Customer service is something that we all need to keep in the back of our minds as we go about the day-to-day of running our businesses. Here at AIS Solutions we deal in the fields of bookkeeping and accounting. But no matter what business sector, no matter if it’s B2C or B2B, and no matter how big or small the issue, entrepreneurship requires working with an understanding that, at one point or another, our customers or clients will have an issue with something and they’re going to want a solution fast. No matter how much time, effort, and focus we put on ensuring that those who we service are happy and without complaint, things can always slip through the cracks and cause us to start thinking in terms of damage control.
But customer service has a flip side: when we do it right and do it well, it will be remembered. One of the best things we can do as business owners is ensure that we go above and beyond for our clients; whether they’re getting in touch with a simple question or are screaming to the point of being hoarse, we can exceed their expectations by providing excellent service that brings them a solution and then some.
Mike Michalowicz, CEO of Provendus Group, recently penned an article on OPEN Forum entitled The 4 Phrases of Amazing Customer Service that offers a rather in-depth look at how great customer service can help grow a business. He talks a bit about how focusing on this helped him beat out his competition and how it can be your best and cheapest form of marketing before going into each phrase, when it should be used and how it can help. Here’s a look at one:
3. “Yes.” “Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, especially if you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress.
Imagine two scenarios: Customer 1 calls with a complaint and asks for a 10 percent discount. The customer service rep says no, finally hands the customer off to a manager, and 20 minutes later you have an angry, frustrated customer with a 10 percent discount from the manager. Customer 2 calls with a complaint, and the customer service rep apologizes and offers a 10 percent discount. The cost to the company is 10 percent—that’s the same amount of money but call #1 took longer, involved two staff members, and left a customer feeling frustrated, while call #2 resulted in a customer who truly believes that your company cares about his business. Say yes to reasonable requests as soon, and as often, as possible; you’ll leave your customers pleasantly surprised at how easily the problem was resolved.
“Customers want progress” is the key here: the last thing they want is to be stalled and stonewalled over again. People will only put up with that for so long, and we need to accept that in certain cases, small concessions may need to be made in order to avoid a much bigger issue down the road. We must always try to think long-term: is it worth losing a customer – not to mention more potential ones when the word of mouth from a bad experience starts just because we refused to bend a little?
What do you think? Did you find these tips for customer service useful? Do you have any of your own that have been successful? Your thoughts are welcome, so let us know!