Five Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service
Derek Stockley conducts customer service training, see: Customer Service and systems support your staff, or do they make it hard to meet customer needs?. Learn the 16 customer service skills that helps agents provide excellent customer service in Here's what every great live chat agent needs to pay attention to. When you anticipate what your customers need from you, you can create content or expand your product features or services to meet those needs early.
In fact, in their eagerness, they almost had a tussle over who would serve me first. This willingness to serve was very pleasing. We can all tell stories of waiting at a counter whilst staff continue their private conversations, seemingly ignoring our presence and importance.
I chose the flowers I wanted. They were quickly and nicely wrapped.
I walked out the door a happy customer. Poor service Two doors down is another service business.
Manage your customer care
A few months ago, I had a conversation with the owner, as they had an interesting sign in the window. It was hand written. It pleaded with customers to stop abusing the staff, as they could not take it any more. Apparently, as new owners in an unfamiliar industry, a number of problems had arisen, including the resignation of key staff. Consequently, service levels had suffered. Some services were not being provided, often on a regular basis.
The same customers had to keep complaining. Many were obviously becoming frustrated and upset. Providing good service seems easy The florist shop staff made it look easy.
They paid attention when customers walked in the door. They knew what they were doing. They did it well. You need to know what good service is. You need to know what customers want. You need to tailor your business to suit.
Identifying Customer Needs
Courteous, attentive, well trained staff make a big difference. Staff need to be respected, supported and appreciated. A huge range of factors can contribute to customer satisfaction, but your customers -both consumers and other businesses - are likely to take into account: Understand your customers In business-to-business trading, providing a high level of customer care often requires you to find out what your customers want.
Once you have identified your most valuable customers or best potential customers, you can target your highest levels of customer care towards them. Another approach, particularly in the consumer market, is the obligation to treat all consumers to the highest standard.
Collect information about your customers Information about your customers and what they want is available from many sources, including: Manage your customer information It's important that you draw up a plan about how customer information is to be gathered and used in your business.
Five Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service
Establish a customer-care policy. Assign a senior manager as the policy's champion but make sure that all your staff are involved - often the lower down the scale you go, the more direct contact with customers there is. You can manage your customer records using a database system or with customer relationship management software.
Measure your customer service levels Where possible, put systems in place to assess your performance in business areas which significantly affect your customers' satisfaction levels. For instance, you might track: Make sure the things you measure are driven not by how your business currently runs, but by how your customers would like to see it run.
There are important areas of customer service which are more difficult to measure. Many of these are human factors such as a receptionist's telephone manner or a salesperson's conduct while visiting clients.
In these areas it's crucial that you get feedback from your customers about their perceptions of your customer service.
Customer surveys, feedback programmes and occasional phone calls to key customers can be useful ways of gauging how customer service levels in your business are perceived. Customer feedback and contact programs Customer feedback and contact programmes are two ways of increasing communication with your customers. They can represent great opportunities to listen to your customers and to let them know more about what you can offer.
Customer feedback can provide you with detailed information about how your business is perceived. It's a chance for customers to voice objections, suggest changes or endorse your existing processes, and for you to listen to what they say and act upon it. Feedback is most often gathered using questionnaires, in person, over the telephone or by mail. The purpose of customer contact programs is to help you deliver tailored information to your customers. One example is news of a special offer that is relevant to a past purchase - another is a reminder sent at the time of year when a customer traditionally places an order.
Contact programs are particularly useful for reactivating relationships with lapsed customers. Do your best to make sure that your customers feel the extra contact is relevant and beneficial to them - bombarding customers with unwanted calls or marketing material can be counter-productive. Newsletters and email bulletins allow you to keep in touch with useful information. Customer loyalty schemes While good overall service is the best way of generating customer loyalty, sometimes new relationships can be strengthened, or old ones refreshed, using customer loyalty schemes.
These are programs that use fixed or percentage discounts, extra goods or prizes to reward customers for behaviour that benefits your business.
They can also be used to persuade customers to give you another try if you feel you have successfully tackled past problems with your customer service. You can decide to offer rewards on the basis of: A mail-order company might seek to revive the interest of lapsed customers by offering a voucher redeemable against purchases -response rates with such vouchers can be improved by setting an expiry date. You can also provide key customers with loyalty cards that entitle them to a discount on all their purchases.
Employees who deal with customers' orders should be fully aware of current offers and keep customers informed.