“You are serving a customer, not a life sentence.   Learn how to enjoy your work.”    –Laurie McIntosh

 

 

Statistics show that keeping a customer happy is a lot less expensive than getting a new customer. Therefore, it’s imperative to form a customer-centric attitude that you pass on to every part of your organization.

1. Listen:

You know the saying as well as anyone: “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Well, it’s a good analogy for what you should do in any situation, not just business. Zip your lips and listen to what the customer has to say and you’ll see that they’ll calm down and give you just the way to help them.

2. Study Your Audience:

You should always be conducting research on your audience. Audiences grow and change even while maintaining the same demographics over the years. Think about how different 25-year-olds are today from what they were in 1950. The more you know about them and their lives, the better you can serve them.

3. Get Feedback:

You can nip some problems in the bud immediately simply by asking for feedback from customers as a matter of practice. Give your customers some time to enjoy their purchase, and then send them a survey asking for feedback. Use text that will let them know you want to improve your services or product and their input is essential to this process. Offer an incentive such as a discount, or a freebie such as a checklist or something to help them with their purchase in exchange for giving feedback.

4. Anticipate Needs:

When you know your customers, you can anticipate the types of questions they’ll have and the types of products and or services they’ll need. In fact, you want to be able to know your audience so well that you only offer them things that they already want. Plus, it means you know the type of help they need to use your product or get the most from your services.

5. Treat Them Like VIPs:

Once someone is your customer, you should treat them like GOLD. This will make them feel special and it will cut down on problems. Give customers a special number to contact you, or a special email address or even a special text number to get help.

6. Smile:

Even if you’re talking to your customer on the telephone, it’s important to smile as you help them. Smiling releases endorphins that make you calmer and happier, thus enabling you to deal with even the most difficult customer in the best way.

7. Answer Positively:

Even when you have to say no about something, try to phrase it in a positive way. Instead of saying, “No we can’t give you a refund”, say something like, “I see what you mean, and we can offer you XYZ and ABC. How does that sound?”

8. Apologize:

Always say that you’re sorry even if you’re not at fault. “I’m sorry” goes a long way to helping people calm themselves down if they’re upset about something. Often, people are upset even before contacting customer service, and will be taken off guard when you apologize fast and get to the problem instead of being defensive.

9. Give:

The more giving you can be during any type of customer support interaction, the more your audience will become loyal to you. Try to answer customers fast; and when it’s possible to give them what they want, do it. It will pay off.

10. Train Customer Service Staff Well:

If you have a team handling customer service (and you should at least have a VA doing it), then you need to train them well about your customers and about your products and services. Create a searchable FAQ for your agents so that they know the best way to respond to customers – to put them first and elevate customer support.

Here is a book on customer service games to help train your support staff on how to handle customer complaints and requests. Click here for the book: “The Big Book of Customer Service Training Games,” by Peggy Carlaw.

Finally, put systems in place that help you treat your customers the best. Allow them to communicate with you in a variety of ways and don’t hide your contact information from them. Most people like doing business with people who are transparent and helpful. To be honest, the competition for good customer service is easy to win since most businesses provide such lousy options. You can come out on top here with just a little extra effort.

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