It’s no secret that offering great customer service is essential to the success of any business. Whether you own a small mom-and-pop shop or a major corporation, if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will.
Customer service is defined as the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”.
According to Google, 72% of people say that positive customer service experiences make them more likely to use a company again. In addition, 54% of people say that they would pay more for a better customer service experience.
With that in mind, here are 10 customer service principles that every business should live by:
The customer is always right
This is the most basic principle of good customer service. It’s also one that is often forgotten or ignored. This age-old adage is as true today as it ever was. There are many reasons why the customer is always right, but perhaps the most important one is that without customers, businesses would not exist.
Think about it – without customers, who would buy your products or services? Who would provide you with the revenue that you need to keep your business running? The answer is no one. This is why it is so important to always remember that the customer is always right.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should always give in to customer demands. But it does mean that you should always treat customers with respect and try to accommodate their needs as best as you can. After all, happy customers are more likely to return and do business with you again in the future.
The customer is always the priority
It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of a business and forget why you are doing it in the first place. But always remember that the customer is the most important part of your business and should be treated as such.
Some businesses forget this basic rule and begin to prioritize other things, such as profits or growth. But when a business puts the customer first, everything else will fall into place. Customers who are treated well are more likely to come back and recommend your business to others. They will also be more forgiving if there is ever a problem with your product or service.
There is no such thing as a stupid question
We’ve all heard it but never is it more true in customer service: “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” No matter how big or small the issue may seem, customers always have the right to ask questions and get clarification – it should be expected as part of any transaction. After all, they are the ones paying for the product or service and by ensuring this is clear, you help set the expectations and eliminate any potential misunderstandings that could wind up in dissatisfaction with your product or service.
It is the job of customer service representatives to provide answers to questions and help resolve issues. If a customer feels like their question is not being taken seriously, they are likely to get frustrated and take their business elsewhere. No matter the question – even a question about something unrelated – always take the time to answer it. Customers appreciate when businesses take the time to answer their questions, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Always be professional
Another key principle of good customer service is to always be professional. This means maintaining a positive attitude and being courteous and respectful at all times. It can be easy to get caught up in the emotions of a situation, but it’s important to remember that you’re representing a business. Professional customer service can mean the difference between a one-time customer and a lifelong advocate of your business.
When dealing with customers, it’s important to always be patient. Customer interactions can become frustrating, especially when there is a lack of understanding or a communication hurdle. It’s important to remember you are the expert and you are there to teach and inform by taking the time to explain things clearly and patiently. Maintaining an even temperament and being deliberate with your words will show you are invested in developing a good relationship
Empathy is one of the most important qualities of good customer service. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This is important because it allows you to see things from the customer’s perspective and anticipate their needs sometimes before they even realize what they are.
When businesses don’t respond to customer inquiries on time, it reflects poorly on the business and can damage relationships. To keep customers happy and ensure they continue doing business with your company, it is important to have a system in place for responding to customer inquiries promptly. This could involve assigning customer inquiries to specific team members or departments, setting up an auto-responder for after-hours inquiries, or utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) system. By having a system in place, businesses can provide a better experience for their customers and build loyalty.
When something goes wrong, it’s important to take ownership of the situation. This means admitting when you or your business made a mistake. Customers appreciate it when businesses take responsibility for their mistakes and make things right. No need to make excuses, a simple “Leave this with us and we will do everything we can to make it right” goes a long way!
Customers come to businesses with problems that need to be solved. It’s important to take the time to listen to the customer’s problem and find a solution that works for them. This may involve going above and beyond, but it will be appreciated by the customer particularly if you can address their specific needs rather than use generic or band-aid solutions.
After a problem has been solved, it’s important to follow up with the customer. This shows that you care about their experience and want to make sure that they’re satisfied. A simple phone call or email can do wonders and show your customers that you value their business.
Customer service should be a top priority for any business that wants to succeed. It is essential in customer relationship-building which can result in repeat business. Good customer service can also lead to positive online reviews and word-of-mouth marketing. Finally, showing your customers that you are focused on and dedicated to them will create loyalty, leading to long-term success for your business.