Over the last year, UrbanKnox has had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of business owners and customers within our community. One of the consistent keywords among both crowds was “customer.” Better “customer service” from businesses and better customers from the community. Today we will start with the business side…
Customer service is a major component of any business. It’s the way you get to know your customers and understand what they need, and it’s the way you make sure they’re satisfied with your products and services. When it comes to customer service, there are five major tips that can help you improve your business:
Practice courtesy, politeness, and patience.
It’s important to remember that your customer may be feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, even if they are not acting that way. Your politeness, patience, and kindness will often soothe them and make them feel better.
A good rule of thumb is that if you would mind a customer talking to you the way you’re talking to them, then it’s time for you to adjust your tone.
Always make sure the customer has what they need.
Asking questions is an important part of any customer service interaction, but it can be tricky to walk the fine line between helping and overwhelming. For example, if someone is looking at a product they haven’t used before and they don’t know what they need, asking them how they plan to use the product might get you a blank stare in response. In this instance, following up with a question like “What are you looking for help with?” or “What problem are you trying to solve?” will help clarify your customer’s needs.
Once you know what your customer’s goals are, next up is understanding the details. Here are some probing questions that will help customers find just what they need:
- What have you tried so far?
- Where do you usually encounter this problem?
- When do you experience this problem most often?
- Who else experiences this issue?
Be present and engaged when interacting with customers.
- Give customers your undivided attention
- Make eye contact, don’t multitask and don’t be distracted by your phone or other people.
- Be polite, courteous and patient
- Examples of being present when interacting with customers:
- greet them warmly and introduce yourself by name (if you are the store manager, take time to learn your employees’ names)
- make sure they know you’re listening by saying things like “I understand,” “Thanks for bringing that to our attention” and “I appreciate you sharing that.”
Listen to your customers’ feedback.
Treat every customer like a repeat customer. The best way to build trust and brand loyalty is with good customer service, so try to view every interaction as an opportunity for a new relationship (even if it’s just the first time the person has needed your services). This means listening to what your customers are saying, and acting on their feedback.
In conclusion, the customer is not always right, but if they believe they are… their money will follow. Do what you can now to help customers become lifetime loyal users of your product or service.