Friday, October 8, 2010

National Customer Service Week

This week has been a celebration of customer service. In today's economy, competition is fierce and customer service can make or break a business. Happy customers tell, on average, 3 people about their positive experience. Unhappy customers tell, on average, 10 people about their unsatisfactory experience. That could potentially be 10 lost customers or 3 new customers based on a single event.

We all know what beautiful and ugly customer service looks like. So what do you do to ensure your customer service is excellent?

Some tips:
  • Under promise - If you're not sure you can deliver, don't say that you can. Only promise what you know for sure can be done, keeping in mind that things can go wrong...and usually do.
  • Over deliver - Exceed expectations by going above and beyond what you've promised. If you've under promised, this shouldn't be difficult.
  • Be responsive - Strong communication can make a huge difference, especially in a situation that seems to be going badly. Don't avoid or run away from a potential problem or dissatisfied customer. Let them know that you're working on remedying the situation.
  • Be proactive - If you can avoid a problem, do something before it becomes a real issue. If there is already a problem, don't wait for the customer to bring it to your attention. Beat them to it - identify the issue, create a plan for solution and let your customer know what you're doing.
  • Communicate - Whether things are going smoothly or not, customers appreciate knowing what's going on. They appreciate progress reports, knowing that you're staying on top of things and that you care about them.

Make sure everyone in your company knows who really pays their bills - the customer. After all, you don't have a business - and they don't have jobs - if you don't have customers. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

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