When it comes to common sense customer service tips, it is easy to dismiss some as such no-brainers that you literally never allow them to access into your brain again. The result being that you dismiss the value of customer service as well as the tips themselves. How many of the following customer service tips do you recognize as being just plain common sense? And how many are you guilty of forgetting?
- Take Responsibility
The customer is always right. You know this isn’t strictly true and the customer knows it isn’t strictly true, but both of you have entered into an unspoken contract where it is treated as if it were true. What is almost always true is that you never win the battle for customer loyalty by blaming him. Whether it was your fault or not, take responsibility and promise to do better.
- Give Customer Service the Value It Deserves
Too many businesses only pay lip service to customer service. If you are really serious about building customer loyalty, then make customer service an integral part of your branding design. Don’t just hire some kid fresh from high school to take on the lowest paying job you offer. A highly effective customer service rep with a degree in public relations and a positive personality can quickly become the face of your company. Pay those in customer service what they are worth and you will find that you are getting them for a much bigger bargain than an ineffectual team of minimum wage slackers.
- Keeping the Customer Updated
Merely providing feedback that is positive, helpful and admits your responsibility when the customer first makes a complaint is still not enough. Don’t be mistaken: making sure that initial communication leaves the customer satisfied is hugely important. If you really want to ensure customer loyalty and positive word of mouth, however, you need to go the extra mile. Contact the customer as soon as possible when you have new information to provide him. When you reach out to call the customer, you are much less likely to find an angry voice inching ever closer to complete dissatisfaction than if you wait for the customer to call you.
- Customer Service Does Not Need to be All-Inclusive
Here’s a customer service tip that is absolutely common sense, yet dare not be spoken out loud. You don’t need to worry about making every customer happy. Even more important to understand: you don’t want to retain each and every single customer you ever deal with. Some customers–and you know which ones–are quite simply more trouble than they’re worth and your business will be all the better for cutting them loose. Don’t bother striving for 100% customer loyalty and retention. And don’t feel guilty for it, either.
- Customer Service is not Just Complaint Service
Customer service is not just about handling complaints. For small businesses especially, customer service can and should be about increasing your position within a competitive marketplace. Invite customers to make suggestions and recommendations about how you can be better at what you do. Create an atmosphere in which two-way discourse between you and the customers comes to be viewed as part of your brand. When this approach to customer service is successful you can uncover valuable information on how to improve your product or service, what kind of new features are worth investing in and how to identify the problems holding you back that you don’t see from your perspective. That’s the kind of information that huge conglomerates pay through the nose for focus groups to tell them.