5 Simple Steps to the Best Customer Service

Delivering excellent customer service is the basis upon which companies should exist. They know that they must deliver good customer skills and many believe that they do. However, 80% of companies believe that they do deliver good customer service. The problem is that only 8% of their customers agree with them. So the question that many companies ask is….. How can we improve customer service skills and get our customers and get them to come back to us as loyal customers?
Engage in a Positive Manner with Your Customers
Most customers can be won over with a positive greeting. Many companies hardly acknowledge customers in a pleasant and professional manner, if they acknowledge them at all. The key is to be engaging, genuine, and positive. Customers value and appreciate that and will stay around long enough to see if they want to engage in a transaction with you if you show you are there to serve their best interest.
Encouraging Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is the best way to discover what you are doing well, what needs attention, and to hear ideas and suggestions from those themselves that actually use your product or service. There is absolutely no better market research than that from the people who have experienced your culture, brand and product. The key is to find ways to get them to communicate with you. Surveys are good, but conversations are much better and glean information you would never receive otherwise.
Effectively Handling and Managing Customer Complaints and Issues
It’s important to remember that all companies, large and small, encounter customer complaints. They key is to realize that the problem does not define you or the company, but they way you handle it does. Customers want to have you empathize with their frustration and inconvenience of the issue. If you understand the problem that the issue has caused for them and truly apologize for it and make it better than right, you can make them far more loyal to your company than they were in the first place.
Your team should also start proactively thinking about strategies to help them anticipate problems that your customer didn’t even know they had. When you solve it for them, you become the hero and they will come back to you.
Developing Long Term and Profitable Customer Relationships
Most of the revenue that you will realize within your company comes from your existing customers. While you always need to market to new customers, the major focus should be on the ones that are already doing business with you. They are experiencing the benefits of your product or service, they are forming relationships with you, and they will also bring new business your way by referring their colleagues, friends, and associates to you. People also do business with those that they know, like, and trust. When you form relationships with customers, they will see you out as their first resource.
Surprise and Delight Your Customers
When you can creatively come up with ways to delight your customers, you’ve won their loyalty for life. The nice thing is that it is usually the smallest things that make the biggest difference in customer satisfaction. Customers want to feel special when doing business with you. When you can surpass the "Best Practices" and discover the "Next Practice" you will develop that experience that is unique and make your customers want to go out of their way to do business with you.
The above steps are simple and basic. It only takes some creative thinking and dialogue with your teams, and sometimes even your customers, to discover ways to differentiate your company from your competition. Your competition is telling your target customers that they deliver good customer service, just like you are. You can be different and actually follow through on that promise by taking the steps above.

Story by Kristina Evey
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kristina_Evey
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