that keep your customers YOUR customers. You are likely even to discover where, when and how you can charge a premium for the specific excellence that some of your customers want and are willing to pay for.
Hi Denise ~
I always make the customer right. Once years ago, when I had fulfillment houses for my tapes/CDs (yes, it was awhile back :-), I received an annoyed voicemail from a customer saying she'd ordered a CD a month ago and still hadn't received it. I called her back, apologized profusely for the inconvenience, took her name and address and sent her the CD Priority Mail that day. It didn't matter to me whether or not she'd actually already paid; it is more important to have a satisfied customer touting an excellent service experience than a disgruntled one telling everyone they know never to patronize your business. Remember the old chestnut that a happy customer will tell a few friends — but an unhappy one will tell at least ten people! Goodwill is priceless.
I don't think it's a whole lot more complicated than everyone in the organization buying into treating the organization's customers with the exact same level of courtesy and professionalism that they expect when they hire a vendor, do business with a merchant, etc..
Secondly, people in the organization have to realize the world is a busy place for everyone these days. So much so that customers don't complain if they have no reason to complain. If they have issues you can bet they consider them serious because they have invested their time with you to try to resolve them.
To minimize issues the best solution from our experience is open and frequent contact with our customers. Take their advise and listen and respond to their concerns as often as practical business sense makes possible.
Well you are absolutely correct in saying you must serve people well. In my business that involves several things; 1. lots of phone conversations. I must fully understand what the person's situation is before i can recommend a product. This is a lengthy conversation at times because people think they know what they want as opposed to what they need. Two really different things. 2. On- going communication throughout the deciding and buying process, 3. quickly resolve any problems that may arise after purchase- again lots of talking. 4. If I can't help a person I refer them somewhere else.
First of all it is vital to have all your customer history inmediatelly in front of you as soon as your customers contacts you.
We as customers like to be known from the seller, and we hate to wait or waste time until the seller collects all the information from us to assist us.
A good tracking information software like CRM is vital for any kind of business not matter how big it is. Naming the customer and knowing exactly his activity with the business will save your business.
Then the other important thing to keep on mind is to be fully transparent with the customer. If you´ve sold something that you know it would have issues in the next future you should be prepared to repair the damage. I do not know a lot of customers who come back to the business if they felt they were cheated. In such cases it would be preferable to loose some money changing the stuff instead of loosing a customer for ever.
To end, never forget about a customer. This creates loyalty. No matter how small customer is, remember at least to say Happy Birthday yearly. People like these kind of behaviour.
From all your comments, its very clear that delivering excellent customer services requires:
1. Knowing/anticipating the needs of your customers
2. And being responsive that is having I am always here attitude and to let your customers know they can rely on you anytime they need your help - even responding to them when you're on your honeymoon...lol
3. And most importantly making sure that your customers enjoys returns/make profit worth or even more than their investment
Customers are the most important business makeup any business can hope for. A business that does not have customers is definitely a business not doing well. Excellent customers I regard generally as those customers who patronize the business favorably. Successful businesses see excellent customers as those who continue to patronize them and keep bringing more customers to the same business. Therefore, excellent customer service must be hinged on satisfaction that can prompt that customer to market for you. All kinds of marketing exist but I see person to person marketing as one of the most effective marketing any business should hope for. The clear difference in physically presenting a product to you is quite different from watching a TV advert. You can refuse to buy a shoe based on a TV advert but buy same shoe when your cousin who bought one tells you his or her experience. I will advise any business wishing excellent customer service to plan it simply in the way that each customer they have can bring forth another customer for that same business. Basing your customer service to encourage customer to customer marketing (physical advert presentation) is excellent customer service.
Start by being quiet and listening. Clients will tel you what they need and, if you ask them, tell you what they expect. You role is to define what you can deliver and be responsive when they need you. Never over promised and never deliver "knee jerk" solutions without taking a minute to examine the possibilities. Often we have a tendency to jump to problem solving mode before really defining the problem. Promise a response in a reasonable time if you need to research anything and then meet or beat the deadline you establish. Finally learn to do great apologies. You will screw up sooner or later if you are doing business. Take ownership, admit the error, and suggest a cure or response to deal with it. If you do these things they will remember you as a resource. Then make sure to seek referrals and ask permission to use them
First, I ask a lot of questions to find out about the needs of my client - not only what they need or think they want from me, but what else I can do for them and connecting them with other resources they might be seeking. Second, I seek to educate about my services, how I can help them and why it's necessary for them to fully understand the process. Lastly, I try to always under-promise and over-deliver. If I think I can get the job done by Tuesday and know for certain that I can get it done by Thursday, I'll give them a Friday delivery date and then try my best to have it by Tuesday. Nothing frustrates people more than empty promises and delays, so set the expectations accordingly.