The personal touch continues to be one of the things that customer’s value the most in the customer experience.
I’m sure we’ve all encountered bad customer service at some point and it is often when another human being lets us down that we feel it the most. You may have experienced a really pushy sales person, not been called back after leaving a message, or even worse, when the person said they would. You may have been ignored in a shop, or followed around and made to feel like you were a potential shoplifter. You have had a sales person or customer service representative be rude to you, treat you like you’re stupid or even lie to you.
Whatever it was, it is sure to have left a bad taste in your mouth and made you reluctant to do business with them or shop there again. You may have even been so annoyed or upset that you told other people about it in the hope of saving them from experiencing the same thing.
When planning out the customer experience for your own business, think about how you want your customers to feel at each point throughout their interactions with you. What behaviours will you need to adopt to make them feel this way?
I have put together a few ideas to get you going…
Keep your promises
It’s simple really…if you tell a customer you are going to do something, do it!
Whether you’ve promised to call someone back or update notes, or you have a policy that says that you will do something within a particular timeframe, it is important to do what you say you will do.
As a customer, there is nothing more frustrating than someone promising something and not following through.
Always be polite
Customers value the human interactions in the customer experience highly, so make them count.
Being polite costs nothing and a simple “Please” and “Thank you” can go a long way. Customer loyalty is built by customers developing an emotional bond with your business. In a world where a lot of things have become impersonal, it is often these little things that have the greatest impact.
I know that there are going to be times in any business when your customers push you to the limits. They can be demanding and aggressive, and sometimes downright unreasonable. But regardless of all of this, you need to maintain your cool and be polite. It is the quickest and easiest way to turn the situation around and those customers’ are more likely to forgive you and want to do business with you again in the future.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Honesty is the best policy” before. And the truth is, it really is, especially when you are trying to manage customer’s expectations.
Customers are much more likely to warm to you if they feel you are being open and honest rather than if they feel you have been hiding crucial information, even if it is by omission.
While you don’t want to make your customers feel uncomfortable or pressurised by hovering around them or constantly chasing them, you do want them to feel like they can approach you if they need advice or more information, whether it is in person, online or by phone.
It can be a fine line at times but offering clear ways to communicate with you or reaching out to them every now and then to let them know you are there if they need you will help.
The Power of a smile
One of the easiest ways to make someone’s day and lift their mood is to give them a smile…
Not only does it affect the other person and make them feel more drawn to you but it will also make you feel happier too, which will make you more inclined to provide better service to your customers…talk about an easy win:win!
Smiling is such a simple yet powerful tool in your customer service toolkit so use it liberally…
These are just a few of the many customer service-focused behaviours that you can use to build lasting relationships with your customers. What other behaviours do you think are important? Please let me know in the comments below…