Always remember that when dealing with any customer, client or visitor to your workplace it is a golden opportunity to deliver or provide that person with a sense of personal satisfaction. Every successful business from local corner stores to high turnover corporate companies generally strive to satisfy and deliver what the customer wants. The secret to successfully manage this is to understand and put into practice a number of tried and true customer services techniques.
You will find that there are a massive amount of books and reading material available on customer services techniques, training courses and all sorts of spin doctor advice about service delivery and methods on what to do or not do to improve customer service.
The following key basic customer service techniques outlined in this article are provided to help you to deliver exceptional customer service and to assist in making your clientele feel valued and happy to want to deal with you or your business.
Engaging with your customer
One of the key principles in providing good customer relationships is to build a rapport and trust with your customer. This can be done in various ways but one of the best customer service techniques successfully used these days is to engage the customer in friendly conversation by introducing yourself by name and where appropriate asking theirs. This indicates to the customer that you are interested in them and what they want. The customer has chosen your business for a reason so always be polite, ask relevant questions and be genuinely interested in what the customer has to say by listening and making eye contact if you can. By showing a genuine interest and being friendly the customer is more likely to respond in a positive manner and develop confidence with you. A customer will sense that you are not genuinely interested and it will become more difficult for you to build a rapport.
Find out what the customer wants
A customer will generally know what they want, some customers may be confused and others may be unsure on how or where to find something. Your primary role is to first and foremost help the customer by guiding and assisting them to get what they want. The best customer service technique is to politely converse with the customer and when the ice has broken and the customer is relaxed ask relevant questions and listen to the answers as this will help you to assist the customer in getting what they require. A satisfied customer will remember the friendly helpful service you have provided and will keep coming back and recommend you and your business to other people.
Be knowledgeable about the business
In many instances (and this can apply to any business or service) it is not possible to provide what your customer wants for a variety of reasons. It is therefore important to be familiar with what your business can and can’t offer. To avoid a customer wasting their time looking for something your business is unable to provide it is a good customer service technique to be aware if you can of people wandering around looking confused. By approaching customers and showing you are knowledgeable about what there is to offer and what you can do for them the customer will feel valued and grateful for the service you have provided.
The importance of planning to improve service
When things are going well complacency can creep in customer service standards can slip. When this happens it provides an opportunity for the competition to try and go one better than your business or service by being smarter, more cost effective and quicker. To ensure this scenario does not happen many shrewd businesses use the effective customer service technique of putting in place regular training programmes to instruct and remind staff about the importance of providing exceptional customer service through communication effectiveness, customer rapport, phone etiquette and dealing with difficult customers. It is well known that investing in customer service training programmes with the aim of improving and training staff is one of the most effective methods businesses use to consistently deliver what the customer wants.
Earning customer loyalty
This can be achieved through various customer service techniques such as the age old offering of discounts on products and services to loyal customers (some businesses of course may have in place a loyalty card that offers discount incentives). If a customer has forgotten their loyalty card be accommodating and if not a member offer them the opportunity to join the loyalty programme. When a customer has a problem always do your best to remedy it as this will in turn lead to customer loyalty and earn you a reputation for going the extra mile to help your customers. Following up with customers after providing a service or sale (mainly big ticket items) through Email, phone or letter will also pay off in customer loyalty and in most cases adds a welcome personal touch.
Thanking the customer
When concluding a sale or business service ensure the customer is thanked in a genuine manner. In many cases customers are dealt with hurriedly and sent on there way as if they are on a production line. Customers like to feel valued and treated with courtesy so it is an important customer service technique to thank customers genuinely and by making sure you are grateful for their business. It is also a good idea to ask the customer if there is anything else you can do because by you taking the time to ask can sometimes result in more business turnover and customer loyalty.