How To Provide Better Customer Service

Providing good customer service can go a long way toward building loyalty and trust. The tips in the following section can help your business go above and beyond when it comes to customer service, keeping your customers happy while at the same time creating a stellar reputation for your company....

1. Figure out things that you have in common with your customers.
The psychological concept of implicit egotism refers to the fact that people are naturally drawn to others who are similar to themselves. You can take advantage of this when dealing with customers by finding things that you have in common with them.
Ultimately, all that any customer wants is to feel like they are being treated with respect and like you are really listening to their concerns.
Most people can quickly spot fake attempts to build trust. All that you have to do is look at the stereotypical image of a salesman trying to sell someone a used car.

When used with a bit more finesse, however, the process of trying to find common ground with customers can come across as being far more authentic. By really taking the time to listen to the concerns of your customers, you can help them feel valued while at the same time building trust.

2. Remember - the customer is always right.
In some cases, you really are at fault when customers complain. In other cases, however, you have done nothing wrong. Although it may be tempting to fight back against the customer, it is important to remember the age-old cliché that the customer is always right.
An easy process that you can follow when dealing with complaints can be represented with the acronym CARP. Here is a closer look at what it stands for:

  • Control the situation. This can help prevent things from taking a turn for the worse.
  • Acknowledge the customer's concerns.
  • Refocus the discussion, shifting the focus from the problem to possible solutions.
  • Problem solve along with the customer so that they feel like they are part of the process.
  • Following this simple strategy is a great way to ensure that all of your staff members provide consistent customer service. It can also help ensure that any encounters with customers are handled in a way that is professional and effective.

3. Acknowledge your mistakes early on.
The sooner you can spot and acknowledge your mistakes, the easier it will be for people to accept them. When you proactively identify problems and let customers know what you are doing to deal with them, it shows them that you take honesty and integrity seriously. This, in turn, can help build trust. 

Although it may sound strange, this is a highly effective way to build an excellent reputation for your company. Most businesses try to hide their mistakes in an attempt to project an unblemished image to their customers. Unfortunately, this can backfire since today's customers value authenticity above all else. When you take the time to admit your mistakes and let people know what you have done to correct them, it lets customers know that you are not only authentic but that you value transparency. This is a great way to build trust.

4. Listen to your customers.
When customers have complaints, be sure to listen carefully to what they are saying. Active listening can go a long way toward resolving problems. The process consists of the following four steps:
  • Make sure that you are entirely clear on what the customer is saying by asking them questions.
  • Rephrase what the customer said and repeat it back to them to make sure that you understood them correctly.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the customer's feelings.
  • Finish up with a quick summary of what you talked about to make sure that everyone understands the key points of the conversation.
  • At the heart of every customer service complaint, the primary thing that the customer wants is to be heard. By actively listening to them, you can let them know that you value what they are saying and that you really hear them.

5. Don't feel like you have to know everything.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is failing to admit when they don't know something. If a customer approaches you with a problem that you don't know how to solve, don't just randomly guess how best to proceed. Instead, let them know that you don't know the answer right away and that you need to find more information.

Give them a time frame for how long that will take.
Customers will appreciate the fact that you are going above and beyond to find the information that they need, even if it means that they have to wait a little bit to get their answer.

Combined, all of these tactics will help you provide excellent customer service.

Here are some more great tips on customer service from DST. These will help add to the knowledge you’ve picked up here.

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