8 Essentials of High Quality Customer Service

Great customer service is like a magic elixir for a company: it keeps loyal customers happy and coming back, spreads positive word of mouth and even entices shoppers to spend more. It’s often more valuable than expensive advertising or slick marketing. In many ways, it should be a simple enough commodity, but as everyone knows it is often quite rare. Here are eight familiar and not-so-familiar essentials for excellent service to the all-important customer.

 

  1. Be Thoughtful

 

In many businesses, being kind, courteous and patient is more important than being efficient and knowledgeable. These last two qualities are certainly important, too, but when it comes to encouraging loyalty to a company, and increasing sales, a thoughtful and pleasant sales agent may be more valuable.

 

  1. Treat Everyone With Dignity

 

Being nice to everyone who walks through your doors pays off– maybe not the first time, or the second time, or the third time; eventually, though, that person you smiled at, who you thought just wanted to browse or kill time, will buy something because you were nice.

 

  1. Listen

 

In life, as in business, you typically learn more when your ears are open and your mouth is closed. The more you listen to a customer, the more you can recommend appropriate products.

 

  1. Embrace Complaints

 

Dealing calmly and effectively with an unhappy customer might not always be pleasant, but it is one of the best ways to bond with a patron. Superior customer service means listening to complaints and coming up with fair solutions. Many people are thrilled when a grievance is handled professionally.

 

  1. Pick Up the Phone

 

What kind of signal does an unanswered phone send to customers? A bad one. A company that can’t even answer its phone or that doesn’t return calls might be perceived by many as an unreliable place to do business with.

 

  1. Be Honest

 

It is important to keep your promises to your customers. If you can’t guarantee a price, or a delivery date, or the availability of a product, be upfront about it. People appreciate candor and honesty. Building trust is a good first step to a valuable connection.

 

  1. Surprise Your Customers

 

Give them something they didn’t expect such as a recommendation for a good restaurant or wrapping up their purchase securely. Walk them toward the door and hold it open for them. Little touches such as these can set your store apart from others.

 

  1. Follow Up

 

Finally, make sure you follow up on any claims you make. This can be as simple as calling a customer when a new product is in, or asking about the last item they bought. Modest gestures go a long ways in customer service.

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