The influence you have on others can be way beyond what you imagined. Is customer service performance a top priority for your company? We all know that providing exceptional customer service is the stated goal of every business leader, regardless of how large or small the company. It’s common knowledge that customers are more loyal to companies who treat them as more than just a number. So it is no surprise that businesses are turning to ways to keep customers returning, including improving the customer service recovery strategy.
Check out our thoughts on customer focus.
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What works best for customer service design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
Customer service quality is no longer an emerging trend to merely keep an eye on – it’s a burgeoning movement that companies would be very wise to embrace. Instead of returning to a store or calling a helpline, people are increasingly turning to social media to resolve their gripes. It is called social customer care.
Sadly, the personal touch customers want — and deserve — is often lost in the daily grind of doing business… especially in larger companies. Too often the leaders do not model the very behaviors they expect from their teams.
Here are five simple ways to keep your customers coming back, even after facing their problems or complaints:
Your best action is to be genuine and to personalize the conversation. When a customer calls with a complaint or a concern, make the time to treat them like an individual. And ensure your employees do, too. While calling a customer ma’am or sir is respectful, it doesn’t offer a personal touch. Replying, “Yes sir, I understand,” is polite. And polite is certainly good. But adding the customer’s name is so much better!
Using a customer’s name whenever possible helps her see you are truly engaged in serving her, regardless of the problems she’s brought to your attention. And it helps her realize she’s more important to your company than her check book.
Customer service recovery strategy … be accountable
One of the most aggravating things a customer faces where customer care is concerned is being passed around like an old hat that no one wants. Impeccable service ensures that every company employee, regardless of rank, handles customers to the fullest extent of their abilities.
Never refer a customer to someone else simply because you don’t know how to handle his problem. Instead, take the time to help him fix the problem, if possible. Or at the least, if you must refer a customer, find someone who can resolve their issue and provide a warm hand-off.
Ensuring your customer achieves a desirable outcome will create a customer for life.
Service recovery steps … be empathetic
Listen, acknowledge, validate & apologize to your customers when there is an issue. Sometimes people really do just need to vent, and rarely should a complaint be taken personally. Learn to acknowledge the customer’s issue, and train employees to do the same. It helps your customer to know that someone understands their concerns. Let them know you understand the way they are feeling and apologize even if you don’t feel you need to.
A sincere apology works wonders in creating happy, loyal customers, and confirms your willingness to take responsibility for the customer’s problem.
Related: How to Apologize to a Customer
Once you understand the customer’s problem, offer legitimate solutions. Avoid telling the customer what you can’t do, at all costs. Instead, focus on what you can do to remedy her situation, and offer some options.
Working to solve your customer’s problem — even if not to the extent they may have hoped — will help her feel as if you care about her and her business.
A solution focused attitude will keep customers coming back even after they’ve faced a problem with your company.
Being trustworthy means you never make impossible promises. You know the ones you can’t keep. Often, in an effort to appease a customer, an employee or company leader will make promises that are not only impractical, but which he or she is simply not able to honor.
Instead, offer a realistic, workable solution that will allow you to rebuild your customer relationship and provide some satisfaction. It’s not necessary to ‘give away the farm’. Just meet the situation realistically and your customer will appreciate the effort.
Check out this subject: Best Buy Lessons in Customer Service
While these tips will help you provide quality care to your customers, there will be times when nothing anyone else does will be enough to keep a customer. Knowing you’ve offered impeccable service, however, will help you sleep better at night realizing there was nothing more you could have done to meet the customer’s needs.
Need some help in building better customer service for your customers? Have you noticed the growing importance from customer service you provide, especially for your marketing? Creative ideas to help enhance your word of mouth marketing?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your customer service improvement and pay for results.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas for your service to customers.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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