1. Treat customers with respect
Sooner or later, when dealing with a large number of customers, it is inevitable to run into a disagreement that just cannot be resolved properly.
Anyone who’s been in business for a while has had these “impossible” customers, and it’s never fun for anyone involved, especially if you’re confident that you are right and the customer is simply wrong.
The truth is that in the real world, customers are NOT always right.
Sometimes they just can’t be pleased no matter what you do, and when that happens it is important to keep in mind that even if you disagree with them, you can still try to respect their position and do your best to cater to their wishes.
2. Don’t treat customer service as a sales channel
If there’s one thing people hate, it’s reaching out for help only to receive a sales pitch instead.
Instead of getting a solution to their problem, they’re told they need to buy or upgrade to product X to solve it.
Never do this unless there is absolutely no way around it (like if a person has bought a new TV and can’t hook it up to their Bluray without buying an adapter).
Otherwise, keep the sales talk out of customer service.
Customer service should always be focused on solving the needs of your customers, not the needs of your own business.
If customers sense that you’re putting your own interests ahead of theirs, they will not look favorably on your company.
The exception is when dealing with customers pre-sales, such as answering questions they might have before buying a certain product or service.
3. Educate your customers
If you’re in a field that’s rapidly evolving and changing (really, which field isn’t these days?), chances are many of your customers will be unable to keep up with all the new developments.
From just browsing around the store to adding products to a shopping cart and checking out, there are many things that can seem confusing for someone who hasn’t been keeping up with the latest technology.
If you can help them understand how everything works and increase their confidence, then that’s a customer service success.
In some fields, it may make sense to offer free training, like handbooks and instructional videos.
Free gifts are an excellent way to educate your customers while also providing value.
You’d be educating your customers and marketing your product at the same time, and hopefully, people will appreciate the advice you give them and go on to buy one of your products.
That’s how good customer service can sometimes also lead to increased sales!
4. Say “yes” as often as possible
Customers don’t like being told that whatever they need help with cannot be done.
Even if their request seems somewhat out of the normal range of service you offer, you should try to say ‘yes’ and help them out if it’s not too inconvenient for you.
Going that extra mile to ensure their satisfaction is sure not to go unnoticed.
And the next time they’re in the market for whatever you’re selling they’re likely to come back to the person who went through all that trouble to help them the last time.
As the boss, it’s easy to know what your business can and cannot do for its customers, but your team members may not be so sure.
In fact, they might hesitate going that extra mile for customers unless they’ve been specifically told to (and rightly so, they shouldn’t make promises that your business can’t deliver on).
That’s why you should try to cover these scenarios during their training and let them know that if they feel uncertain about something they can just come to you and ask.
5. Let customers know you appreciate their business
The trick to making sure you treat each and every customer like an individual is letting them know that you appreciate and value their business.
It could be as simple as just writing something like that in your e-mail correspondence – a little usually goes a long way.
Another good idea is using their name to further validate them as a real person.
You need to make it sound sincere though and be very careful not to overdo it, otherwise, it may actually have the opposite effect.
Customers are usually able to tell if you actually mean what you say, or if you’re just trying to win their affection by telling them what they want to hear
The #1 overlooked technique that we talk about in my Nurture Facet Program, is to start a real conversation with your leads!
Connecting with them, showing that you appreciate their business, and creating a real relationship will put you far about the competition.
6. Exceed expectations
Whenever you get the chance, go the extra mile and exceed the expectations you think the customer has.
If you can manage to actually impress a customer with your service, chances are they will stick with your business for a long time.
The truth is most customers are used to not exactly getting the royal treatment from companies they deal with, so whenever they run into a business that makes them feel like VIP’s, they’re sure to remember it.
What exceeding their expectations actually means in practice will vary a lot depending on the situation.
It could be offering them some sort of compensation if they’ve been inconvenienced, or something as simple as responding faster to an e-mail that they could reasonably expect.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with this to see what your customers respond to.