Archive for the How to Provide Great Customer Service Category

How to Provide Great Customer Service (Part 4)

Posted in General Management, How to Provide Great Customer Service with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Great customer service doesn’t happen over night…literally. It takes a shift in your thinking, values, training, and culture. But if you choose to make the investment in yourself, your employees and business, and understand the importance of this one critical area, it will pay off more than you know. And I don’t mean just in business. Your life itself will change if you place a greater value on those you and your team interact with.

7. What’s in it for them? Wouldn’t it be nice if your business was the talk around the water cooler…and it was all positive? Great customer service should not be measure by whether or not it yielded a sale. Just being helpful, answering a question, and dare I say…providing a service for free…can lead to many more sales and, through word of mouth…a lot more customers.

8. Extra, extra, read all about it! Whatever extra you can provide, goes a long way. There are so many creative things you can do to impress your customers or clients. Think outside the box. At the very least, throw in some coupons to entice repeat business. Product information, samples, discounts, newsletter, workshops…the list is very long. Whatever you do, as inexpensive as it might appear, the little things can go a long way. And always throw in a smile.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

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How to Provide Great Customer Service (Part 3)

Posted in General Management, How to Provide Great Customer Service with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Okay, I’m back by popular demand. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, attending two valuable seminars. Always looking to learn more.

Now back to providing great customer service. We’ve covered four important topics so far – (1) Is the customer always right?, (2) Come on, answer the phone!, (3) Go the extra mile., and (4) A promise is a promise. Today, we’ll look at two more equally important elements to this very important aspect of your business.

5. Don’t turn a blind eye! I can’t say I personally like dealing with complaints, but they are unfortunately a part of doing business. Some say, “You can’t please everyone all the time.” Basically, that’s true. Sometimes it’s not even your fault. Life just happens and you’re caught in the crossfire. That being said, there’s no excuse for not trying to please every customer every time. Even if one person walks away disappointed or upset, they may, upon future reflection, realize you did make an effort…and that might just be enough to bring them back again.

6. Welcome to Basic Training! There’s no excuse for a poorly trained team. Granted it takes time, resources and there may be a learning curve, but it needs to happen… especially if there’s contact with the public or clients. If you can’t train them yourself, find someone who can. “I don’t know,” can’t be an acceptable answer. Create the training tools, the methods of delivery…and then empower your knowledgeable team to make “customer-pleasing” decisions. It’s essentially to the success of your business. And I suggest you make great customer service a part of the culture.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

How to Provide Great Customer Service (Part 2)

Posted in General Management, How to Provide Great Customer Service with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Customer serviceLet’s continue down the path of better customer service. It’s not rocket science. It’s actually quite easy. It takes patience, some educating and perhaps a shift in the culture of your team. Take a page out of Zappos.com’s play manual, recognized for its over-the-top, outstanding customer service. No request is too small or too great. They will make every effort to satisfy the customer. Read up on them. It’s inspiring.

Extra mile3. Go the extra mile. It’s not about asking, “Can I help you?” when a customer walks into your store. What’s the automatic answer to that question. “No, thank you. Just looking.” Give it some thought and come up with a welcome that’s different and more helpful. Try to elicit a “Yes” answer. And don’t just point to where a product is, take the customer there. Whether you’re on the phone or face-to-face, provide more assistance than is expected. When you do, it’ll be noticed. And that leads to more customers.

4. A promise is a promise. If you allow for exceptions, there will be more and more of them. Keep your word, making only promises that you can keep. Most customers are forgiving…within reason. Say what you mean, be where you say you’ll be, deliver on time, honor and fulfill obligations…in other words, be everything you’d like other businesses to be. And do it all with a smile. It’s contagious.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

How to Provide Great Customer Service (Part 1)

Posted in General Management, How to Provide Great Customer Service with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Customer serviceIf there’s one thing in business that we all appreciate, it’s great customer service. It can make such a tremendous impact on our perception of a company. Equally so, one terrible experience can end a business or a consumer relationship. Let’s explore some simple ways of making sure your customer service is always great!

Listen to your customer1. Is the customer always right? Not exactly. But what I do recommend is the following: Listen to them. Everyone has their own perspective and you’ve got to respect that. Realize that you can’t please everyone all the time…but you can certainly give it a good effort. Consider how many times you’ve told a customer service representative your whole story only to find out they’re not the right person to be talking to or they weren’t really listening at all. Then you get to repeat it all over again…in hopes that this time your story won’t fall on deaf ears. Frustrating, wouldn’t you say? Bottom line…make an effort. Listen to your customers and try to resolve their problem as best you can.

Answer the phone2. Come on, answer the phone! Since the first automated telephone response system was created, customer service has gone down hill. I called my satellite radio company the other day and it took 20 minutes to get through the 1000 questions they had for me. Then at the 40 minute mark, I finally got a real person. At the 43 minute mark, we got disconnected! So what am I getting at?! Answer the phone!! Look, I understand that some companies are just too big to answer every call live…most companies aren’t. Set up call forwarding, if that helps. You know as well as I do, it’s such a relief when someone answers. Pride yourself on answering within a certain number of rings. If it’s after hours, then I suggest your recorded message promises a call back the next business day. It’s not too much to ask…and it will be greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.