The Lost Art of Exceptional Customer Service
I find it interesting in this day and age that people, companies, etc. have forgotten a golden rule. Keep the customer happy, and they will come back. We have all experienced bad customer service either in our professional lives or personal lives, and most likely in both. You as the customer need something, and the person sitting across from you is either unwilling, unable, or doesn’t care. Maybe this mentality came from the revolution of the big box stores, or maybe we as a society felt it was beneath us to offer good customer service.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
You can go into any business situation and offer exceptional customer service to the client. The client will appreciate you and most likely you will get return business. By offering exceptional customer service, you will be looked upon as a rare case and clients will remember that. They will look to you in the future first because they know they can trust you to take care of them. Offering exceptional customer service does not begin with the word free. It begins with a conversation, a relationship if you will.
One thing that I have learned is that people don’t listen. We go into a meeting with a plan of what needs to be accomplished, and that’s what we want. We forget to listen to the client. Everyone appreciates being listened to. What I’ve noticed is that when we listen, we find there are potentially more opportunities that if we walk in focused on our agenda and not the customer’s, we miss out. The customer misses out to. Talk to your competitor about what you missed.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, YOU MAY BE RIGHT TOO
When offering exceptional customer service, you become subject matter experts in two areas. One, customer service – offering something that most people don’t see on a daily basis. Two, whatever item you are offering. That could be an installation, a meal, a smile, or a million dollar sale. The customer knows what they want. They are always right. However, you may be able to offer something extra that the customer never knew was out there. Without showing exceptional customer service, that extra piece may never have entered the picture. You are right as well, and better yet, you are successful.
Exceptional customer service is not just about listening to the client, and offering what they want, but to follow through. Most of us have, cynically, come to believe that promises are empty. However, exceptional customer service involves following through with a successful product that meets or exceeds the client expectation. In the end, you have a satisfied customer who will return to you; maybe not even your company, but to you time and again because they know that they will be taken care of with every request.