Customer Service that Kills – Not Literally – 5 Ideas for Killer Customer Service

Customer Service that Kills – Not Literally – 5 Ideas for Killer Customer Service

Committed to Excellence and Customer Satisfaction

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Customer service shouldn't be difficult. My recent experiences with some companies have challenged this thinking, which is unfortunate.  Technology has made it incredibly easy for customers to compare prices, read reviews on sites like Yelp.com, and make informed decisions about whether or not they're going to patronize a particular business or not.

I don't know about you, but I'm willing to pay a little more for a positive customer service experience. Businesses looking for ways to cut corners still have the ability to offer killer customer service to their customers.

Here are five suggestions for providing killer customer service:

  1. Empower Your Employees – People who want to make a simple exchange, or want a price matched on a product shouldn't have to wait for a manager to approve the transaction. You can set reasonable limits (e.g. product value of $250 or less) for employees to take care of price matching or product returns on their own.
  2. Listen – If I, as a customer, have a gripe about your product or service, listen to me. You may not be able to solve my problem, but at least I feel like I've spoken my piece. Be an active listener and ask questions.
  3. Don't Argue – Contrary to common belief, the customer isn't always right. However, belittling a customer or going out of your way to prove that they're inferior to you or your company is not going to win any points. You can politely have a discussion with a customer about a problem or issue they're having. Use terms like “I hear you” or “I understand your problem to be…”
  4. Make it Painless – Don't make customers jump through 50 different hoops to get their problem resolved. During the holiday season I had purchased some portable battery chargers for gifts and unfortunately, I received only one of the three I ordered. When I called the company to complain, they told me to call them back after X date as by then the product would have for sure been delivered. Never mind that the tracking information already showed that the products had been delivered several days earlier. I called back on said date and the customer service rep was very apologetic when in truth it was probably the post office that mucked up the delivery, but no questions asked, credited me the amount of the missing chargers. The first customer service rep could have done that without making me wait another week.
  5. Follow-up – Circle back with the customer to make sure their issue is resolved to their satisfaction. I had a problem with my cable TV service a while back and the technician who came to repair the issue not only provided the service, he gave me a booklet that had his as well as his manager's contact information. It also had a designated area to write down WEP passwords and more, which was very handy. What really impressed me is that the next day the technician called me personally to make sure everything was working appropriately. It wasn't a customer service rep, but the actual technician. Very impressive. I pay a premium for my TV service, but with this kind of customer service, it's worth every penny. This example shows how easy it is to follow-up with a customer to make sure they're satisfied. It also provides another opportunity to up-sell a product or service.

Customers can be fickle. They shop for the best price and demand awesome customer service to boot. They want the moon. Providing superior service isn't going to ruin your business and is a necessary expense. Happy customers will be loyal customers and may become advocate customers, trumpeting the merits of your business to anyone who will listen. Remember, it's a lot harder and expensive to get new customers than it is to keep the ones you have. Following the advice above should help you keep the customers you have as well as providing them incentive to refer new business your way.

Disclosure of Material Connection

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Please be advised that I only recommend products or services that I have used or tried personally and believe will add value to my readers' lives. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”