What entrepreneurs must do to provide best customer service?
1. Be available!
You must be available to customer when called. Lend a personal touch. Answer a call within three rings, let customer know your name, avoid giving impression that you are too busy or in hurry. Every customer expects special attention and being listened to patiently.
While using voicemail, make message simple, clear and well spoken. If speaking on mobile, avoid leaving messages at two places to prevent giving impression of being hard and illusive to contact. As a safe alternative, consider diverting office phone straight to your mobile.
2. Enhance customer expectations
Try to understand and satisfy customer’s latent need, give more than expected. Do not fail in meeting promised schedule, set realistic date and delight customer by delivering before date.
Be prompt in responding to messages as timely response is always better than longer delay. Be in constant touch, ensure to keep customer well informed.
3. Show respect and seek permission
It is important to seek permission in certain instances. Unsolicited email or spamming are big irritants.
In making personal comments during business discussions or calling a participant by nickname, or divulging customer’s identity, show respect, exercise restraint and seek permission.
4. Seek first to understand customer’s needs
In order to develop new relationship, you must demonstrate that you have fully understood customer’s requirements.
We normally get stuck with our business language and fail to understand what our customer is seeking. Listen and understand what is wanted and reflect back to customer in simple words.
Make a clear summary of what you understood, and make your customer feel comfortable.
While in conversation take notes, be attentive to emotive language. Emotions are good leads to customer needs. Demonstrate that customer has been heard and explain how you will fulfil need through your product or service.
5. Take care of your image
You are judged not in isolation but also through conduct of your employees, contractors, temporaries or freelancers within your organization. Any one working for your business enhances or lowers your image. Take care to safeguard your image by drafting and implementing procedures and policies. Customer service may be considered as a business-building virus which spreads everywhere. Keep it healthy!
6. Offer business to others
In those cases where your services can not cater to what customer is looking for, refer customers to others whom you know can fulfil their needs. It is beneficial to keep knowledge of such service providers and help customers.
Businesses which truly care for customers, strive hard to satisfy each customer. Being generous to your referrals pays dividends.
7. Look for best practices of big businesses
Try to know what are customer initiatives taken by big companies and try to adopt them suitably in your business with further improvements.
8. Do not miss on follow-up and feedback
Service does not end with sale. Follow up with customer to ensure that their needs are satisfactorily fulfilled. Ask for feedback on dealings and demonstrate your sincerity by incorporating improvements where relevant.
9. Win hearts by saying Thank You
Say it loud, say on your invoices and to your staff as well. Let every sale be completed saying ‘thank you’ with a smiling face.