A few years ago I had the enlightening opportunity to have Don Gallegos come speak to our company here in Utah and he talked about great customer service.
Customer service in America is horrible at best since great customer service is missing with so many organizations. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Don has a book entitled “Win the Customer, Not the Argument” which is the best customer service eye-opening book I’ve ever read. At the heart, is the topic of what is great customer service? What do you customers define as great customer service? How does your organization deliver great customer service?
Your boss, the customer, cares about great customer service
I’ve made “Win the Customer, Not the Argument” the only required reading for employees at work.
Great customer service means navigating through the potential problems of doing business while delivering an exceptional customer service experience. You can avoid a poor customer experience, by creating a customer-focused culture with:
- Great customer service quotes
- Great customer service stories
- Great customer service examples
- Great customer service skills trainings
All of these are sources of inspiration to any team that desires to set themselves apart form the competition and deliver great customer service.
Why are companies always establishing new policies that annoy or anger 99.8% of its customers to take care of the .2% or less sometimes of those that may be the offender? Don’t you know that you have to take care of your 99% plus customer base or they’ll go elsewhere?
Excellent customer service is the greatest way to show your customers you value their decision to choose you. Delivering great customer service is one of the most effective ways to protect your customer base. Companies with great customer service understand that without the customer, they’re out of business.
Pay it forward with great customer service
We all want to receive the best customer service. But corporate America doesn’t believe it. It’s clear that they believe that customers won’t go elsewhere, so they continue to promote bad customer service, because it’s easy and cheap. But you have the power to break the bad service experience cycle.
When you receive great customer service, make it known. Tell your family, friends, shout it from the social media roof tops! Let the organization you worked with know how much you appreciated the great customer service experience you received. It makes a difference.
What is great customer service?
If you’re in the business of customers (aren’t we all?) Here are a few suggestions to offering REAL great customer service, not the customer dis-service that we’re currently receiving from the corporate giants:
- If your phone system message always says that you’re “experiencing an unusually high volume of calls”, it’s not unusual unless you’re the IRS and it’s April 15. Either hire more people or get rid of the message, it’s insulting.
- Actually respond, and respond quickly to emails and chats. Give customers the attention that is needed to quickly resolve the problem.
- Requiring a receipt for a return is ludicrous. You have complex systems for tracking inventory, stocking, pricing, serials, etc. yet for me to return something I need to prove that it came from you by showing you a receipt? Please.
- I didn’t need to show a driver’s license to buy it. Why do I need to show it to return it?
- When a customer is frustrated over chat or just isn’t getting it, sometimes it helps to give them a call.
- Don’t feel restricted by policies. If a customer wants a refund after 40 days (10 days past our 30 day refund deadline), just give it to them.
- If a customer is upset, forget the policies. Give them a full refund. Give them something extra. Send them a free gift.
- If a customer is angry that the product doesn’t work like they thought it would (even if it is a known incompatibility), replace it, better yet give them a new product that works free.
- If a customer goes out of their way to write an email and thank us, send them a package with something free.
Winning customer loyalty centers on the idea that your customers are not just the customers from the moment they walk in the door to your business or visit your Web site, etc. It’ll take fantastically great customer service to keep them working with you.
They are the customer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are always the customer. Companies have started to treat people as one time customers, and not as life-long customers. People are loyal to themselves first and if you don’t take care of them, they will go elsewhere. Great customer service is the greatest answer your customers can give to a competitor trying to steal them away.
- People don’t know great customer service until they get it. When they receive good service they think, “Wow!” and make the choice to switch to the new service provider.
- The customer is NOT always right, but they are ALWAYS the customer.
- Don’t take the easy way out and say NO, find a way to say YES.
- Don’t hide behind a policy, do what’s right.
- 99.6% of the customer were good compared to those that were bad, why create policies to hurt those good customers?
- Nordstroms once took back and refunded a pair of tires. Nordstroms doesn’t even sell tires. They won that customer.
- Just because we make a special situation for one person, doesn’t mean that everyone else will want that too! Make that customer happy.