/ A Great Biz Builder: Customer Service

The customer is the most important person in a business. If there are no customers, there is no business. Currently, keeping ahead of the ever-evolving technology is a priority. But let’s not forget a key element that has always helped companies stand out, namely: customer service. Remember, it’s very important to give a favorable first impression. Do you know that, on average, it takes approximately six favorable impressions to overcome one unfavorable one?

Improving customer service: Don’t rely on e-mails only for customer contacts. The strongest relationships are always with people one knows personally. Keep in touch regularly with face-to-face interaction on Skype, weekly/monthly webinars, special events or trade shows. And talk about trends in the marketplace with your customers. Very often your customers will know more than you do about certain topics. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more.

Solve any and all problems to your customers’ satisfaction. Handle each complaint in a courteous and professional manner. Always be willing to do a little extra. And do not make promises unless you plan to keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to a good relationship. This rule applies, in particular, to meetings and deadlines.

Finally, train your staff to always be courteous and knowledgeable. Do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Every staffer should have enough information to make small customer-pleasing decisions.

Answering the office phone: What’s more frustrating than a voice-prompt menu (automated phone service)? Often they are mazes without exits. They may have originated as efficiency tools, but now they are essentially a war of robots against humans. Moreover, they have the ability to turn customers against companies — even companies that do everything else well.

For most businesses, some form of automation is a necessity. Be sure to do it properly. For example:

(1) Keep your menu choices to a minimum and make sure they lead to the desired result.

(2) Offer callers the chance to “press zero to reach an operator” as soon as possible.

(3) Answer with a welcoming tone of cheerfulness — a voice can project a smile.

(4) When you transfer a call — ask if the caller minds being put on hold before you do it.

Customer Service Representatives Are your CSRs so busy following a script that they don’t listen? Take a look at this funny — or not so funny — customer’s experience.

“My father passed away. I called the credit card company to cancel his account. I said, ‘My name is Debra. My father, Robert, just passed away and I am the executor of his estate.’ The CSR replied, “Well, I need to talk to Robert.”

I said, ‘Listen very carefully. He’s dead — now if you want to talk to him, you’ll have to figure out how to do it. Give me your supervisor.’ The supervisor cracked up when I said to her. “Do you have a connection with God?”



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