What is Customer Service?
Customer service is showing your customer how important they are to you, to your team and to your company by interacting in a friendly, helpful and positive way.
Remember, everyone is your customer. This includes clients, prospects, suppliers, associates, co-workers and anyone you interact with. If you treat them all the same in a professional business manner, it is easier to provide the same level of customer service all the time.
Good Customer Service
Good customer service means meeting the customers' expectations. Understanding expectations can be tricky. The answer is to ask more questions for clarity. If you do not understand or if you agree to unrealistic expectations, you will not be able to provide good customer service.
Meeting expectations and qualifying these expectations results in good customer service. You need to raise the bar and challenge yourself to provide excellent customer service. Repeat and keep raising the bar.
Excellent Customer Service
Excellent customer service means exceeding the customers' expectations - this is the "wow" factor. Ask questions to truly understand the expectations. Agree to these expectations or agree to a new set of expectations that are attainable and both parties have a positive feeling when this outcome is met.
Deliver beyond the expectations. Always. When you do not meet expectations, bring your passion, admit the shortcoming and offer a way to make it better. Customers remember how you made them feel so make them always feel good.
Be genuine and sincere. Consistently show your clients you care. Do not just communicate this. Feel it and convey you do care. When I hear a canned "I'm sorry" it comes across reading from a script. Show empathy. If you do not bring passion and caring, you cannot achieve excellent customer service.
Many feel they care, however, we have a tough time actually showing others we care. Stop, breathe, find your compassion within you and bring it to show how much you care.
It's Not About You
There is a reason why the AlphaKORians' have banned the word busy. Imagine calling us and we say thanks for the call, however, we are busy taking care of so many others. Your client does NOT want to hear this. It's about them, not about you. Listen. Ask questions about them and what they require and what you can do to help them. This shows you cared.
Provide next steps and timelines. Follow-up on these even if it is to let them know it will take longer or a change of direction needs to be reviewed to reach their goal. No excuses about you because it is about them.
Who Is Right?
It is not about being right or wrong. Think about that. We are ready to communicate our side, our justification just to show we are right. Drop that thinking. Provide a better way in dealing with this, provide a solution and lead the communication in a positive direction.
This quote sums it up nicely: "Neither of us is right or wrong. We just have different perspectives. The challenge is not to convince the other person to change. Find a way that suits both parties."
Customer service is building strong, long-term trusted relationships. To build these relationships, we must effectively communicate and deal with all the challenges with the client in mind. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you know what they are dealing with? What pressures are they under? What can you do to help and to wow them?
How are you providing excellent customer service?