Rule #1 in customer service: Think of customers as individuals. Once you start thinking that way you realise that your business is your customer, not your products or services. The customer is what makes your business what it is, they are the most important role in having a successful business.
Speaking to the customer in a mature, professional manner will show that you respect them, which can also make them respect you. Put yourself in the customer’s position; treat them how you would want to be treated as a customer. For example, if you were in a restaurant and the person who served you was rude and ignorant, maybe they didn’t ask whether everything was okay with your meal or didn’t serve with a smile. Would you feel welcome? Would you feel like your custom was appreciated? Always keep in mind what you would want if you were your customer.
If you have a regular customer, make the effort to remember their name. People like to feel important, calling someone by their name will make them feel important and let them know that you value their custom. Always go the extra mile with customers. For example you could include a thank you note on the receipt you give them; send a birthday card; write a congratulatory note when they get a promotion. There are many ways to go the extra mile and by doing these things you will bring your customers closer.
Make sure you always greet your customers when they walk in or at least within 30-40 seconds upon entering. Greeting your customer will go a long way toward setting the right tone for your customers experience with you and your business. A warm sincere greeting will make a good first impression. Also make sure you ask them whether you can help them with anything. Imagine your walking into a bank, you need to change your name or address on your account. You’re not sure which way to go or which person to approach. Wouldn’t it be helpful if someone was waiting inside to ask you what you need, who will then be able to direct you to the correct department? It would make it a lot easier, instead of you being directed all over the bank because you’ve gone up to the wrong desk or person.
Give your customer the benefit of the doubt. Proving him or her wrong is not worth losing a customer over. You will never win an argument with a customer, and you should never put a customer in that position. Even if the customer is wrong, you should never tell them that, always be willing to do whatever you can to solve the problem. For example, if you’re a chef and a you’ve had a plate come back to the kitchen because the customer said the food was burnt. Clearly to you the food isn’t burnt, maybe the customer is just being a little bit difficult. You wouldn’t go and tell the customer that they were wrong, you would send your apologies to the customer and prepare there food again.
Remember, the customer is always right and small gestures can go a long way.
If you want to learn more about how you can improve your skills in customer service, then take a look at our Customer Service Training Courses.