What is the one common factor that binds together the business ethos of corporate giants like Zappos, Amazon and Singapore Airlines?

It is not the number of employees that they have working for them or their swanky offices. It is their will and dedication to create and follow a customer service oriented vision. It is the ‘service foundation’ that has enabled them to build their business culture and consistently deliver excellent customer service.

We all have heard thousands of distressing negative stories around customer service, but very few positive ones. Every organization must realize and work towards establishing their business on the grounds of excellent customer service and stand out from the crowd.

Seven Ways to be Better than the Average!

Here are seven smart ways to become better than the average and deliver amazing customer service at all times.

  1. Respond Quickly: Speed is one of the biggest factors contributing towards good customer service. Especially when the client is irate or wants something quickly. Make it a practice that all customer communication will be read and responded to in a timely manner. Discuss with your team members and define a time frame. Your customers will understand and accept your designated response time if you communicate it at the onset.
  2. Know your Customers: You are bound to share a great relationship with your customers if you invest time in knowing their wants and needs. Personalization works great with customers as they get a feeling of being personally serviced to. Make time to genuinely get to know your customer base. Happy customers and better revenues will be your reward.
  3. Admit your Mistakes: To err is human but not taking responsibility for your mistakes in business is a customer service disaster. Maintaining transparency is critical. We all strive to deliver the highest quality output. But in a situation when something goes wrong, be brave enough to admit your mistake and make amends right away.
  4. Little Gestures go a Long Way: Certain small gestures that anticipate customer needs or take them by pleasant surprise go a long way. For instance, sending a little memento or a small gift to your regular customers on special occasions can earn you brownie points with them.
  5. Avoid Confrontation with Customers: Your customers may not always be right, but they are always important to your business. Make sure that you avoid any conflict with your customers. Avoid agitation by all means! Matching an angry tone with an angry tone is a total loss for your business.
  6. Establish a Long Term Vision: When you treat your customers right, they become your business partners for life. By keeping your commitments and delivering your promises, you earn free marketing by your customers who will happily share their experiences in their network.
  7. Hire Service Oriented Staff: Employees who are directly communicating with customers, technical proficiency isn’t enough. Direct interaction with customers takes a great amount of intuitiveness, empathy and good listening abilities. Hence, hiring for such positions should include specially designed interview procedures and adequately screened prospects.

Five Reasons Why Customer Service is Important

Delivering excellent customer service has a positive impact on current and potential customers. Numerous surveys and studies have confirmed that a significant majority of customers would share a bad service experience on a social media network than a good one.

For instance, if you were given a shabby treatment at a top rated establishment, as a customer you would be indignant and chances are that you will be sharing your experience on social media say Facebook which will be viewed and shared by hundreds and thousands of viewers thereby influencing their opinion about a certain brand.

Excellent customer service can help you drive up sales and take your business reputation a notch higher. Here are five reasons which will help you understand the relevance of service in your business.

  1. Customer Service Builds Trust: Customers will stay loyal to your business only if they get a real reason for doing so. Otherwise, there is enough competition in the market to lure them away. That is the reason you need to work harder to deliver the best customer service and build customer trust in your brand. This in turn could become the differentiating factor between customer loyalty and the fact that they can jump ship anytime.
  2. Customer Service is More Important than Price: Several business case studies and surveys have proved time and again that customer service is considered to be more important than price. To get the best service experience, customers are more than willing to pay a steeper price.
  3. Customer Service Builds Brand Awareness: What your customers think of you can make or break your business. When you go an extra mile and deliver excellent service, customers talk about you and your brand has better recall value.
  4. Customer Service reduces Instances of Complaints: No business is immune from problems. They are going to cause friction in your operations no matter how much you try to avert them. While you simply cannot escape issues arising in your business, what you can prevent are customer complaints becoming one of the pesky issues that can plague your business. If your customer service is excellent, the instances of complaints will reduce over time.
  5. Customer Service is Critical for the New Customer: Maintaining a fine relationship with existing customers is relatively simple as you know your customer’s needs and are equipped to serve them adequately. The hard part is catering to the new customer. The new customer has expectations and wants more from the service experience. Excellent customer service will ensure that you deliver the best.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to delivering on your business promises, nothing matters more if your customer service is poor. Businesses should be built around excellent customer service and remember just how vital it is for their future success and growth. It is easy to forget its relevance, but at the end, the final word rests with the customer.