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.

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6

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.

Thank you John for your insight!!! I totally agree!!!:-)

6

Setting customer expectations is key to providing excellent customer service. Being clear on what your company policies are ensures this. Also, having CSR's recognize that the customers' needs come before theirs AND that they have no business getting sucked in the customers' emotional turmoil. Knowing how to deflate that balloon is a skill. In addition to the hands-on tactics, it's important to have a means to stay in touch with your customers, soliciting feedback so they feel part of your product. This should lend itself to product loyalty. Customer service has always been ingrained in me from when I was a little kid so I learned to listen, be courteous, realize that an irate person is the one having the bad day - not me and come up with a workable solution so the customer leaves happy. Not everyone will be appeased but if you follow those basic principles at least you did everything in your power to resolve the situation at hand.

6

As a website designer, one of the things I used to do was to offer a 30-day unconditional no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. I had to seriously reconsider that policy when I had a customer who loved her website and referred people to me but then cashed in her guarantee and never told me what I could do to make things right.

Now what I do is I will make a website with no money down and then only ask for the money for hosting when they say they love the site.

I think this approach is really radical and crazy in many ways but it has worked well!

Joseph....you do not charge for your websites?

6

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.

Interesting topic

6

Today high-quality customer service is #1 factor on a way to growing business.

How we provide good customer service at http://www.nexgendesign.com/concept :

- communication. About 80% of customer's issues can be solved just by on-time call or chat. We do our best to make sure the team meets the deadline and performs high-quality work;

- weekly contact. Even if everything runs okay, anyway we reach the client just to make sure he is satisfied with work done;

- show that we are human beings and keep up with customers just like with our friends. When you have an informal connection that's a good basement to bring trust to your relations.

That's just a small part of a greater list on how you can improve your customer's experience and contribute to his business.

5

As a business and management consultant, it's imperative to satisfy my clients or customers. In my business, I follow a model or approach that is simple but effective:

- LISTEN
- UNDERSTAND
- PARTNER
- DELIVER RESULTS

In the end, the ultimate goal is to have satisfied clients or customers.

Thanks Guy!!!
Totally agree!!
How do you partner with your customers? How do you handle difficult customers?

Hi Denise,
To partner with customers, I place a lot of emphasis on establishing and building relationships. and trust. Besides your services or products, potential clients or customers need to know you and what you're about, but more importantly, how you can help them. There are various ways to market yourself but a friendly phone call and face to face meeting or discussion are a great start to building that relationship.

When dealing with difficult customers, it's important to listen, understand, and empathize with them. They need to trust in you that you are sincerely listening and want to help them or resolve their problem or concern. Be truthful, followup on your commitments, and deliver results as promised. If you can't deliver exactly what they want, be truthful and try to offer other alternatives or options that may satisfy them.

Hope this helps!

- Guy-

5

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.

Absolutely agree Richard. There is not a one size fits all plan.

5

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.

5

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.

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