Strategies for Customer Service
Customer relationship as a dating process
You need your company to be known for providing excellent customer service. Everyone wants the same thing, but very few get it and can keep it, and it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. You can have a good product, but if your customer service is poor, you will not close the deal, or you will close less than you expect. Here are some strategies that can be adjusted to your company to bring a better service to your customer.
Listen to your customers.You already know this!, and I’m sure you’re telling yourself that you do. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, but listening is not everything, the most important part is to be responsive and empathize with your customers’ needs. Reflect about what your customer thinks, feels and wants. What can you do to improve their current situation? What can you do to ensure your customer has a great experience and hangs up thinking they didn’t waste their time again with a guy who only gave them a brief attention.
Your customer needs to close a conversation, feeling that you will keep thinking about him/her… like a date !
Make customer understanding your #1 concern. Focus on your customer’s concerns. A customer-centric approach consists of aligning products/services with customer needs/expectations. You must be able to be in position to anticipate their needs. Try to explain in simple words the expectations that are behind the scenes and prioritize them as gear parts to make the engine run !
Construct different phrases for the same concept to ensure that expectations are understood.
Most of the time, these expectations are not part of the stated/stated needs, because they are inferred by the customer. The customer assumes that their expectations are natural, so why do they have to tell every detail of what they are thinking?
Assumptions are the #1 enemy for both parties, for the clients and for us, the business consultants.
The first step in delivering client-centric service is for understanding the client thoroughly. This brings us back to the first point of listening to clients. To get to know your customers in depth, you have to pay attention to the details, and especially to those details that are not mentioned. So, as you can see, these first two steps go hand in hand.
Welcome to go backwards/risks. When some road nears a bad turn, you’ll be the first to raise your hand, and maybe even own up to the mistake. Most importantly, you’re there, because you’re the specialist. Experts are expected to anticipate bad things. Don’t be so kind as to forget what your responsibilities are, if you foresee something going wrong you have to mention it; not to waste time on both sides.
The process of communicating error prevention exploits our interpersonal resources to the fullest.
You may think that those situations may be uncomfortable and are best avoided, but they are also an opportunity to build a trusting relationship with your customer.
Your client may think that you are skipping the initial client/consultant relationship to become a partner who anticipates risks in their business.
Building trust. Building trust is an ongoing process, that leads your business to a better relationship with your customers. Your customer has friends, family and social networks and surely has contacts related to their and your business. When a trusting relationship emerges, it is likely to be commented on in the nearby communities.
Positive comments and recommendations from your clients talking about the kindness and ductility of your service, even on issues that your product were not directly involved, is the reward for your effort and professionalism.
Handing complains. Good complaint processing has real benefits, as well as negative consequences when it is not addressed. Customers are more likely to recommend a company to their nearby if a complaint has been resolved efficiently. A customer is also likely to spread the word if a complaint has been mishandled or, worse, ignored.
Don’t forget the influence of social media.
Conflicts and complaints generate greater emotional intensity in relationships, and if a conflict had a happy resolution, it lingers longer in your customer’s memory than a smooth implementation.
A smooth implementation is expected by the customer, a proactive solution to a conflict where the customer understands that you are not the root cause of the difficulty is unexpected!
Do not, therefore, try to generate conflicts on purpose! -)
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. I don’t think so, but so, so many lines are writing below this statement , but I totally disagree.
People have an idea of what they need, but you are searched to give you some clue about the details, and as you know, devil and God hide among details ! I think you and your client may be wrong in your views more than once, and the facts will test both, the dynamics of the business and the market context. You may think about this statement if you were selling a closed product. You are selling consulting services, where the products are tailored to client’s business singularities, so the approach must be different and should not be based on a preconception of reason
Don’t underestimate the importance of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty can be defined as a customer’s willingness to interact with or purchase from a particular company on an ongoing basis. Many times, a customer associates favorable experiences with a brand or organization, increasing the likelihood that they will repeat business with that company.
Build meetings with customers frequently — check that they are satisfied with the product and customer service you offer them, and make specific changes when necessary. Ask for feedback and be responsive. All customers want to feel that their opinions and desires matter. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling that you are not being listened to or that your opinion doesn’t matter. When you don’t understand an answer, or it seems to be incomplete, ask for details, it’s also a strategy to tell them: I care about you.
Maintain a positive attitude. Attitude is almost everything. A positive attitude can turn a negative customer experience into a positive one, or — at least — not so bad. Since most of your customers’ experiences are not in person, the tone of your voice has gained a high level of importance. A single customer service representative is capable of changing a customer’s perception of service.
For example, an angry customer calls with a complaint and is greeted by a friendly, warm and pleasant customer service agent who listens, acknowledges and resolves their concerns.
Pay attention to “resolving their concerns” which does not imply resolving their problems or difficulties.
Chances are, that customer will leave with fewer doubts and more certainties, and will probably be willing to give that company another chance.
Let’s say another customer calls with the same concern, but instead is greeted by a grumpy, unfriendly agent who doesn’t listen, acknowledge or resolve their concern. That customer will leave the call less likely to do business again, and probably won’t make referrals to friends.
If you’re not the soft-spoken guy, don’t underestimate its importance, and at least have a partner on hand with enough skills to turn a conflict situation around.
When you focus service on politeness or manners, you should not avoid conflict. Every conversation is a negotiation, and good manners are an attitude to develop it in an orderly and polite way. But just because you are polite, you should not avoid conflict. The conflict or complaint can be handled in the same polite way, but without underestimating its importance and character.
Understand that during and after the conflict you can develop tools that allow you to understand the emotions of your client and is one of the doors to gain their trust and loyalty.
There are no authorship restrictions. Glad to feel these ideas/phrases would be useful to you.
by the author.