Customer Service Training
Your company can have the best product, but without great customer service to back it up, sales will diminish. Customer service is the personality behind the product. It transforms the “same as any other” company into a team of individuals who are friendly and eager to please the customer. If customers feel a connection with the company, they become loyal and are less likely to switch companies if an occasional mistake is made. Repeat business is almost certain and loyal customers tend to spread the word. This word-of-mouth advertising costs the company nothing—yet it is priceless.
Excellent customer service takes many forms—the best of which involves good, old-fashioned common courtesy. A customer relishes a friendly voice or a smiling face and should find both at every level of your company. A customer likes to be quickly acknowledged and welcomed, listened to, and thanked. If a customer has questions, the correct answer should be readily offered.
Other customer service favorites:
- An easy return/exchange process.
- Additional information about the product (via brochures, videos, hand outs, or website, dedicated phone line, etc.)
- Individualized training (class, demonstration, etc.)
- Maintenance/cleaning schedule reminders
- Financing options (30 days same as cash, free layaway, etc.)
- Bonus for order amount (discount or gift)
- Free class for related product/service
The list could go on and on. However, the same is true for a list of ways to displease a customer. An unsatisfied customer spells disaster. Customer dissatisfaction occurs when a customer perceives that a company’s spoken or implied promise was not kept, such as high quality, delivery date, and reliable customer service. Companies don’t generally keep their promises because:
- They lack a clear, up-front sales contract.
- They lack an effective production, delivery, or customer service strategy.
- They lack the trained, high-caliber people to implement, measure, and analyze the processes.
- They fail to communicate with customers.
If you are in doubt about your customer service, think about your experiences as a customer. What is your favorite company to do business with? Why? Become a shopper yourself and check out your competition. Do this regularly for comparison. To be fair, have a friend call your company and listen objectively to your friend’s responses. Ask your customers for their honest opinion, most are willing to give it.