Ap·pre·hen·sive - anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen. Have you ever had this feeling before? Whether it be in any life scenario or in the sales profession being lambasted by a customer or potential customer? Regardless, it is not a pleasant experience to say the least and YOU can turn that around! It doesn't really even matter what you do in your profession if you're in sales, HR, marketing, management etc. YOUR self-brand matters for not only yourself but for your business. It is all about self-branding! Even if that is the only thing you take away from this and will determine whether you have more positive experiences as opposed to a hostile one. Below are the top 5 tips and best practices with customer service.
1. First impressions. This does matter and will be the most important as this is the quiet literally the first time a potential customer will interact with you or even with an already existing customer to keep them happy. You only have one first impression so always make eye contact, introduce yourself, and smile - even via a phone call because a smile can be heard over the phone. Whether you can see it or not a customer can tell if you are being sincere or not.
2. Commit to Quality Service. This may sound simple enough with all of you driven small business owners trying to start up your business. Myself included back being a young and eager and full of drive to push your business to the moon it can be difficult to lose sight on what you pride yourself on. The key is to NEVER over promise and under deliver. This will never get you on a good side with a customer and will more often than not lead to apprehension waiting for a phone call from an angry customer. If anything, you want to under promise and over deliver as a way to make a positive and noticeable impact.
3. Make it Personal. We're all consumers and we've all been on that side of the table when purchasing a product or service. There comes a certain sense of trust, and comfort dealing with a representative when they attempt to see your situation from your shoes. Don't be afraid to ask questions because at the end of the day it shows that you are trying to help assist the customer to specifically meet their needs. It's a good way to not sound pushy or aggressive. After all, you're just having a conversation and nothing more!
4. Know Your Products/Services. Now, this may sound silly but you never know what kind of question and/or complaint that is about to be presented to you. If you ask me, this is probably one of the best ways to build credibility for yourself and your company. Knowledge is power! And this is the truth. You don't want to buy a brand new shiny tv from someone who has no idea what information they are spewing over to you and you buy it anyway because they're the expert right?
5. Lasting Impressions Matter Too! After a sale or transaction has been completed, you don't just want to celebrate and completely forget about everything else. Making the customer feel rushed and forgotten immediately after is NOT a good way to maintain a consistent customer base long term. You got the business but really what's stopping them from canceling the service or returning the product? All that hard work now gone. Follow ups and check ins matter from my experience and keeps the customer engaged, which will more than likely lead to a positive experience and long-term happiness.
There are many other aspects and best practices to positive customer service. What are your experiences or tips to deliver and maintain superior customer service? Please provide your opinions in the comments section below!