There’s a whole world of knowledge out there about all sorts of subjects- you can buy books on everything from motorcycle maintenance to psychology and learn a new language in your lunch breaks. But when it comes to customer service, nothing beats personal experience. We’ve all got our own horror stories about grumpy sales assistants or terrible services, and it’s important to bear them in mind when working with customers ourselves.
Even though every business and industry is different, the principles of customer service are universal. Apple, one of the biggest names in tech, based their entire customer service training program on one developed by the Ritz Carlton hotel group. Totally different areas of work but it doesn’t matter-what’s important is a company’s commitment to making its customers happy.
Learning from your own experiences as a customer ensures your work has a personal touch, and it won’t cost you a penny. Here’s how to make the most of being on the other side:
- Pay attention to what others do well
Think about the companies that you buy from regularly, and why you keep going back. Do they send regular emails and targeted marketing campaigns, consistently deliver on time, or do something else that makes them stand out from the rest? If you can replicate the positives in your own business, you’re onto a winner too.
- Make a note of the good, the bad and the ugly
For every excellent service you receive, make a list of all the key points that made it so special. Then do the same with the mediocre and the bad and really analyze the key points that irritated you or the areas where you feel they could have tried harder. Pay attention to things like eye contact, smiles and downright unhelpfulness and use them as a benchmark for your own client communications.
- Compare and contrast
Sometimes the best way to make a change is to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Spend a week comparing every single transaction you make as a customer with how your own business does things and note down the areas where you think you do better, or worse. Consider things like:
- Speed of service
- Staff communication
- Expertise and knowledge
- Courtesy and patience
- Management of expectations
- Ideas and innovations
Note down any particular techniques and behaviors that helped to create a positive experience and any areas where front line staff went above and beyond. After every transaction, actively ask yourself “Do I want to repeat this experience?”
Dealing with customers isn’t easy- sometimes they’ll be having a bad day and that gets passed down to whoever’s on the front line. But always try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, even when they’re being difficult. If you can exceed their expectations and find fast resolutions to any problems they’re far more likely to keep coming back.
Great customer service comes from remembering the following:
- The customer may not always be right, but if you want to keep them you need to treat them with total respect at all times
- Companies who are great at customer care are the ones who stand out from their competitors and really do “go the extra mile”
- A bit of personality goes a long way
- Consistent good service, attention to detail and treating your customers like they matter is essential
- Friendly, helpful staff who provide real value are worth their weight in gold
- The best way to deliver outstanding service is by listening to and learning from our own experiences
For more information about customer service, contact Ethos on +971 4 432 9373