Author Kate Zabriskie said, “The customer’s perception is your reality.” Although networking may help you get new customers, good customer service helps you keep them. It’s important to remember that certain companies have built their brand on their customer service policies. Companies like Chick-fil-A, Amazon and American Express are known for excellent customer service; they’ve garnered this reputation by instituting good practices like these:
- Focus on the beginning and end of the customer experience.
Because these are the interactions that a customer remembers most, these are the best times to wow your customers.
- Minimize the wait.
Respond to your customers and help them make a transaction as quickly as possible. But if there is a delay, make it more pleasant by giving them an estimated time of completion, updating them often regarding the delay or sending a small gift as an apology.
- Automate processes that would benefit the customer.
Human interaction is critical, but some transactional details may be expedited by automating the process. Details like completing applications can be done online to save a customer the time and inconvenience of meeting in person.
- Wow your customers.
Don’t just give great customer service; do something memorable to wow your customers. Think of ways you can provide extraordinary service that your customers will want to share with their friends.
- Be quick to apologize.
The customer may not always be right, but an apology can save a business relationship no matter who is in the wrong. Taking responsibility of any error or inconvenience will increase your customers’ satisfaction.