How can your business keep expanding your customer base and increasing your sales and profits? Is there any formula for this? Can you achieve this aim by consistently offering high-quality products? There is only one answer to all these questions. Unless you ensure customer satisfaction, you will never be able to achieve these aims. Simply put, if you do not satisfy customers in the right manner and if they lose confidence in your company, you will lose these disgruntled customers.
But putting in place appropriate customer service systems for ensuring customer satisfaction may not be an easy process. It involves a thorough study of your business, and various other factors. There are chances that you may have to seek the help of an expert to choose the most appropriate systems that suit your company.
What is the aim of your customer service efforts?
The aim of your customer service efforts should be to make your company likable. This means that you must impart appropriate customer service skills in the team members of your customer service department so they become likable. According to a book entitled “59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute,” likable people can accomplish great things both in life and business which means that if your customer service team members possess likable qualities and appropriate customer service skills, no one can stop your company’s growth.
Also remember that if you ensure customer satisfaction, those satisfied customers will do word of mouth publicity for you. In fact, there cannot be a more delicious moment than when satisfied customers voluntarily come forward to write great testimonials lauding your company’s customer service systems.
So, how can you make your customer service staff likable?
1. Genuine interest to satisfy customers.
If your customer service staff are trained suitably so they make conscious and genuine efforts to satisfy customers, it will go a long way in helping you in your steps to expand your customer base. The efforts that should be made by these staff are greeting customers in the right manner, complimenting them by using the most appropriate statements, and most importantly, showing generosity with their time, skills, and resources.
2. Admitting mistakes.
Customers will appreciate if your customer service staff readily admit mistakes. On the other hand, if they try to defend themselves and the company by refuting the allegations made by the dissatisfied customers, they are certain to earn their wrath. This will ultimately lead to loss of customers. So, tell your customer service staff not to work hard to manufacture excuses.
3. Your customer service staff should rarely pass the buck.
That customer service staff are passing the buck or escalating the issues has become a common complaint nowadays. If your executives commit this mistake quite often, it will reflect very badly upon your company. Of course, there may be issues that need the attention or intervention of higher officials. But this should not become a regular practice. In short, instead of passing on the buck or escalating issues, customer service staff should also assume responsibility reasonably expected of them. Even if there are mistakes, they should be able to devise plans for setting things right.
4. Your customer service staff should never speak negative things about customers.
It is true that every customer is unique and hence, their demands and expectations may differ widely also. You and your customer service staff may come across a few customers who make unreasonable demands as well. But whatever may be the nature of the customers they deal with, these employees should never speak negative things about them.
Remember that you have hired these staff to give a boost to your efforts to ensure customer satisfaction. In fact, you have imparted suitable customer service skills in them and these skills mainly consist of controlling their tendency to mess things up by speaking about the negative things about customers. So, even if your customer service staff do not have any nice thing to speak about customers, let them refrain from speaking negative things about them. The simple fact that should never be overlooked is that even if your company has an exemplary record as far as customer satisfaction is concerned, the edifice of goodwill you have built will collapse if your customer support staff talk negative things about customers.
Never forget the fact that the negative things your staff speak about customers may be viewed as malicious gossip. You cannot also lose sight of the fact that there are people who may have no qualms in spreading word about this. When this news reaches those customers themselves, they will not hesitate to leave you. You have to grasp this reality and ensure that your customer service representatives never take any steps due to which you are likely to lose the confidence and goodwill of customers.
In a nutshell, if your customer service staff are likable, your customers will like your company. This will lay a solid foundation for developing a concrete and enduring relationship with them. Remember that in today’s commercial environment in which cut-throat competition is ruling the roost, you cannot afford to lose customers’ confidence. You cannot take the aspect of customer satisfaction lightly as well. If you ignore these two important things, you are likely to lose the customers themselves.