01Answer your phone.
The first rule of good customer service is that your business phone needs to be answered. Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say "someone". People who call want to talk to a live person, not a fake "recorded robot".) And then read to make sure that customers calling your business are thrilled with the way the phone is answered at your business rather than put off.
02Don't make promises unless you will keep them.
This may well be the most important of all of these eight rules for good customer service. Not plan to keep the promises you make. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any , and is no exception. If you say to a customer, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don't say it. The same rule applies to , deadlines, etc.. Think before you give any promise and make them carefully - because nothing annoys customers more than a broken promise.
03Listen to your customers.
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn't been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? Not from a customer's point of view. Can the sales pitches and the product babble. If you're truly interested in providing the best customer service, let your customer talk and , such as summarizing what the customer has said and suggesting how to solve the problem.
04Deal with complaints.
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, "You can't please all the people all the time". Maybe not, but if you , you may be able to please this one person this one time - and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service. Properly dealt with, . They give you the chance to discover issues and correct them, thereby improving your customer service. Market research has found that customers who have complained about a product or service and had that complaint successfully dealt with are 70 percent likely to order from the vendor again.
05Be helpful - even if there's no immediate profit in it.
The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I'll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I've told this story to?
The shopkeeper made nothing during our exchange in his store. But I'll certainly be taking my business to him in the future and who knows how many other customers will be visiting him because I've told them how well he treated me? To provide , keep your eye on the customer, not on the profit.
06Train your staff.
If you have staff, train them to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or . Talk to your staff about good customer service and what it is (and isn't) regularly. ( explains the basics of ensuring positive staff-customer interactions.) Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, "I don't know, but so-and-so will be back at..."
07Take the extra step.
For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don't just say, "It's in Aisle 3". Add the extra step; say, "Let me show you" and lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to , take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people. And that good will win you more customers.
08Throw in something extra.
Whether it's a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. A local art framer attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated. Think about your product or service and find something extra that you can offer to customers.
Good Customer Service Pays Big Dividends
If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? Over time good customer service will bring in than promotions and price slashing ever did!
Read More About Customer Service
8 Rules for Good Customer Service
Giving Customers the Kind of Customer Service That Keeps Them Coming Back
Good is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
If you're a , you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that the individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.
How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; "You will be judged by what you do, not what you say."
I know this verges on the kind of statement that's often seen on a sampler, but providing good customer service IS a simple thing. If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently follows the eight rules following: