With respect to your product, service, location, or price, customer service is a large portion of your business and personal success. When one goes out of his/her way to get to your front door or call you on the phone to inquire about doing business, or buying something from you, pause and consider that you must be their first and best choice. This gives us all a responsibility to treat each customer, guest, vendor, client, patient, or resident with a level of service they all deserve. As an international speaker and trainer on customer service, I want to share my…
Top Ten Golden Nuggets of Customer Service
1. Know your customer by their first name. When appropriate, use their first or full name to let them know you offer them respect by knowing and acknowledging their name.
2. Listen twice as much as you talk. Listening is where the details are in a conversation. By listening a bit more, you can serve your customer better.
3. Always tell the truth. Nothing will build a business relationship stronger and quicker than telling the truth. This is a great example of what it takes to build customers for life.
4. Never argue with a customer. Conversation, with respect to the other person’s thoughts and opinion is just as valuable as yours. The best advice I ever got on this topic is…”When one won’t, two can’t argue”.
5. Under-Promise, Over-Perform. It is often quite easy and pleasant to do a little more than is expected for your customers. How did you feel the last time someone exceeded your expectations?
6. Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up. Follow-up is also a great way to refresh your last conversation, your offerings, instructions and goals. More often than not, the lack of sincere follow-up is a major contributor of lost business. That business goes to your competitor.
7. Be Thankful for the Customers Who Complain. Complaints are disguised as opportunities that can build business relationships. When a complaint occurs, be thankful that you can be part of the solution, and build a continuing relationship with that specific customer.
8. Enthusiasm. What are you and your staff doing to ignite enthusiasm with those that you serve? It can be as simple as a sincere welcome and smile to each and every customer. In person and on the phone.
9. Be thankful for each and every customer, every time. Never take a customer for granted. Each person deserves respect and a personal welcome. This respect and welcome also reflects on your company, and its reputation.
10. The Golden Rule. It is our pleasure to treat others as we would want to be treated. Each time, every time, all the time.
I have worked with several municipal governments, the U.S. Air Force, and sovereign nations on customer service training, and with amplified competition for tourism, hospitality, gaming and the economic opportunities, all require consistent attention on how we treat each other and our guests and customers.