How to be Great at Customer Service as an Entrepreneur:
Is the customer always right? No, but how do you make them feel like they are right?
Customer Service is not always about being super friendly with all the fluff and niceties. It about being accountable and seeing things from your customer’s perspective.
Here are a few tips:
1. Use common sense! Give the customer exactly what they ask; but if you sense that something doesn’t seem right or doesn’t make sense, don’t just go along with it. Even if you are wrong customers appreciate that you made the effort to think thoroughly about their request and you may even give them a perspective they didn’t think of. Trust me, some times “2 Cents/2Sense” can be helpful. And you can start the the sentence like “Just as a suggestion…..I was wondering if you definitely wanted the….. because...”
2. When you make a mistake be accountable, It's ok. It is embarrassing but no one is perfect. For those entrepreneurs that want to scale your business, expect hiccups and handle them professionally and give something free to your customer. There is nothing worse than to make a mistake and then make the customer feel that you are not taking full accountability. I say accountability because maybe it was your employee that messed up and they are responsible for the issue, but your business is accountable regardless. Free Product, Free Service and any other discount is well worth it in the end. You will end up keeping your customer because they too are human and probably can empathize. It goes back to that old saying; “treat people how you would want to be treated” literally. It works!
3. Listen to your customers. It might seem self-explanatory but really going the extra mile to listen to your customers needs will make all the difference. Rather than assuming what the customers wants, simply ask their expectations, what they want, and what they don’t. Then listen. You’ll be able to complete the tasks at hand more effectively with the customers insight in mind.
4. Keep your promises. Promises and follow through are essential to any successful business. If your business does a poor job of completing a task then you’ll lose customers and more importantly, their trust.
5. Always try to say yes before you say no. If you get into an argument with a customer take this into consideration: A lot of businesses are more focused on what it takes for their business to succeed rather than making exceptions for customers. For example, if a customer wants a refund that you ordinarily wouldn’t give, ask yourself would making an exception strengthen my relationship with the customer? While you can’t please every customer, is it worth winning an argument, saying no, and abiding by your established policies at the cost of losing business? Probably not.
6. Be available to your customers. Customers appreciate quick responses, to be kept in the loop and a positive attitude to go along with it!
7. Provide answers or find the answers. Instead of making excuses for why something was not completed or didn’t work- find a way. Customers appreciate your effort and to see that you’re willing to go above and beyond to meet their needs. They know they can depend on you and that is an invaluable quality to have for your business.
8. Know who your customers are. It is vital to know who your customers are and make them feel important. Remember the goal is to gain repeat customers, so keep track of who they are to develop that consistent relationship. You can do this through taking note of their patterns in terms of their needs, how they like things done and if they have similar expectations every time. When this type of trust is present, that customer is more likely to return and refer your business to someone else.
Pretty simple, right? Remember this is supposed to be fun :)