Customer service is important for any business, but there’s a difference between good customer service and great customer service. Great customer service requires a customer-first mindset. And for business executives who want to build a reputation for excellent customer service, erring on the side of generosity is always the best way to achieve that mindset.
During my time as a business owner in the jewelry industry, I’ve seen how working to satisfy customers has led to stronger trust and loyalty. Whether it’s letting a customer take a diamond to another store for a side-by-side comparison or repairing rings free of charge, our customer-first mindset has helped us build a network of incredible brand advocates. It also has ensured that we stand out among our competitors.
I’ve had to make sacrifices to satisfy customers, but these sacrifices were worth it in the long run. Here are five instances when it’s best to choose generosity over potentially offending or losing a customer:
- When a customer is upset: Don’t let customers leave upset. If a customer is upset, we always make sure to resolve the issue, then go a few steps further to ensure the person is completely satisfied. We want our customers to be genuinely moved and “wowed” by our customer service.
- When a customer isn’t completely satisfied with a product: If you’re in a product-driven industry, customers need to be satisfied with your product no matter what. Otherwise, they probably won’t become a repeat customer or a positive brand ambassador. We’ve redone custom rings — those made to a customer’s desired specifications — because the customer was not 100 percent satisfied.
- When a customer has a personal issue come up: If a customer has a personal issue come up and must return a product, it’s important to be supportive. Our standard return policy is 30 days, but on occasion, we let customers return items due to personal issues, such as an engagement falling through.
- When a customer needs a more flexible payment plan: When you sell high-price items, you need to be flexible on payment terms. If clients commit to purchase a piece of jewelry and don’t have the funds to pay up front, we’ll work with them to develop an in-store financing plan that fits their needs.
- When a customer asks for a donation to a charitable organization: A lot of business executives shun or ignore donation requests because they feel like they provide little value. However, we’ve seen that this isn’t true. Our charitable partnerships have helped improve our company’s reputation and build our client base. We have an incredibly generous donation policy and try to donate to all organizations that reach out to us.
The biggest things to remember when erring on the side of generosity are to give with a sincere attitude and to be consistently generous. You should keep a customer-first mindset in all situations, regardless of the immediate business considerations. If you want your business to become great, embrace this mentality, and you’ll build a loyal following that will drive growth for years to come.