The Art of Excellent Customer Service
Because the customer is the lifeblood of any business, excellent customer service should be the primary method used to retain a loyal client base.
Anyone dealing directly with clients has the responsibility of learning how to excel in communicating effectively with them.
The basic premise behind exceptional customer service is remembering that the customer is all-important.
Although it seems obvious, courtesy should always be used. Making the customer feel that they are the most important issue is the basis of effective communication.
They are there to be listened to, understood and respected. This begins by keeping a smile on your face while talking.
Even on the phone or in live chat, a smile can be heard in your words and goes a long way in keeping the conversation civil and productive. During computer downtime, ask them how their day is going, clients appreciate a little personal interest.
Patience and active listening are skills that can be learned. Let all other concerns drop away while in conversation with the client.
Listen to what they say, ask questions, have them repeat anything that isn’t immediately understood. Agree with them, “I hear what you are saying” can mean a lot to an angry customer.
Let them vent; it can be important and can actually serve to deescalate an irate diatribe.
After the problem is thoroughly understood, creative thinking and problem solving skills come into play. Never promise anything that cannot be delivered.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Let them know the answer can be found; it just may not be immediate. Deliver on promises to call back with the information.
Small business owners can keep in contact with customers throughout the year; a thank you card or personal reminder of upcoming sales lets the client know how important they are to the business.
Finally, never let them go without something, even a small coupon will be appreciated.