By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”
Pull up a chair. I want to chat with you about your customer service. Is it a competitive advantage? If not, it may be an overlooked strategy in your business. As Jim Rohn says, “one customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”
We all need clients or customers, and we need them to love us. However, how do we deliver customer service that has them LOVE us? Really great customer service, dare I say exceptional customer service, the type that develops customer loyalty can be tricky to reach for numerous reasons:
First of all . . . the customer is always right, and they have all the (buying) power. Thanks to the internet, they also have more choices than any other time in history, locally and globally! And with the astonishing rise of social media, information about your business is visible and available universally. One bad review or negative comment posted somewhere online, can bounce around in cyberspace for months, maybe years. And you better believe potential clients are reading those reviews, and seeing if you got 5 stars, or a thumbs-down.
Do you (figuratively) walk in your customers’ shoes? Do you know what keeps them up at night? You need to understand their life to serve their life. Do you?
If you are looking to provide exceptional customer service, these suggestions will help get you there:
It’s about THEM
Becoming known for extraordinary customer service means you are ALL about the customer, and their experience, not yours. Truly care about their event and pay attention. They will tell you what is important to them. Then provide that. Treat it like it was your event. Ask yourself ‘ as a customer, would I like this?’
The best way to head off a customer objection is to provide so much value that it pushes concern for pricing to the back of the list of reasons to purchase. – Shep Hyben
You’re not playing for this event; you are playing for the next one. Extraordinary customer service can and will increase revenue, but not necessarily right away. Remarkable customer service isn’t about today. It’s about tomorrow. You want to provide service that gets people talking.
The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates more customers. –Shir Singh
Under promise, and over deliver. Promise what you can comfortably achieve, and then do better. It’s all about managing your clients’ expectations, and then beating them! Always give people more than they expect to get. “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson
Say My Name . . . Remember a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language-Dale Carnegie Use it often, it will create rapport and confidence.
Be creative and do the unexpectedExceptional customer service should distinguish you and set you apart from the rest that are just providing plain old service. It should catch customers off guard. It should get them talking. Make every interaction count, even the small ones. They are all relevant. From the legendary Walt Disney, “ Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
“Your work is going to fill a LARGE part of your life, and the only way to be truly SATISFIED is to do what you believe is GREAT work. The only way to do GREAT work is to LOVE what you do. – Steve Jobs