The little things that go a long way in customer service
In a former life I worked in event coordination in the hospitality industry, and it taught me one very important lesson (that you think would be obvious) – Customer Service is immensely important! This seems to have been a lost lesson somewhere in staff training history. While it’s not always easy to be hospitable – maybe you’re having a bad day, or maybe a client is a little on the rude side – how you handle it, can make or break someone else’s day. There are a few easy things that don’t take a lot of effort that can really show your customers or clients that you are invested in them and their needs.
Now, this may seem like an odd and obvious thing to mention, but there were numerous times clients would thank me for getting back to them so quick. In our office, we always found this strange, how long were other people taking to get back to their requests? Even if you don’t have all the answers your customers are asking for, simply letting them know you are working on getting them an answer, goes a long way. A short reply lets them know you received their request, read it, and are doing what you can to get them an answer or solution.
If you receive an email from a client asking you for something, but you are unsure what exactly that something is, just ask for clarification. Making an assumption in this case could mean lost time for your client and wasted effort in the wrong direction for you or your team. We are taught from a very young age that there is no such thing as a dumb question so feel free to ask away! I’m sure your client would prefer you understand what they are asking you to do, rather than be presented with something different than what they were looking for.
Don’t promise the moon
Every promise is said with good intensions but if you can’t deliver for your client it can make you and your company look bad. Now I’m not suggesting to never promise anything, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can deliver on your promise, go for it! If you can go above and beyond for your client, absolutely go for it, just don’t stretch yourself or your staff too thin in the process.
Mind your manners
Another childhood lesson comes to mind for this final topic – If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Sometimes it can be hard to hold back your opinions, but if you stop to think about if your opinion is actually constructive or if it’s more destructive it could mean a lot for a client. Also, a simple please and thank you go a long way.
All of these sound like things that shouldn’t need to be said, but we’re all guilty of forgetting our manners or making assumptions. Unfortunately in business these kinds of slip-ups can be costly, they can lead to disappointed customers which could in turn lead to the loss of a client. Developing a strong relationship with your clients is essential for company growth.
One thing to always keep in mind is that a happy customer is your best sales person.