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The Lost Art of Customer Service
by Samantha Gregory
Customer service is a way of life in business. Customers are the life blood of an establishment and they are the reason companies are in business. Is there a need for re-education of employees and managers too? Too often the people working for the business forget that the customer is priority. There is the erroneous belief that they are secondary and the customers needs don't matter. Here ís how to help keep things in perspective.
The Welcoming Committee
Making the customer feel welcome and comfortable is the first rule of customer service. If a person does not feel comfortable or welcome they will not stay to do business or they will not return. When a person walks into your establishment or calls your place of business is he greeted warmly and made to feel like you are glad he called?
Learn to keep personal issues out of the business setting. A bad day, bad health, or a bad attitude can ruin a prospective sale. It is better to allow someone else to handle the customer than ruin a potential long term relationship. Learn to forget about your problems and put on a happy face. That customer may be the largest sale you get or knows someone who will be.
Another point to make about making a customer feel important is not to have or allow on-going conversations with a fellow employee while the customer stands there waiting. Ignoring the customer is a quick way to make them walk out the door and never come back. They will remember how rude your employees were and will spread this bad experience to others. Negative word of mouth is detrimental to your business health.
Take a look at the quality of customer service in your company. All it takes is one bad employee or manager to lose a sale. Training your staff to treat the customer in a respectful manner should be a priority. It is worth the few dollars you may have to spend to get everyone up to speed on quality customer service.
Product guarantee is rule number two of quality customer services. A good product or service is important to the customer and they have a right to expect quality. If your product of service is of poor quality then you need to upgrade it, replace it, or repair it. The quality of your product or service speaks volumes about the number of repeat customers you will receive and retain.
The Quick Resolution
Quick problem resolution is the third rule of customer service. If a problem occurs the customer should be confident that it will be handled promptly. The customer should not have to be given the run around about having a product repaired or replaced. They should not be made to feel like they are at fault for an error on your part. If there is a problem the customer should be assured that it will be corrected immediately or at the very least a day or two. They should receive a follow-up on when they can expect the product or service corrected. Repairing or replacing the product is the right thing to do and you can be sure to keep that customer for a long time.
If you find that your company cannot keep loyal customers and the satisfaction to complaint ratio is high look at your businesses customer service policy. Does the customer feel welcome/ comfortable? Does the product or service meet their expectation? Is there quick problem resolution resulting in a repaired or replaced product? Word of mouth is the proven leader in advertising. You want to be sure that the word that customers spread about your business is positive because your customer service is excellent!
Last updated by Tammy Jones Apr 12, 2009.