By: Dave Hiatt, International Training Director, Global Accounts
You know good customer service when you experience it. It’s hard to explain at times when it’s not so great, but it’s easy to recognize when a customer service agent has gone above and beyond to make sure you’re satisfied.
At some point, every day, everyone is a customer. A good customer service experience is something that everyone can relate to – so what is it that makes for an exquisite customer service touchpoint?
Because of word-of-mouth and social media, companies can’t afford to provide less than stellar customer service. Sandler Training teaches companies how to focus on the fundamentals of customer service due its direct impact on the bottom line.
Whether you’re in B2C or B2B sales, the following tips are tried and true and will help your company reap the rewards that come with exceptional customer care.
- Ask questions upfront. From the very beginning of a customer relationship, it’s crucial to know exactly what’s expected. This allows for you to manage expectations and also gauge what your customer will consider a success. If you’ve heard Sandler mention the “upfront contract” you know it all starts at this step.
- Listen to your customer. When a customer speaks, you should be listening. This is when you’ll discover their pain and identify where you’ll really be able to make an impact and move the needle for their business. Additionally, sometimes a customer just needs an outside opinion to ‘hear them.’ This is when you’ll establish that trusting relationship salespeople long for.
- Communicate regularly. A good business practice is to always be ahead of your customer. They should never be wondering when they’ll be hearing from you. Make it your practice to establish regular communications. And if there’s a particular situation that needs tending to, make sure you’re on top of the need and communicating accordingly. Remember, you’re there to make their job easier and more efficient.
- Be sincere. This should without saying, but you’re efforts and communications with your customers should be nothing short of sincere. Take a moment and put yourself in their shoes, if it’s important and pressing to them then make sure they know you understand their concerns and needs. Then, do your best to provide solutions to remedy the problem.
- Request feedback. A customer likes to be heard – and why shouldn’t they? They’re paying for a service and want to be handled to their liking. Insist that they rate you and give their feedback so that you can better service their needs. This is mutually beneficial as you’ll grow as a professional and they’ll likely continue to do business with you.
- Keep a long-term mindset. There’s no quick fix when it comes to customer service. Companies that thrive invest in long-term training that the tackles behaviors, attitudes and techniques that are essential to customer service.
Customer service has often been called the “frontline” of an organization. When executed properly, a happy customer will share their positive experience which will ultimately lead to referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing. What are some of your customer service best practices?