It doesn’t matter what you offer by way of products and services. If your customers don’t enjoy interacting with you or other representatives of your business, you simply won’t have long-term success. In order to be an industry leader, your brand must set itself apart from its competitors. In the vast majority of cases, this isn’t done through products and services alone. It’s done through the incomparable customer experiences a brand is able to offer.
Providing excellent customer service should be a top priority for all businesses. But different business owners have conflicting opinions about how to provide customer service that is considered a cut above the rest. So what does it truly take to be a customer service master?
It all starts with “hello”.
Don’t leave it to your customers to make the first move. Many consumers get annoyed when they enter stores and are not greeted. Make it a strict store policy for all your associates to greet visitors with friendly smiles and warm greetings. A simple “Hello” or even a “Welcome to the store, let me know if you need help with anything” is a great way to develop and grow customer relationships.
“Be sure that all of your staff knows how to make the customers feel welcome, important, and respected,” insists Jo Ann Joy on CustomerServiceManager.com, “First, they must be greeted politely and courteously. Learn customer’s names and call them by name. Customers need to be treated fairly and with respect. Be sure your staff knows how to suggest alternatives when they cannot meet the customer’s needs.”
Use a friendly tone when using the phone.
Remember that not all of your customer service is provided in person. For the many would-be customers calling your store, be sure to offer the same warm and friendly service that you would if you were face-to-face. As well, be sure to answer phone calls quickly and respond to all voicemails as fast as you can. Most people much prefer live voices over recordings.
“There is nothing worse for a customer than trying to reach a sales representative or customer care agent, and failing to do so repeatedly,” says Stefanie Amini on the I Want I Now Blog, “Unfortunately, many businesses dedicated a lot of time and funds on automated systems. But in some cases customers will need to connect with a human being. Therefore it is important to invest properly in this regard.”
Provide useful information in a friendly way.
The most highly-favoured stores are the ones that provide useful information. Most consumers expect you and your representatives to be experts in your field. Never shy away from answering questions and providing valuable information even if it doesn’t generate a sale. Your expertise will go a long way in earning the trust of consumers.
“Customers want to be educated and informed about your products and procedures, and they want you to be understanding, friendly, and fair,” says Joy, “Remember that your customers’ needs will vary according to their individual personalities and according to the nature of your business.”
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