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Yesterday, we blogged about an issue that nearly every Canadian consumer has complained about at one point in their lives. Poor customer service can truly make the difference between your company’s success and the lack thereof. Treating your customers with respect breeds brand loyalty.
With help from Susan Ward’s “8 Rules For Good Customer Service” article from About.com, we explored some of the ways that businesses can ensure that they are constantly providing top-notch customer service to their clients. In yesterday’s blog, we covered the first four rules. Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?
Ward’s fifth good customer service rule is to “be helpful even if there’s no immediate profit from it”. She explains an instance when she took her watch into a local watch shop to replace a small piece that had gone missing. The shopkeeper found “one lying around” and attached it for free.
Ward insists that, as a result, that watch store will be the only one she visits when she is in need of a new watch or any other accessories. Of course, she has told this story to many people, so the benefits of added business for this store brought on by the merchant’s kind gesture will surely pay him back tenfold.
“Train your staff,” Ward insists, “to be ALWAYS helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.” It’s important that your entire staff understands your company’s vision for providing good customer service. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, it is very frustrating for customers to hear one thing from an employee and another thing from a different employee of the same company.
It is crucial to give the members of your staff the necessary tools to provide those “small customer-pleasing decisions”. Don’t be afraid to “take the extra step”, encourages Ward. Sometimes, it is more worthwhile to take a customer to an item that he or she is looking for instead of simply pointing that person in the direction of the item.
People do take notice of the little extras that you provide them. Striking up a friendly conversation can also lead to an extra sale, simply by probing the customer about his or her needs. Now and again, you may even want to “throw in something extra”. This tactic, according to Ward, rounds out her list of good customer service rules.
Writes Ward: “Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local art framer that we use attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated.”