Customer service is the care, attention and advice provided before, during and after purchase or use of a product or service. This interaction is very important and can make or break an organization.
Some basics of good customer service are:
- Patience – Be patient when a customer calls or visits your business.
When I telephone or visit a company and ask a question and I am being rushed, I get the impression that the company is not giving me much attention. It is said that one customer at a time makes the difference between staying in or out of business. Therefore be patient.
- Listen Attentively – Listen to what customers say with little interruption.
When you acknowledge customers it shows that you are actively listening and not ignoring. Make some notes if possible so that you can provide accurate responses.
- Respond Cautiously – Respond clearly and answer questions accurately.
When responding to customers, make sure you speak clearly, cautiously and specifically address their issues. Smile in order to lighten up the interaction. Smiles are free and contagious and yes they make a difference. You can smile when on a phone call too. Aim at providing responses that satisfy customers and whenever possible without transferring or referring to another person.
- Take Ownership – Identify yourself to customers and commit to helping.
Customers want to know that you are willing and able to help with their inquiries or concerns. If they sense unwillingness and/or lack of knowledge, they will probably ask to speak to someone else.
- Negotiate Well – Know how to negotiate at different levels for win- win solutions.
In case of disputes,negotiate and only provide what is fair without heavily affecting your organization.
- Stay Calm Under Pressure – Don’t be abrupt and overbearing.
Some customer issues can raise your pulse and tempt you to shout back. Remember that most irate customers don’t direct their rant at you personally, so respond calmly and don’t get hooked! Over time you will learn to manage your nerves.
- Keep An Open Mind – Don’t rush to conclusions. There could be something you have not heard about before even though you might have plenty of experience.
- End On A Positive – End on a positive note so that customers are retained and remain happy.
Companies and organizations are formed every day. In my opinion, one of the main reasons why some succeed and other don’t is customer service. So remember it pays to always provide good customer service.