Every business will involve some level of customer service. How do you avoid nightmare experiences and keep your business in good standing with your customers? Here are 15 customer service tips to help you get ahead and maintain great relationships with your customers, clients and colleagues.
- Remember the Golden Rule. Always be polite and explicitly say please and thank you.
- Always use the customer’s name. It helps establish a personal relationship and helps you build rapport that can be a foundation for an authentic relationship.
- Do what you say you are going to do. If you promise to deliver a file by the end of the day, make sure you do it by the end of the day. If you say you’ll call back in five minutes, don’t wait a half-hour to return someone’s call. Do the right thing.
- Realize that everyone has customers. Sometimes they are external, meaning customers who pay you money for a product or service. But sometimes they are internal, meaning colleagues with whom you work on a daily basis.
- Be responsible and proactive about letting customers know your name and how to contact you if they are accidentally disconnected or have more questions. Giving your customers a personal contact and a direct way to get in touch with you gives them a “friend” at the company so they can easily and readily get back in touch with you.
- Respond promptly. While it’s important to clear out some “white space” for more complex or complicated projects, it’s still important to return calls, emails and other types of requests with some immediacy.
- Be on time. This punctuality is particularly important for meetings, where you are anticipated to be on time. It is a sign of disrespect to others if you aren’t on time. In fact, prompt attendance is one of the basic tenets of business etiquette.
- Keep an eye on social media channels. A disgruntled customer who decides to air their grievances publicly can quickly turn your company’s brand into one of those aforementioned “nightmare experiences.” Respond quickly to both complaints and praise.
- Treat your fellow employees the same way that you would like your customers to be treated, and better if possible. What is happening inside a company or organization is pretty clearly visible on the outside to customers.
- Try different tactics for customer service experiences to see what works best for your organization. While some companies focus their customer service experiences on resolving all of a customer’s issues in one call, others try to resolve a customer’s issues without transferring them between multiple departments. There’s no single right way. See what works for you.
- Strive to create a consistent customer service experience. Support your colleagues and encourage them to do their best every day. Customers want and anticipate a consistent and positive customer service experience from professionals with a positive attitude.
- Empower people to make great decisions that positively impact customer service. This aspect of customer service is gained by hiring the right people and training them well.
- It is important to constantly and consistently train people for customer service. Even if it’s just short five or ten-minute tips, training is an ongoing issue that should be addressed every day. When it comes to great customer service, training isn’t something you went through in the past. It’s something that you do every day.
- Bear in mind that everyone in an organization really has two jobs. They work to do the job for which they were hired but they also work to take care of the customer.
- Strive to be a role model when it comes to customer service. Regardless of your role in your organization, try to be the person that others admire and want to emulate.
Do you work in a business with frequent customer interaction? Share some of your own customer service tips in the comments!