Is your Customer Service making Customers pay attention?

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Donald A. Adams

If the service your company gives customers is a reflection of the quote above, it is sure to get the customer’s attention. Is your Customer Service making Customers pay attention? Or are you just one amongst the milieu, a voice that is weak yet desperately trying to get the customer to hear you? You cannot get your customer service to a level that makes customers pay attention to you? Your company is in serious trouble. If your customer service is such that your customer’s keep returning to you, are always willing to spread the word about you and are genuinely pleased with how you treat them – well done – you have a stronghold on the customer’s attention.
The most discussed subject in all the business discussions seems to be the kind of customer service being given to customers. We know that as customers too, if we have experienced great customer service we rave about it more than the actual product we were out to get. We tell each other and compare notes on the common establishments we use and the kind of service we receive. We are happier when the service provided is consistent in all interactions. Customer service is probably the most important factor in making us choose and decide on whether we would like to continue with a company or product. What follows is a list of the kind of customer service that leaves customer’s awed and makes them pay attention to a company:

– Customers are greeted openly with courtesy and a genuine smile

– Adding a personal touch by interacting with them, with the aim of finding out what they need and like

– Speaking to them on subjects that they consider important – what help you can give them, whether their family is well and what would make their experience with the company even better

– Nudge them in to providing feedback. This shows them your commitment to serve them better

– Give them information on the offers and let them know what they can expect from your company

– Send regular communication that could also prompt them to let you know how well your customer service is working

– Let them know what changes you seek to make based on their feedback and ask them if these are suitable and appropriate for them. Exhibit a keenness to know if they would like anything else

– Pay attention to everything your customers say if you want your customers to pay attention to you

– Invest resources in surveying what will be best from the customers and revolve your company’s processes and strategies around that. Your customer is important for your business.

– Have regular and meaningful discussions with your customers on their business and how best your company can help to make it grow

– Have a trained and skilled set of staff to manage the interactions with the customers so that the overall customer service is rich and meaningful

– Study and monitor customer behavior and trends so well that your customer service becomes indispensable for them. Lead your customers to becoming loyal.

– Use every opportunity to highlight the strengths of your customers especially on social media pages. This makes them look good and veer them towards being associated with you long term

– Do little things that are not typically expected to show your customers that you care for them. For example helping a senior citizen to shop and take the items to their vehicle will ensure that they return and also let their families know where to shop for caring customer service

– A warm smile, please, thank you – are all intangible ways of showing your customer that you welcome their business. Avoid using rote and scripted sentences

– Never use negatives like ‘this is not company policy’ and the likes. It makes the customer feel disgusted and gives the impression that you do not want to help. This is the worst kind of customer service

– Genuine empathy and enthusiasm will rub off on your customers too. When your customer service is all about smiles and an authentic desire to help your customers, they will pick this up instantly

– Build and strengthen consistently the rapport and relationships forged with customers. Your company and service becomes something that the customer is unable to do without.

– Focus on what’s best for your customer without being too stringent on procedures and company policies. Empower your employees to go over and above policies to ensure that the customer is satisfied

– Provide a common ‘face’ to your customers. Service across all teams must be seamless such that your customer can experience a standard quality of customer service across. Changes in policy or internal brouhaha is not your customer’s problem

– Inculcate and constantly reiterate within the organization the benefits of customer service and focus on customers. Reward and recognize staff that displays high levels of customer focus and serves the customer well consistently

– Treat customers like friends even better VIPs. This should be common throughout your company and the rule for all customers.

– Solicit formal feedback and use the data provided to make changes that are positive for your customers. Inform your customers of the changes and let them know that they were instrumental in raising the standard of your company’s customer service.

– Set the bar for best practices in the industry for customer service. Innovate and be creative. Let your customers see you as the forerunner and benchmark for customer service. Leave your mark with every customer interaction.

– Remember that customer service is an ongoing and relentless process. It is for your customers to decide what level of service will please them. However, there is no stopping – this bar will continuously rise since the market scenario and information available is changing every minute.

– The constant fervor and buzz of customer service not only keeps your customers happy but also energizes your staff. Energized and happy staff translates to better service leading to customers remaining happy. A happy cycle that will get you the customer’s attention

– Ensure that words like effective, speedy, immediate, courtesy – are all part of your office culture. Use them, hang them in on notice boards and ensure that everyone in the company manages internal relationships keeping these words in mind. This will translate on to customer service.

– Make it easy for your customers to approach you – for anything. Provide self-help portals, round the clock contact centers, updated websites, social media pages and live chat options. Constantly monitor these systems to ensure that nothing is posing a problem for customers

– Never underestimate the problem faced by a customer. It may seem small to you but could be a major irritant for your customer. Treat every problem equally and ensure that everything is done to resolve it.

– Appease angry customers immediately. Get them back and give them reason to smile. One angry customer has the ability to ruin all the efforts made by you in customer service. Initiate the communication with the customer and extend a helping friendly hand. Do so exhibits your company’s commitment to provide great customer service and also lets your customers know that the error was unintentional and every effort will be made to ensure it never happens again.

– Ensure that if the problem is large and needs time to resolve, an interim solution is provided. Customers most often are unaware of what is possible or what they can expect with regard to the problem. When you give it to them without their asking, your customer service will make them pay positive attention to you.

– Let your customers know what is going on – communicate, communicate, communicate. They are not supposed to imagine what you are doing. So let them know. This builds transparency and trust and lets your customer know that your company works around integrity.

Following this list does not mean that there will never be obstacles or bottlenecks in customer service. However, your company’s ability to deal with them immediately will be what differentiates great customer service from lousy and shoddy service.

Is your Customer Service making Customers pay attention?

“When you serve the customer better, there’s always a return on your investment.” – Kara Parlin

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