Hopefully you know what it’s like to receive good customer service. You’re also probably aware of the impact bad customer service can have on your perception of a business. Customer service can make or break your business. Fortunately, offering excellent customer service can easily become second nature for you and your team. Apply these five basic practices to your customer service experience and watch what it does for your business.
It may seem simple to be available to talk to your customers over the phone, but this personal touch goes a long way. Try to have someone available to answer the phone as often as possible, whether you provide your customers with your direct line or utilize an answering service. Providing your customers with the chance to talk to a live person, not a recorded robot, shows that you can provide customized service. This also allows you to be yourself by offering a customized, friendly greeting. A simple phone conversation can set the tone for your business relationship.
Show that you hear them.
It’s frustrating to have to repeat yourself because the person you’ve been talking to hasn’t been listening. Provide your customers with the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. Even if it’s a hard discussion, they will appreciate the time you took to hear them out. If you’re confused after listening to the customer, try summarizing what they said to verify that you understood correctly. Creating an open line of communication by showing your customers that you hear them allows you to build a solid business relationship on trust.
Let your personality shine through.
First impressions are critical and can set the tone for your relationship. By showcasing your people skills and starting the conversation in a warm, welcoming tone, your conversation will be much more pleasant. Don’t underestimate the value of common courtesy in the course of conversation. A simple “please” and “thank you” can be all it takes to make your customer service memorable. Remember to be yourself as you interact with your customers. After all, they chose you for a reason.
Go the extra mile.
The difference between good customer service and great customer service is the ability to go the extra mile. Ask yourself what you can do that other companies can’t. Recognizing what sets you apart will allow you to take your service to the next level. Practice not only solving the customer’s issue, but also helping them understand why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. By taking the time to show the customer that you care about their success, you can earn their appreciation and trust.
As you establish a new customer relationship, set realistic expectations that align with their needs. It may be tempting to set high expectations, but be careful to only communicate goals that you’re certain you can deliver in the follow through. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from keeping your promise, be sure to communicate with the customer. Even if it’s bad news, it allows the customer to know that you’re aware of their needs and are dedicated to following through until the job is done.
Excellent customer service is a real differentiator in today’s crowded market. Each company has a unique opportunity to add that badge to their brand with a little focus and care. Practicing these basics of customer service can set your company apart and help you to develop lasting business relationships.
The England Logistics Freight Agent Program provides companies with information and tools to expand and allow them to manage their business. Backed by the England Logistics brand, participating agents enjoy increased market visibility and established business connections. Our dedicated team also delivers consistent support for day-to-day operations. This allows freight agents to expand their portfolio while reinforced by a reliable team.