Help your Customers in Every Way

“Whatever your business is, talk to your customers and provide them with what they want. It makes sense”.Robert Bowman

Customers are the lifeline of any company – the reason for its existence and survival.  Is it not important then, for you to help your customers in every way possible? Customers have many choices now and if they do decide to do business with a particular company, it would be for a specific reason and need. The faster you can help your customers fulfil their needs and achieve their goals, the greater their level of satisfaction and happiness with your company. When you help your customers in every way possible, you display dedication, passion, and commitment and this in turn makes them trust and like your company more. With time, customer satisfaction turns to loyalty and brand advocacy – the two strongest pillars of any company.

With technological advancements, there are now many different channels, through which, customers can connect with a company. It does not necessarily have to be face-to-face interactions. Whatever manner customers choose to connect, it should be the endeavour of your company to help your customers every time and in every way. Happy customers are very likely to provide repeat business and or let others know about the great experiences they had dealing with your company. Repeated positive word of mouth recommendations prove to be extremely invaluable and would contribute to the success and growth of a company. What are some of the things that your company can do to help your customers? Depending on the company and its customer base, there can many value-added actions a company can take to show its interest in helping its customers.

One of the most important traits of customers is that they hate feeling ignored. In order to make them feel valued, it is important that your company pay close attention to them. They must feel like they are the most important person for your company (which they are) and that your company appreciates their business. This may not be ‘help’ in the actual sense of the word, but the fact is that giving proper attention to the needs of the customer is a simple yet highly potent element of customer service. To help your customers, simply means giving them what they want the most.

Have you ever walked into a store or called a company on the phone, only to be greeted with a sullen attitude bereft of a smile? Well you know how that feels – it would have put you in a bad mood and you probably would have wanted to leave the store or disconnect the call. This is certainly not the way to help your customers. Instead, make your customers happy and show them a helpful attitude by smiling at them whenever possible. Make sure that the smile is genuine – not affected or something that looks like a smirk, else you may get a negative reaction to them. In face-to-face interactions with your customers, ensure that you make reasonable eye contact and smile naturally. This will instantly put your customers at ease, make them feel like they are in the presence of friend, and hence would be more amenable to sharing and listening. A smiling customer service person or any company representative can uplift the reputation of a company and increase the number of customer happy experiences. The positive effects of a smile are possible to ‘see’ even over a telephone call. A smile will make your voice sound cheerful and happy, which in turn will make your customers interact more enthusiastically and be more cooperative.

We know how tough it is to gain customer loyalty in the current business scenario. With so many choices, customers can choose any company they want and can do so in the future too. Unless you have given them reason to feel welcome and have been able to help your customers in the past and consistently, your company may not be able to differentiate itself from the melee. Ensure that they always feel comfortable when interacting with your company – not every conversation must be geared towards selling. Remember that customers can make out rote ‘scripts’ and robotic behaviour – and studies reveal that this is one of the top reasons for customer dissatisfaction. It is never advisable to show customers that you are doing them a favour or that despite being displeased with the company in any way, you are still taking the ‘trouble’ to serve them. This does not reflect well on the company and its representatives.

To help your customers, ensure that you give them the attention they deserve by listening carefully to the words they speak and the message that could be ‘hidden’ in those words. Active listening means listening not only to what they say but also to the tone and pitch of their voice that could reveal their true feelings even if they may not saying exactly what they feel. It is important, in the spirit of helping your customers, that once they have said what they wanted, the service representative should be able to ask intelligent questions and paraphrase what the customer said. This would give customers the confidence that the company is ready to help them and would pay attention to their needs in the future too.

While customers may be experts in their area of business, they would depend on your company for the expertise of the products and services it offers. Hence, to help your customers ensure that you are an authority and an expert in your chosen field and are able to provide them with in-depth information. Ensure that your knowledge of the company’s offerings is far better, updated, and strong when compared to that of the customer – this will allow you to answer any tricky questions and field any doubts the customer may have. Doing so will raise the amount of trust and confidence a customer would have in your company – making it easier to either start doing business or becoming a repeat loyal customer. It would also behove your company to have in-depth industry related information and data about the industry the customer operates in. The more knowledgeable your company appears, the more likely it is that the customer would do business and may be recommend your company to others.

Remember that customers never forget how a company behaves with them. A top priority for customers is that a company keeps the promises it makes. Being true, honest, and keeping commitments will ensure that not only will your customers trust you, they would also be happy to recommend your company to others. In addition, when your company sincerely endeavours to help its customers, it becomes memorable for all the right reasons. Customers remember both the good and bad experiences but are more likely to speak about the negative ones. Give them vivid and lasting good experiences and they will be sure to spread them to others.

Your company (like most) possibly wants to help your customers whenever possible.  Do not limit yourself – offer them something extra that no one else does and see how they reward you! Helping your customers is the foundation of customer service and it would be good to revisit continuously, the ways to do so.

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