10 Tips for Improving Customer Service
Good customer service is an integral part of almost any business - and one that can have a significant impact on your bottom line. It can help turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer. It can inspire customers to tell their friends about your product or service, and in turn, those customers tell their friends. Here are a few things, that your business can do to ensure good customer service:
Answer the phone
When a consumer or potential consumer calls your business, he or she needs to be able to get through to a live person or, at the very least, an answering service that ensures that calls will be returned promptly.
Listen to your customers
When your customer talks, you should listen attentively. Ask your consumers what you can do to better their experience, and listen to what they tell you. The key to giving customers what they want is to understand what they want - so listen when they talk.
Focus on the positive
Don't begin to address a complaint or start a conversation with the negative. Try to focus the conversation on what you can do for the customer, not what you can't.
Handle customer complaints effectively
Although it is tempting to ignore many customer complaints, almost all of them should be addressed. At the very least, let the customer know you are looking into the situation, and if you are working on resolving the complaint, let them know that as well. Diffuse their anger with a soothing tone of voice or by reassuring them that you are trying to handle the situation.
Keep your promises
If you make a promise to a customer, honor it. If you know you can't keep a promise, don't make the promise to begin with.
Be helpful and kind, even when there is not an immediate profit in it.
When people pop into your establishment to ask directions, when they lose something at your business, when they need help, you should step in when you can - even if there is not an immediate profit in doing so. This kindness and helpfulness will build goodwill with the person, and may inspire them to return to your business.
Let customers know you appreciate them
Tell them "thank you" for the business, give them something extra - anything that signals to the customer that you care about them coming back.
Go the extra mile
If someone asks where an item is, don't just tell him or her, take him or her there. If they buy something from your store, throw in a little freebie. If they had a complaint that you resolved, follow up with them later to make sure they are still satisfied. When you go the extra mile, customers usually notice and are more likely to come back.
Ask if there is anything else you can do
Not only does this open the lines of communication and give you insight into your consumers' needs and wants, it makes customers feel appreciated.
Train your staff
All of the above customer-service points should be communicated to your staff via a thorough training session. Every single member of your business should practice good customer service at all times.
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