As much as we want to talk about gaining customers through marketing, we also want to tackle an important aspect of customer retention. As customers we run into problems with products and services we consume or use. We also sometimes want to ask questions about your brand. When we call you, we want to be approached in a friendly and helpful manner. That’s one way you can keep us. Bad customer service equals loss of customer. You’ve been a dissatisfied customer at least once in your life, and you know what happens next.
How can you make sure you’re providing good customer service?
1. Be reachable
Provide contact information, such as phone numbers and email addresses where people can reach you. It’s important that you provide different ways for customers to contact you. Not everyone has access to internet service when something bad happens. Some people prefer one way of messaging you to another.
2. Understand their issue
Read about their concerns with an objective mind. The mistake is to dismiss them as petty whining. Many of these issues arise from failure to grasp simple instructions or technical ineptness. Even so, don’t make them feel stupid. Help them by detailing an easy solution. If you don’t understand what they’re trying to say, ask questions. Clarify issues, concerns, and inquiries.
3. Respond within a reasonable amount of time
Your business policy should include responding to customer concerns within a day. The quicker you can respond to your customers, the better. We know you’re busy, but so are we. We have other things in our schedule, and we certainly can’t wait for 5 minutes until someone picks up the phone. Besides, that really drains a lot of battery power. Anyway, if you want to make us feel that you care about us, you really should put someone who’s always on the line.
4. Be courteous
You may be having a rough day. Maybe they are, too. So what works for both of you is being polite. Many of your customers may seem like ungrateful brats, but don’t act like they do. Be professional. Be patient when dealing with their ire. Some of them may shock you with invective. Anyone who has worked as a customer service representative knows these common issues. Your goal is to pacify the customer, if not treat them with civility.
5. Acknowledge the issue
When your customer says there’s a problem, then there probably is a problem. Don’t tell them they’re wrong. Don’t make it seem that they’re lying. Look into the problem, and see what you can do. Help the customer without making them feel like they’re dumb. Many problems actually arise from simple snags, perhaps an overlooked instruction. Walk them through the solution. See if the problem is fixed. Ask if they have any more concerns before letting them go.