We’ve all been in the situation. A more senior professional comes up to us and goes into a story about how things used to be “back in the day.” It usually elicits some rolling of the eyes or a variation of the glazed-over look, but why? Today’s digital landscape demands a faster pace and being plugged in almost 24/7 to make sure you don’t miss the latest business trend, viral piece of content or even celebrity Instagram post.
Let’s take a minute and remove ourselves from today’s world (easier said than done) and recall the story that your colleague, who has 30 years of work experience, shared. There is a time and place to implement the latest and greatest technology or to see if “there’s an app for that,” but now let’s draw from that well of experience that your colleague has. All of their experiences in creating a robust customer pipeline has extreme value. Providing old fashion customer service in a high-tech industry can resonate with your customers. The impersonal nature of email, text messaging and social media have created a gap in how historical customer maintenance performed. If you choose to implement them as part of your regular practices, you might even keep that customer who you’ve been in danger of losing.
Here are a few examples of good customer service tips to implement in your next customer interaction:
- Use Their Name - Personalized engagement is the best kind! Make a point to say their name, not ticket #4592, and use yours when introducing yourself. You can control the relationship from the beginning by making the interaction more human. If you show a genuine interest in them personally, and not just a transaction, you’ll be surprised at how the tone of the relationship changes.
- Smile - It can be tough to do sometimes because you are busy and don’t always feel like smiling. It is the easiest way to build rapport, and it will reflect on how your customers interact in return. Smile even when you are on the phone. It might seem unnatural at first, but the difference is evident and will be appreciated by the customers.
- Be Prompt and Go Out of Your Way - Addressing any concerns or issues right away will show them that their experience is a priority. Providing a swift resolution will also go a long way in helping them see that your company is empowered to make a decision and resolve their issue. Also, don’t forget about the customer after the resolution. A follow-up of any kind to make sure things are still right with them will build a customer loyalty that your competitors are after.
- Compensate - Don’t be cheap about coming to a resolution. If needed, provide a refund or product replace a product. If you are able to retain a customer with a refund, you will more than likely recuperate that refund from them over the course of your business relationship. And who knows, they might even leave a positive customer testimonial.
Listening to everyone’s experiences, is a fundamental part of providing excellent customer service, even if it seems prehistoric in our fast-paced society. There are often times where you can take some previous best practices and apply them to today’s daily business interactions. One thing that can go a long way in providing great customer service is establishing a loyalty program and having a mobile-friendly business website. These great next steps will go a long way in furthering a high level of service that your customers will most definitely appreciate.
As a business owner, think about this: What do you appreciate the most when you are the customer?