|As business owners and managers, we want to ensure that our customer service is excellent. We have systems and procedures, computer programs and even talking points to make sure our employees are making our customers happy.
Rule #1: Don’t frustrate your customers
We have all sorts of access points – face-to-face, email, telephone, social media, online chat – to let our customers get in touch with us. We can pat ourselves on the back because we are providing “excellent” customer service.
Whoa! Slow down a second. Before we get all self-congratulatory, ask yourself one thing. Despite all of the best practices you’ve put in place, did you solve your customers’ problems?
The answer might well be no.
When it is no, your customer walks away frustrated and unhappy. Trust me, they don’t keep that frustration to themselves, either. The words of an existing customer can make or break any business. It is, by far, the most trusted form of promotion a company will have.
So, how do you fix the unsolved problem issue? Ask your customers about their experiences with your company. If they say their issues are unsolved, find a way to fix the issues and don’t put the responsibility for fixing the issue in your customer’s lap.
I recently had an issue with a company that did not fulfill my online order. When I tried to get the pending charge for the item removed from my card, I was told by both the company and the bank that neither one could remove it. I literally felt like a ping-pong ball, bouncing between two customer-service reps. Now, I’m dissatisfied with two companies!
Where we often fall short is in living our customer’s experience and implementing changes that prevent failures in our systems. With today’s technology, either company could have solved my problem with a simple three-way call between both reps and myself.
The best advice any business owner and manager can accept is to walk in your customer’s shoes.
The first step is to realize that you are already customers with other companies, so identify the things that you don’t like and make sure they don’t happen to your customers. Then, go a step further and find ways to see your business through their eyes.
Your customers don’t know the inner workings of your company and they shouldn’t need to, so don’t make excuses or offer apologies for your systems. All they need from you is an experience that fulfills their needs and is pleasant.
A satisfied and appreciated customer equals many new customers!