Got a bad customer service story? I can relate! Here are my thoughts on customer service these days.
I’m sure you have your own stories of frustration and annoyance with the lack of customer service available today.
Due to moving homes recently, I had to encounter customer service within several different businesses including a large Telco and a small business. When things went wrong, both businesses treated my complaint like a hot potato, with no one wanting to take responsibility (I see you all nodding your head!).
It made me realise a lot of businesses place so little value on customer service. Bad idea! Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Customer complaints should never be outsourced
I am the queen of outsourcing, so I understand a lot of big companies need to outsource their customer service offshore, but I do feel that customer complaints are one thing you should never outsource.
In micro business, I believe one person should deal with an unhappy customer, be it you or someone within your business who can take ownership of the issue.
Unhappy customers cause damage
A frustrated customer is not the kind of customer you want. They can do irreparable damage if they take their opinions to social media and online review forums.
Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and negative comments can be damaging to your business.
Good customer service breeds loyalty
In my observations, businesses that prioritise good customer service are highly successful. Heard of Apple? Good customer service breeds loyalty, and if you feel like you have received good service, you will purchase again and again.
A perfect example of this is a gym I joined in January – they offered me a two week free trial, and the owner generously offered an additional week. In turn, that made me feel loyal to her business, so once the trial was over, I ended up joining for six months.
After moving houses recently though, I went searching for the same gym franchise in my new area. They also offered a two week trial, which I signed up to.
But one week after my trial, I was told by the owner that I couldn’t get another week for free because I’d already taken the two week trial from the other franchise.
Did I sign up to her gym? No. Would I have given her my business and loyalty if she let me have the extra week? Yes probably.
My three top tips for providing good customer service
Nobody wants to feel ripped off or unheard. So if you ever have a disgruntled customer, ensure they get the best customer service, ever. Here are my three top tips.
Be a good listener
How will you know what someone needs if you’re doing all the talking? Be quiet and let your client tell you exactly what he or she requires. Let the client know that they are being heard and apologise if they’ve had a bad experience.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
You know exactly how your client feels because you’ve been there before. That’s why you’re good at what you do, right? Now get out there and solve their problem.
Go the extra mile
Don’t you love it when someone goes above and beyond? A great example of this is my story about the gym owner offering me an extra free week.
Delivering excellent customer service will create a deeper relationship with your clientele and ensures repeat business. It’s a guaranteed win for both parties and is highly rewarding.
What are your thoughts on customer service?