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Receiving bad customer service can make a customer swear off a business for life. Delivering the best customer experience is essential to whether a company thrives or fails. Following certain tips, from the impression you make to the information you provide, can have a big impact on how customers react and feel as well as dictate where they will choose to spend their money in the future. Being a representative of the company means providing the best experience possible.
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When you are genuinely interested in what the customers have to say, they can sense it even over the phone. While speaking, avoid giving off indications of disinterest including being flippant, nonchalant or dismissive. Instead, opt for phrases such as “I understand" and “What can I do to help you?" When assisting a customer in person, look at the person as you are conversing instead of looking elsewhere. Customers want to know you are as invested in their experience as they are.
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Don't Make False Promises
To a customer, what you say may as well be a hand-written legal document. Promises are expected to come through and as soon as possible. If you are unsure about being able to deliver a certain service or item to a customer, never say or in any way indicate that you can do it. Instead of making false promises, say “I will do my best to help you in any way I can" or “Let me double-check on that information for you so I can give you a definitive answer."
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When you make a promise, follow through on it either as soon as possible or according to the date and time you specified. When making a promise, always try to leave room for error by giving the customer a possible range of answers. For example, if you promise to deliver an item at 4 p.m., a customer will typically notice if you show up at 4:05 p.m. and they often won't care why you're late. All they know is that you made a definitive promise and you didn't keep your word. Instead, let the customer know you will be there between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. It's a small enough range that the person won't have to waste his or her day waiting, but it still allows you to keep your promise while leaving enough time for traffic, delays and any other unexpected problems.
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When speaking to a customer, either in person or on the phone, repeat back the important information that they say to you. If a person provides you their full name, spell it back to them. Always repeat an order or any specific requests. It provides a chance right there for the customer to make any changes.
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Refer to a Person by Name
A customer never wants to feel like a number. When you speak to customers and you have access to their name either in person or on the phone, refer to them by title followed by last name. Use it as a greeting, such as “Hello Mr. Doe. How are you today." and periodically throughout the conversation when you acknowledge their purchase or problem. For example, when customers state a problem they are having, say “I understand Mr. Doe. I'm sorry you're having problems, but I'll be happy to check on that issue and help to resolve it." It creates a personal line to the customer instead of a thought that they are call number 454 of the day.
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When a customer states an issue, always be persistent in finding ways to resolve it. Trying one method isn't good enough. Go out of your way if you have to and speak to a person in a higher position that can help you resolve the issue. It helps customers feel that you, and the company, value their business and will do what it takes to keep it and make them happy.
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Delivering the best customer experience could make or break a person's day. Separate yourself from any personal problems and focus solely on the customers. This will help you put on a smile, be more inclined to help and do so in a proper way and have a pleasing tone to your voice. It's important to be a positive representation of the company at all times.
Reading “Honing Your Customer Service Skills" can also help give you more insight on the value of exceptional customer service. Learning what your customers think after the service can also be helpful. To learn more, check out “Free Sample Customer Service Survey Questions."
Photo copyright to: Deman (Donovan Graen) via Flickr