7 ‘Dos’ of Customer Service

Today, we want to address the best practices of customer service. Why? Because customer service is an imperative aspect of business.

Think you can keep your customers if you lack attentiveness and sincerity? Think again.

Why is customer service so important?

Remember that glorious game of ‘Telephone’ that your kids used to play? Or maybe you played it yourself?

The instructions are simple: one person concocts a phrase and whispers it to the person sitting next to them. Said person then whispers it to the next person, and so on, down the line.

When the message reaches the last person, they tell the group what they heard. Children giggle as they find that the message was completely skewed as it made its way down the line.

Customer service is a bit like ‘Telephone’.

If your customer service is awful or even just ‘bad’ you better bet your business on the fact that the message will spread to your other customers or leads. Generally speaking, the initial customer service experience will be completely blown out of proportion. By then, your reputation is destroyed.

You don’t need to go the ‘extra mile,’ or run a marathon for customers (though that is never a bad thing), but you should go an extra 100 yards or so.

Here are the 7 Do’s of Customer Service

Do one, do all… Whichever you choose, you can never go wrong with one of these customer service do’s.

  1. Handwritten or personalized notes. There is no better feeling in the world than appreciation. I’ve only received a few handwritten notes over the years; each time, I felt less like ‘another number’ and more like a human being. Handwritten notes go a long way… use them.
  2. Connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. There is a fine line between networking and stalking. If you have a conversation with a customer, during which you hit it off and they seem like someone who would appreciate a ‘friend request’ or ‘connect request,’ then you should follow up on social media. Use your judgment.
  3. Answer all customer emails. Even if you, personally, cannot answer the question, you should respond to the email and CC a person in your company who can answer the question. Don’t pawn-off your customers without an explanation.
  4. Cater your customer service to each customer. Not every customer is equal. You must cater your service to each customer’s needs. You will run into ‘needy’ customers, but you must not fret; if you treat a needy customer with respect and extra attention, it will pay off in the long run (those types of customers tend to pass on their customer service experiences).
  5. Follow up. In such a busy society, with people rushing from one meeting to another, then back home to their families, there is a higher likelihood that people will ‘forget’ things. This is why followups are crucial. Whether you email or call, a properly worded followup can be the closing deal.
  6. Treat your customer service as a branding strategy. Think that customer service has nothing to do with your overall brand presence? Not true! Customer service is part of your company culture. Treat your customers with respect and patience, you get a great brand reputation. Shrug your customers off and make your impatience obvious with your tone of voice, and you develop a less-than-ideal brand reputation.
  7. Put your ‘professional’ foot forward. You should always speak with your customers in a professional manner. You can talk about your personal life, to make your conversation memorable, but you should never allow yourself to be laxed or crude.

In Summary: Treat your customers with respect. Be yourself. Be personable.

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