“When you treat customers right, they come back . . . and they tell others.”
Shep Hyken, Customer Service Expert
How is the phone answered? How is a guest greeted? How is a complaint handled? How is a customer updated on the progress of their vehicle? These questions all play a part in what your customers see and experience. These are the things that make you and your business stand out…not only from the competitive set — but from a service provider set as a whole.
When it’s your business, few things are more satisfying than turning on the lights each morning and unlocking the front door for your customers to enter.
After all, taking care of customers is what your business does. And the more customers you have, the more successful you are. But competition for those customers is fierce.
That’s why good customer service – and providing it every single day – is essential to your business. So whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced business owner, here are some helpful customer service tips to remember each time you turn on the lights.
1. Make them feel welcome
Be sure your customers are always greeted at the door. Thank them for coming, be friendly and inviting, and find out how you can be of service to them. Treat them like family, instead of simply a paying customer, and they’ll be glad they came to your business.
Treat them like family, instead of simply a paying customer, and they’ll be glad they came to your business.
2. Listen to your customers
That means really listening to each customer, even if it’s something you heard before. Don’t ignore them – give them your full attention. Whether they’re trying to describe the glass problem they have or lodging a complaint, listening and addressing their concerns lets them know you value their business.
3. Take immediate action
Always respond right away. If they do have a complaint or an issue, make sure you address it and handle it promptly. However customers contact you – phone, email, social media – take care of them as soon as possible. And if you can’t solve their problem immediately, let them know you’re working on it and will contact them with an answer very soon.
4. Be active on social media
[insert graphic: http://bit.ly/1EnzUJc] Take advantage of the customer conversations you can have on social media. It’s an excellent vehicle for contacting customers, posting information about special offers, and thanking them for their business. In addition, social media gives you immediate feedback from your customers – good and bad – that can help you improve your service even more.
5. Hire good people
Your team has to deal with customers, so make sure they represent you well. Their people skills matter as much as their technical skills. Customers return to businesses where they’re treated decently by other people. And, make sure you also treat your employees well – they’ll respond the same way to customers.
6. Keep your cool
At some point, despite your best efforts, a customer’s going to blow their stack. No matter how red-faced they become, you have to remain courteous, polite, and professional. Your goal is to focus on a solution, not trade angry remarks with the customer. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for handling upset customers so you and your team know how to respond.
7. Ask how you’re doing
[insert graphic: http://bit.ly/1NaHQos] Whether it’s a customer service card at the counter, or through social media, simply ask customers for their feedback. What did they like? What didn’t they like? What could you do better? Questions like these help you judge the quality of your service, and how they feel about being your customer. Their responses will help you make any adjustments necessary to make your customer service the best it can be.
If someone’s calling on you, they’ve got a problem with their car and may likely not in the best of spirits. By providing an excellent customer service experience, you’ll brighten their day and make them happy they called you. And you’ll be able to keep turning the lights on every morning.