For many companies, one of the best ways they can differentiate themselves from the competition is with exemplary customer service.
Recently, I had three different customer service experiences:
Experience #1: The brick and mortar store debacle
On a Saturday evening, I walked into a local pet supply store. Wondering around, no one approached me and I was not able to find the product I needed. I finally tracked someone down, told them what I was looking for and they directed me to an aisle. There was a poor selection, what I needed was not available and I left, again with no contact from five employees standing around at the front of the store.
I went home, logged on to Amazon Prime, and ordered the product I needed. When I opened my door at 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Sunday!), the package was on my porch. Why would I ever go to the physical location store again?
Experience #2: The baby shower gift gets rained out
About two weeks before going to a friend’s baby shower, I logged on to her registry page at Baby’s ‘R’ Us. I ordered a gift and noted that it would be delivered 7-9 days from the order date. Since that would be close to the shower date, I paid extra for gift wrapping. The day of the shower arrived but the gift did not. I went to the shower, empty-handed, with a promise to return with the gift (embarrassing). The gift finally showed up a couple of days later.
When I contacted Baby’s ‘R’ Us to get a refund on shipping, they were rather indignant, claiming that delivery was 7-9 “business” days from date of shipping and refused to refund the shipping charge. Since they didn’t get around to shipping the gift for a couple days after the order, it had taken over two weeks for the gift to arrive. Slow delivery and zero apologies. Why would I ever buy from that retailer again?
Experience #3: Ready for Prime time!
I’m an avid Amazon Prime member (see above) and recently bought their “Fire TV Stick” so I could watch movies on TV. The first time I tried to watch a movie, the streaming was slow which resulted in many interruptions. The fault lay in a router that was located too far away from the television. I later resolved the issue by adding a booster to my system. But two days after trying to watch the movie, I received an email from Amazon, saying: “We saw that you had an unsatisfactory viewing experience so we’ve refunded your rental fee.” Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Take these simple customer service actions to benefit your business:
- Review your current customer service processes — and make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Respond to emails, phone calls and inquiries promptly — at most within 24 hours.
- Staff should be knowledgeable, well-trained and project a positive attitude.
- Be clear on all client communication with customers — what you’ll be providing, for what price, and under what timeline.
- Carry through on all promises.
- Follow-up with customers after a sale is made; assure they are satisfied with the product or service.
- Listen to and be empathetic with customers with complaints — antagonism is a no-win situation.
- Monitor your social media profiles and respond to any negative feedback; work to rectify any negative comments.
- Go above and beyond — always over-deliver on your customer service.
Make your customer service remarkable — and people will share their experience. Excellent customer service is excellent for business.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Your Customer Service: Deal Maker Or Deal Breaker?
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