What is customer service?
Definition: The degree of assistance and courtesy granted to those who patronize a business.
If you are in the business of selling a product or a service, you need to pay attention to what your client wants. It is no longer enough to provide just what the client has requested. It is now necessary to exceed customer expectations in order to gain that competitive advantage. For you to do this, a must have is in depth knowledge of your customer. You must respond to the client needs before the client is even aware of what those needs are so that problems are addressed before they even arise.
Ok, so you have created your avatar of the perfect client. But what you need to understand is that not one size fits all. You need to know your client’s personal story, their likes, hopes and what’s important in his or her life right now. Yes there is a lot of common ground between each person but everyone has unique attributes.
Think about the best customer service you ever received. This may have been the reception you received at a fancy hotel, or when you travelled on an airline where the flight attendants knew your name and presented you with the correct vegetarian meal without the need for you to ring your bell (hats off to Singapore Airlines).
Did the service provider refer to you by name? Did they add value to your experience by providing you with extra goods or information that you didn’t need to pay for? Did they make you feel like an individual?
I’m guessing you received 1 or more of the above which left a favourable impression of the business and gave you a memorable experience.
By contrast, we have all experienced poor customer service where the so called service deliverer made you feel like:
- You are taking up too much time and there are more important things to be getting on with
- Any mistake is down to you
- You are just one number in many or even worse
- You are anonymous and don’t really matter
In my opinion the winner of the worst customer service award is the provider that doesn’t think that you warrant the effort of human interaction. This provider keeps you hanging on the line to cycle through numerous options before you are directed to a different telephone number for another automated service. A Study at the University of British Columbia has determined that being ignored is worse than being bullied!
All being said and done, everyone likes being made to feel special. People pay premium prices for personalised and exclusive services and this can only happen if you Know Your Customer (KYC).
Here are 3 steps you can introduce to your business practice to keep clients returning to you.
3 Steps to knowing your customer.
Don’t hide behind locked doors. Let your customers know who you are and assure them that you are approachable. Through conversation you will get to know individuals and build rapport. Applications including Facebook, Twitter and Linked in make relationship building easy.
Gather feedback from your customer.
Forbes revealed that Sir Richard Branson constantly solicits feedback from employees and customers, keeping a notebook of the ideas that he receives. You could follow in Branson’s footsteps. You could also conduct a simple survey where will find out about your customer’s hobbies, likes and dislikes and other important lifestyle indicators. This valuable information will help you provide helpful resources specifically tailored to the individual.
Understand client habits.
What do they buy, when and how do they buy? Invest in CRM software. There are a number of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Systems on the market that could fulfil this function.
Please leave feedback sharing the best customer experience that you received and how it made you feel.
If you would like help choosing a CRM or getting to know your customer, email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org for personal attention.
After all you do know that you are my favourite, don’t you?