Customer service is a term many companies love to elevate when describing their business…but do they really embody true service? We all know that you cannot truly offer “good service” if you sell a lousy product, but what else does your company do to ensure you deliver a quality partnership? Nowadays, the basics are not enough to leave a lasting impression and encourage your clients to come back to you. Gaining return business isn’t easy, and it cannot be expected from every interaction, but if you nurture your audiences correctly, you are sure to leave your mark! Here are some ways to elevate your customer service:
3 Quick Tips for Customer Service Excellence
Deliver beyond expectations
Doing what the client asked is great and all, but isn’t that our job? Meeting basic expectations is not going to cut it anymore—we must deliver beyond customer expectations. Doing so will help you stand out among the rest. Responding to emails in a timely manner, meeting deadlines, delivering quality work and doing all of this within budget—this may not always be an easy feat, but remember that these are basic expectations. However, continuously showing consistency, consulting the client with patience and empathy, showing sincerity…that is going the extra mile. No matter the industry, you will be working with clients of all types, some chatty, some straight to the point, and some who may even be abrupt or gruff at times. This just means that we must be able to adapt to any situation and deliver the same type of service no matter what the circumstances are our personalities involved.
Most importantly, we like to remember the old adage that “knowledge is power.” We are expected to be the source of information, which means we should strive to never end a conversation without confirming that the client fully understands and is satisfied. Good customer service means following through on our promise to deliver the information we are expected to have at hand. Lastly, we figure you cannot go wrong by adhering to the advice to “under-promise and over-deliver.”
Build the best team
Customer service is not only about the work, but also about the people doing the work. Don’t hire stiff, unfriendly people who don’t care about your company’s purpose! You want pleasant individuals who are willing to have casual and personal conversations outside of the routine tasks. Often, all that customer service entails at its core is having the dedication to cultivate a relationship and make it worthwhile and valuable for the client to maintain. Thus, you want team members who are understanding and can be the calm in the storm for a client, someone they can trust. Look for individuals who can handle the occasional (or even frequent) curveball, and who can take adversity and transform it into something valuable for the client. You are looking for a team member who can offer genuine care. Having the unique ability to shift a client’s focus from stressed to hopeful is key, especially in an industry so beholden to shifts in the markets (or weather) beyond our control.
You can’t have all the clients
Who are you trying to impress? No, seriously: do you know who that is, and are you putting forth all your effort into reaching them, specifically? You have to know your niche. Companies should not try to impress everyone, because logistically, that means they will not adequately be reaching anyone. In essence, it’s not prudent to take on the upward battle of trying to appeal to every person out there and ultimately end up falling into the middle ground (which isn’t tailored to fit anyone). Create a set identity, know your target market and take the steps that best position your brand voice.
Regardless of your industry, know that customer service is not just about being “nice” or pleasant to your clients anymore. Now, customer service plays a dynamic role in the way your company’s business is operated--and whether or not it will be lasting. At the end of the day, your customer service efforts affect how your brand is seen in the public eye, which, in return, impacts the bottom line. People talk, and if your company is smart, strategic, and strives to be helpful above all else, you can benefit from positive word of mouth. We believe that not only is customer service “important,” it is actually vital for a company’s success.
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