Treating your customers with good customer service and your willingness to exceed their expectations is vital to your success and will enhance your reputation.
Here are three things for you to remember about customer service.
- Customer service is provider-defined rather than customer-defined.
- Customer satisfaction must always be defined by the customer.
- Customers are satisfied when their expectations, not yours, are met or exceeded.
It’s in a business’s legal interest to ensure good customer service as well. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, your company is held liable for any representation your staff makes while performing their duties.
Here are five tips to ensure good customer service:
- Hire the Right People
The typical customer service interaction begins with the salesperson. You do not want to hire employees who are:
- insensitive to customers' needs and requests;
- cause customer complaints;
- don't appear to care;
- overlook opportunities to go the extra mile; or
- give customers reasons to go to the competition.
Customers love to have sales staff greet them with a smile, show enthusiasm in what they are selling, move quickly to respond to a customer’s requests and, above all, treat customers as if they are special.
- Train the Staff
Extensive training for your new employees is important, and should include the following:
- Details about the products and services offered;
- Store policies on refunds;
- Gift certificates;
- How to approach customers.
Sometimes the most costly mistakes can happen when a salesperson says "I don't know", "We can't do that", "You'll have to talk to…", or "Hang on a second, I'll be right back." This is not good customer service and your customers may leave and not return.
- Be Proactive, Not Reactive
No one wants to have complaints made about their business. However, it is an everyday fact that customers will complain. A good strategy is for you to have a structured complaint management system that will deal with customer complaints effectively, efficiently and promptly.
- Find Out What Customers Want
Communications play an important role in customer satisfaction. Investigate what your customers want and how they see you. This is best done through in-store surveys. Do periodic reviews of your customers' satisfaction and make sure to give them feedback.
- Educate Your Customers
Make sure that customers are aware and understand your store policies regarding returns, refunds, gift certificates and warranties before they buy the product.