Last week, CareerSource Brevard hosted weVENTURE’s Strong Coffee Strong Women event. The subject matter for the morning’s meeting- delivering exceptional customer service delivered by sales professional and small business coach, Lynn Simon. While great customer service seems like the obvious choice, so many businesses tend to fall short. Every one of us can think of a time when we had a truly great customer service experience- but we typically can think of even more times when we were greeted with not just sub-par customer service, but truly TERRIBLE customer service. If online reviews are any indication, people are far more willing to report on bad experiences than good ones.
It is important to remember that great customer service does not have to mean succumbing to the “the customer is always right” axiom all the time. Often times it just means being willing to listen to your customer, and work with them towards an acceptable solution to a problem. Matthew Toren, a Contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com has compiled 3 Crucial Steps to Mastering Customer Service .
1. Be authentic– Theodore Roosevelt once said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – if you don’t care, people can see right through it. Be genuinely interested in your customer’s satisfaction.
2. Be proactive – The best way to handle an upset customer, is to not create a situation where you have an upset customer. While this isn’t always possible, it is good practice to be in the habit of anticipating problems or potential complaints and preventing them before you get an upset customer.
3. Go above and beyond – let your customer service model “be the purple cow” – let it be what sets you apart, what people can’t stop talking about. Send a written thank you note to your best clients. Keep a database of birthdays or anniversaries – then use it.
When you take the time to have truly, authentically fantastic customer service – your clients will become your best marketing tool and your business will prosper. If you allow your customer service practices to lapse or be sub-par – your customers will spread that message as well. Choose wisely.