The rules for providing excellent customer service are actually clear and fairly simple. Any business or organization should be able to follow them and improve customer service and earn customer loyalty.
The secret to success in building customer relationships is to follow customer service guidelines. Only those organizations that are willing to follow the guidelines and stick to them will be able to do this.
The Guidelines for Excellent Customer Service
- Consistency – This is probably the most important customer service guideline you must maintain a consistent level of customer service. Fluctuating levels of service will drive customers away.
- Competency – Offering good customer service is pointless if a firm can’t do its core business well. Maintain and constantly improve competencies as well as customer service. For example, a restaurant must have good food and good customer service to attract diners.
- Politeness – Striving to maintain politeness, good manners in employees is vital. Treating all customers with respect, saying thank you, hello and being friendly is a good start. Not tolerating rudeness is another.
- Discipline – Employees must know that they will face consequences if they don’t practice good customer service. IE those who are rude to customers or lie to customers will get fired.
- Respect – You must respect your customers as people. The rights of customers and their individuality must always be respected. Any policy that treats customers as less than human such as security measures that treat all customers as potential thieves will drive customers away.
- Honesty – Always be honest with customers. Dishonesty will drive customers away. Letting customers know that requests can’t be fulfilled or that there will be problems or delays is always better than making a promise that can’t be delivered.
- Put yourself in the place of the customer and treat customers as you would want to be treated. Always try to view transactions from the customer’s standpoint and provide the customer service would expect.
- Equal treatment – Try to give all customers the same level of customer service. Give all customers the highest possible level of customer service.
- Always strive to exceed the customer’s expectations.
- Under promise and over deliver – If you have any doubt about what you can deliver don’t promise it to the customer. Instead, make realistic goals and strive to exceed them. This can make it easier to please customers.
- Reward customer loyalty – Try to find ways to reward those customers who stick with you. This can be discounts, gifts, rewards, a customer appreciation day, free food or coffee in the store. Customers will appreciate such rewards and come back.
- Try to determine what the customers think – utilize customer surveys and other methods of gauging customer opinion. Learning what customers think can tell you what you need to improve.
- There is no such thing as perfect customer service. Customer service can always be improved so always try to do better. Never settle for a level of customer service, always try to do better. The fastest way to ruin customer service is to become complacent.
- Reward good customer service. When an employee provides good customer or goes beyond expectations reward them. If you are willing to reward good customer service you will see more of it.