Delivering quality customer service
Every business has a basic obligation to provide customers with quality goods or services. That is, quality in the sense of delivering on a promise to a customer.
It is the responsibility of a business to ensure they are not selling shoddy or unsafe products or services. However, whilst they would like every customer to be fully satisfied with their products or services, the reality is that sooner or later every business is going to have some unhappy customers.
It is sometimes easy to dismiss unhappy customers as chronic complainers. Try to think of any complaint or question as an opportunity to improve products, services, and/or performance. By developing a customer feedback and complaint handling procedure, businesses can turn negative situations into opportunities and build customers for life. In any feedback program, incorporate some or all of the following principles:
As an initial step acknowledge customer concerns. Regardless of how a problem has arisen, simple recognition of a concern will make the resolution process far more effective.
Saying “sorry” to customers is an important first step in letting them know their problem is taken seriously and will be dealt with.
Do not blame the customer
When a customer is blamed they often view it as a personal attack. Misunderstandings can occur due to a business creating false expectations in the minds of their customer.
Admit your errors and solve the problem
Every business makes mistakes. Be determined to get to the root of the problem, make it better for the customer, and prevent the problem occurring again.
Don’t use the ‘company policy’ excuse
No phrase is more dismissive than ‘it is the company’s policy.’ It makes the customer feel powerless and intimidated. The first step in any resolution is to ensure that customers feel they are on equal ground.
Empower employees to solve problems
When businesses do this they generally find they have happier staff, and save customers a bureaucratic nightmare.
Make it easy for customers to give feedback about how they feel. Providing feedback cards allow customers to rate products or services of a business. It also gives them a chance to provide positive feedback.
Do not win the battle and lose the war
Trying to save a few dollars but losing a customer is penny wise and pound foolish.
There may be a small percentage of customers who will take advantage of a business, but the majority will be loyal if they know the problem will be fixed.