We know that the customer is NOT always right, but aren’t they still your paying customer?
Has it really been that long since the customer was always right, since orders were received with a smile (even on the web), and since company screw-ups were dealt with promptly and with class?
Where Did Good Customer Service Go?!When did customer service become so uncool?
Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the creator of an amazing website that’ll take you by the hand and guide you step-by-step down Wallace D. Wattles’ proven path to wealth, health, success, happiness, and love. He understands the need for customer service and points out the problem we face today:
Now, anytime we can talk to a real person instead of an obnoxious recording, it’s considered a miracle. Or, if the cable guy tells us he’ll be there from 10 to 2, instead of from 10 to 4, we consider ourselves lucky. Or, when we actually get our money back under a money-back guarantee, we give thanks to the heavens.
-Tony Mase, http://www.tonymasesinnercircle.com
I don’t mean to sound like I’m pining for the good ol’ days when I walked uphill both ways in the snow to do my shopping. But, seriously, when did customer service become so uncool?
More importantly, how can you avoid customer service mistakes, so you don’t have people shouting your small business’ name in vain?
Customer service needs to see things from each customer’s perspective
Instead of bemoaning your own bottom line and the inconveniences you’re dealing with on your own end, take some time to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Thanks to the worldwide web, they have (literally!) a million places to spend their hard-earned money, so give them a reason to choose you.
From start to finish, everything should be easy and enjoyable for each of your customers. If it’s not, people are going to head elsewhere. And, if you think about it rationally, can you blame them?
Customer service needs more honesty, A LOT more
It really IS the best policy! Communication is vital to every relationship and the relationships with your customers are no different. So, if your supplier stood you up, and it’s going to take a little longer to make your deliveries, just say so. Or, if your best cake decorator is out for whatever reason, and you’re working round-the-clock to compensate for it, explain the situation up front.
It’s far better than making up a story that no one is going to believe anyways!
Just don’t confuse honest communication with making excuses. Customers hate excuses almost as much as they hate bad corporate attitudes!
Customer service needs more power to make things right
No matter how hard you try to run the perfect company, mistakes are going to happen. So, instead of trying to place blame, spend your time and energy looking for solutions. Customer service agents need MORE POWER to take care of customers.
We don’t need more policies, more transferring, more hoops to jump through. What customers are begging and screaming for is more ACTION.
If there’s a problem, customers expect to pick up the phone and the person on the other end take care of it. It should always be that simple.
If your customer was wrong, let it go. It’s not worth losing their business (and risk a bunch of bad word-of-mouth advertising) to get into the “blame game”.
If you were wrong, apologize and do whatever you can to make up for it. A reasonable customer will understand that you’re not perfect. What really matters is how you deal with the aftermath. If you can follow up a mistake with a “mea culpa” and a way to make things all good, your customers will remember and appreciate it!
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