While there are many transactional and technical skills involved in providing great customer service, which can vary by context and industry, here are five fundamental customer service essentials that can improve and sustain superior customer service regardless of the nature of your business. These are worth establishing and reinforcing at every possible juncture within your organization.
1. You can never win an argument with a customer. Even if you “win,” your company still loses. Your paycheck (and the growth of our company) is how you win, not through your debating prowess.
2. Make it easy for the customer to give you their business and their money. If they don't want to do business the way you usually do, then try to do business their way. Your company’s procedures are the best you’ve come up with, but they’re not perfect, and, even if they were, one size definitely does not fit all customers. If someone wants something different, try your best to give it to them.
3. We are in the business of 100% customer retention. If you ever feel you are on the brink of losing a customer, do everything you can personally, or call in assistance from others in the organization, to salvage the situation.
4. How you say (or write) something is as important as what you say. Those small words, “thank you,” "how are you," etc., are crucial, as are using the customer’s name – with the right pronunciation or spelling – whenever appropriate.
5. Every customer stands at the center of their universe; make sure they feel that they’re at the center of yours as well. Customers predominantly care about themselves and the people they care about (which probably includes you tangentially at most). This may not seem fair, but it is to your company’s advantage that you recognize this reality. When customers contact you, make it seem like you were sitting around waiting for their phone call, their email, to get their order out and so forth. Unrealistic though it seems, this is how the customer views the universe. It is by honoring this, rather than pushing back against it, that you put our company in the best possible light.
For more on this topic, read NewVoiceMedia’s whitepaper 3 Key Customer Service Trends for 2018.