How important is customer service? Well, if you like being in business, it’s the most important thing. No matter what business you’re in, good customer service should be your primary focus.
How hard could this be, though? Aren’t customers the reason you got into business in the first place? Aren’t they supporting your business?
As the late poet, writer, and activist Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Nowhere is this truer than in customer service.
How Important Is Customer Service?
Angelou’s pithy remark reminds us that customer service is like any interaction. You can’t go wrong when you think of any encounter as the start of a lasting and valuable relationship.
Even if the other person is rude and angry, you don’t need to respond in anger.
We’ve thought of five ways to treat people — customers and others — in ways that show you care about them and want to build a relationship, even if only a brief one.
Build Good Relationships
Building good relationships is about more than just pleasing customers. It’s about actively showing a universally pleasant and caring demeanor. For some folks, this might take some adjustment.
Creating a support team among your employees or coworkers is also essential. If they consider themselves to be a team, they’ll have your back in any difficult customer relations issue that might arise. They’ll help you keep your cool.
Know Your Products
Knowing what you’re selling means not only understanding the products or services you offer but also knowing how to explain them and their benefits to others—some of whom might be a little skeptical about their value.
Diplomacy is about dealing with other people in ways that won’t offend or upset them. However, having the talent of graciousness certainly helps!
Reach Out to People Locally
Remember that you’re part of the community where you live. Never overlook the people nearby — specifically, your neighbors, work colleagues, and local acquaintances. It’s easy to take these people for granted until you unexpectedly need them.
Customer service for small businesses is probably the most critical customer service, especially if your business is a local one.
Anticipate People’s Needs and Wishes
Treating others well can be as simple as adding convenience to their experience, particularly when there’s an opportunity that’s right in front of you. For example, make it as easy as possible for them to call you when they need something.
Don’t make customers hunt for your number or call a central line and be routed to you. And don’t make them pay for the call. Instead, get a free 1800 number, maybe even a vanity number that’s easy to remember.
Did You Make the Sale?
Customer service management is a rough-sounding term for what we’ve been discussing here. While this term technically might apply when you’re gathering and processing sales data for your business, it says very little about how you get to the sales figures you want.
The better you get to know your customers, the more likely they will be to remain customers—and tell others about you and you. This isn’t an obligation; it’s a way of broadening your network and should give you a sense of contentment.
How important is customer service? Remember the advice we’ve given here as you read through other articles in our blog. Remember, too, that sound business practices all begin and end with how we treat others.
Interesting related article: “What is Customer Service?”