Six Steps to Better Customer Service

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Over the past month or so I have encountered my share of bad customer service.  I won’t name the Internet provider who has me a lot of time and money because they already have a name in the industry for terrible customer service.  Let’s just say their advertisements fall short of their promises.

Before I wrote this I decided to do a little more research to see if it was just me, or if this was happening to other people as well so I did a little research on the Internet – I know, you can’t always believe what you read on the Internet, but in this case I found out a lot of other people have experienced the same thing.

I sent several emails to the sales rep who sold me the account, made numerous calls to Tier 2 Support, downloaded the software they told me to (which caused even more problems), and took three trips to a wireless provider to get everything to sync with the information they provided and I still don’t have the issue resolved.  I finally brought in an IT person who took one look at the issue and said “Didn’t anyone ask you______?”

I’m glad to say that we are starting to make progress and hope to have the issue resolved within the next week.

So why am I talking about this?  Because there are some simple things they could have done to provide better customer service and save both their customer and their own company time and money.  Let’s look at a few of these.

Care about your customers.  The reason they are calling is because your company failed to deliver what was promised.  Emphasize with them.  Deal with complaints.  No one likes hearing complaints, but if you give them your full attention, you will be able to please your customer the first time and position your company to gain more customers.

Train your staff. If you can’t train them yourself, hire someone to train them.  Talk to them about the importance of good customer service on a consistent basis.  Give your staff the information and power so they can resolve the issue.

Take the time to identify customer needs.  Ask questions and concentrate on what the customer is really saying.  Listen to their words, and ensure you have an understanding of what they need.  Don’t assume you know the answer. If you don’t know the answer to the problem, get someone who does.

Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.  Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception.  Before you promise anything make sure you can do it.

Follow up and something extra.  After you resolve the issue get in touch with the customer to ensure they have been taken care of.  Provide them with something to show them you value their business.

Give your customers the type of customer service you would expect if you were on the other end of the phone. Give them more than they expect.  Your business depends on how much value you provide your customers.  It’s a lot harder to go back and repair the damage done by bad customer service than to do things right the first time.

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Gary Patton

Chief Connecting Officer at On Purpose Leadership
An Accomplished Business Consultant with over twenty-five years of experience in sales, management, training, and operations, Gary has worked with over 2,000 businesses to design and implement solutions to significantly increase their market share, customer service, revenue, and profitability.
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