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Five Tips to Ensure Extraordinary Customer Service
1. Set a response time and stick with it.
None of us have all the answers all of the time. It’s expected (and appreciated) that we need to take some time to research or track down a part. The key is to set a response deadline for yourself and stick with it. Tell the customer what you’re doing and ask them if you can update them at a specific time. Have the answer earlier? Great! Let them know when you know. Don’t have the answer by the deadline? Be sure to call the customer back and let them know you don’t have the answer, but you’re working on it. They will appreciate knowing you care and didn’t forget about them.
2. Take a team approach.
It wasn’t you who made the mistake? Who cares – not your customer. Every member on your team represents your team as a whole. If a mistake is made, own it and fix it rather than assigning blame to a team member, process, or tool. You can educate the team member who made the mistake after and not in front of the customer. Your customer doesn’t care why the mistake happened as long as you fix it.
3. Keep your customers in the loop.
Do you recommend one part over another? Why? Did you run into an issue that is going to increase your labor time? Explain it. You are the technical expert; your customer is not. Explaining the basics of why you are making some of your bigger decisions (especially decisions that affect their pocketbooks) can reduce customer frustration and make them appreciate you more as the tech expert.
4. Put people before paperwork.
We’ve all done it. We get so involved in a task that we don’t see the customer standing right in front of us or we let the phone go to voicemail. Although this is a common occurrence, it doesn’t make it right or make our customers any less aggravated about being ignored. Our actions need to actively show we value our customers over our busywork. At the end of the day, the paperwork will still be there, the customer may not.
5. Smile.
This is not a cheesy, trick answer. Research has shown smiling make you more approachable and friendly. It also makes you sound more positive when you talk, especially on the phone. Smiling shows you like your job and take pride in your work; you’re not just counting the minutes until you leave for the day. There is no more important customer service advice than to smile.