10 Rules Of Customer Service
The last time that you had a question about a product from an e-commerce site, how mad were you when it took almost a month for a response to your email? Or how frustrating was it when you went to buy some fabric at your local fabric store and the sales associate couldn’t tell you which fabric was cotton and which was silk? And when you were left on hold for close to 20 minutes when just checking the status of your order, how many times did you want to hang up but couldn’t because of the thought of having to call back and wait for another 20 minutes?
Unfortunately, this type of thing happens all the time to all of us. This is a result of poor customer service. Negative buying experiences almost always ensures that you aren’t going to be a returning customer. The whole “customer comes first” mantra is seldom actually acted upon.
However, customer service hasn’t all gone down the toilet. Now, some businesses hold several workshops for employees when it comes to customer service. Good customer service is essential for any business, and it isn’t all that difficult. Try and follow these simple rules:
1. Make customers first, then make sales.
Many salespeople focus on sales more than anything else, especially those on commission. This then causes the salesperson to be pushy and concerned with only closing the sale, and not closing a customer, so to speak. It will cost you more in the long run if you don’t have loyal customers.
2. “The customer is always right.”
Never ever argue with a customer. Now, we all know that the customer isn’t always right, and more often than not, they are down right wrong. But, let “the customer is always right” saying stick in your mind. Don’t argue if a problem arises, and don’t admit to any faults; just focus on fixing the problem in the most polite and respectful way possible. Just try to resolve the problem in the customer’s favor no matter how annoyed you may be and you can almost guarantee a returning customer.
3. Give customers the “benefit of the doubt.”
Even when many times it seems as if customers are lying, just assume that they are telling the truth. Calling a customer a liar never really works all that well and you can make sure that they won’t be coming back if you do that.
4. Own up to your promises.
If you don’t, you will lose your credibility so fast, it will be so hard to gain it back. If you promise a shipment in four days, send it out so that it arrives at the earliest opportunity on that fourth day, or even better, get it there early. If for whatever reason you can’t deliver on your promise, apologize profusely to the customer and try to arrange some sort of compensation.
5. Make it easy to do business.
The buying experience with your company should be made to be as easy as possible. Unnecessary paperwork and other forms should be eliminated, help people find what they need, answer any questions and explain clearly, and do whatever possible to make each transaction as smooth as possible.
6. Know what you are talking about.
If you don’t know your products, you will sound like an idiot. You can easily win a customer’s trust and confidence if you display the confidence and intelligence that you know what you are talking about. Know any company policies that you think will be necessary to know when selling, and try to anticipate any customer questions.
7. Know your customer.
If you know what your customers needs and wants are, you can tailor your service to them. Talk to customers and listen to their complaints, what they are looking for in products and services, and see how you can incorporate that into the way that you sell.
8. Be respectful and courteous.
Even though customers may act like it, don’t treat them like idiots. Whatever type of correspondence you have with a customer (email, phone, in person), be polite because it leaves an impression. Use common polite words, such as “sorry,” “thanks,” “you’re welcome,” it’s been a pleasure,” etc. Don’t be condescending or rude.
9. Commit to quality service.
Not just you, but everyone in the company needs to be completely devoted to quality customer service. Everyone needs to create positive experiences for customers. Go above and beyond customer expectations; devote 110% if not more to customer service.
10. Don’t leave customers hanging.
Inquiries, questions, messages, etc. need to be taken care of immediately, if not sooner. Customers want their questions, problems, issues, etc. to be taken care of right then and there. Even though sometimes it is an inconvenience, take care of it when they want. You can guarantee yourself more customers this way.