Absolutes of Customer Service

“The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.”- Derek Sivers

Service to customers is not the extension of a company’s job, it is the core function. Customers are the indispensable asset for any company as without them there would be no company. Using the nuances of customer service for customer satisfaction will not only grow a company’s business but also help to gain repute in the market through positive referrals.
An understanding of the importance of customer service for customer satisfaction must be all-pervading and not just the ‘job’ of the customer service teams. There are some absolutes of customer service that every member of the organization must not only be aware of but also practice.

Never forget the importance and significance of the customer. They are the decision makers and their needs must be of prime importance to you. Customers pump money in to the company making it possible for people to have jobs and earn salaries and bonuses. Customers are constantly giving out hints and signals about what they expect and the level of customer service they expect to be completely satisfied.

One of the key absolutes of customer service for customer satisfaction is to be really good and active listeners. It is tempting to immediately want to make a sale but it is absolutely crucial to first listen to what customer’s need both from a business and emotional perspective. Listening accurately would mean listening beyond words – reading their comments, analysing their buying trends, the words they use, the tone and pitch of their voice and even body language in face to face interactions. It is crucial to understand the customer in the current situation and to steer clear of making assumptions of what they need based on history.
It is easy to be caught up in the everyday flow of work and be so pre-occupied that the very reason the business is there and thriving is ignored. Unless you know ‘who’ you are serving how will you effectively serve?

– Give your ‘reasons for business’ your undivided attention – this is an absolute of customer service for customer satisfaction.

– When you are listening you will not only understand needs of the customers, it would be possible to anticipate them in the immediate future. Customers are as eager to build great relationships and do business with people they like – they expect to receive solutions to their problems over and above the products and or services they are buying. Listening well allows you to address their emotional needs, which in fact are the main reasons that customers buy.

– Individualize your customer service for customer satisfaction. Treat every customer with respect and importance and let them feel appreciated and welcome. Using their name while addressing them, complimenting them on little successes and remembering their special events are just ways to enhance the feeling of cordiality, trust and rapport. Be genuine, since customers are smart at perceiving it. They know quite early on whether your company cares about them or only their business. Ensure that whoever interacts with them is polite and thanks them suitably for their business. It is especially vital for those customer service representatives who meet customers face to face – remember that body language and words must be in sync and together convey genuine interest in the customer.

– Draw your customers in by showing your customers how your company operates. Show them the systems and processes that are in place to ensure that customer service for customer satisfaction is always achieved. When a customer calls with a problem, they are usually impatient and even irate and they should not be expected to understand why a resolution would take time. At all times be polite, empathetic and provide a personal touch.

– If your company would like customers to say yes to them, then ‘yes’ must flow from the company first. Be ready to help your customers in whichever way possible – respond to their requests positively (of course within reason) and ensure that strategies and policies do not stand in the way of finding an effective solution. Never overpromise and under-deliver. Reduce customer effort in every interaction and they will thank you in more ways than one.

– Despite your best efforts, there will be many occasions where things go wrong. Own up and apologize. Customers would appreciate a genuine apology and even be ready to give your company another chance. This is true even if the customer is wrong – you cannot say that to them and must ensure that they feel they have gained from the interaction. Whatever the case, ensure that the problem is dealt with and provide feedback to them on the actions taken. Continually monitor the channels and processes that customers use to complain – make it easy for them to complain. It is always better that customers complain – it is an opportunity to better your service and give them what they want. It would not be good for a customer to leave you without saying a word – you would lose a customer and not know what you did wrong. Complaints are valuable feedback – take it as such and do everything to make the customer smile again.

– Never leave any window of opportunity and give them more than they expect. Customer service for customer satisfaction will ensure that your customers remain happy and never want to leave you for competition. Outdo their expectations and wow them enough that they spread great words about your company and its service to all especially via social media.

– Ensure that your aim is to constantly better your customer service. Do so by directly asking the customers what they expect and what more can be done to keep them happy. Feedback surveys, discussion forums, face to face meetings – are just some ways to receive valuable insights from customers.

– May seem not as important but unless your employees are treated well they are unlikely to treat your customers well. Employees must be appreciated, thanked and rewarded to keep them happy and transfer that happiness on to the customers. Appreciating your internal customers is a sure shot way of receiving great service for your external customers and must be a policy that is led by the senior most people in the organization.

Customer service for customer satisfaction is vital since unless customers are satisfied (being a broad term for customers staying with your company) success would be difficult. When customers are satisfied they will let you know by providing repeat business and over time become loyal and profitable. Satisfied customers are less likely to leave and in fact would ensure that others know their reasons for staying with your company. Through customer referrals and positive comments, it is a lot cheaper and simpler to gain new customers who will come ready to do business since your positive reputation precedes you. We have read earlier that customers are more likely to believe each other about products and or services rather than go solely by what companies are trying to sell.
Make customer service your point of differentiation – products and services in the market will continue to remain similar but customers are drawn to companies who seem more trustworthy, courteous, responsive and doing business with them is a happy and light experience. As a customer would you walk in to a shop that has a bright happy outlook and person to greet you or one that looks dishevelled with sullen faced staff? The answer is clear – this is exactly how customers of your company think too. Stand-out in this fierce market environment through customer service and get yourself willing brand ambassadors and also customers who are profitable now and in the long run.

Customer service for customer satisfaction plays the most important part for any business. It is the prime indication of whether your customers will remain loyal and profitable. It also helps to find out which customer is unhappy and why, allowing you to address the issues before your customer leaves. A strong loyal customer base attracts new customers and is a key factor in ensuring success long term in the extremely volatile business environment.

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