Customer Service 101

Customer service is a pivotal element of any successful organization’s business strategy.  A satisfied customer is likely to return and to share a positive experience with others. Fortunately, a functional customer service strategy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Simply avoiding common pitfalls can often make the difference.

1. Listen – Allow the customer to explain a problem or need before jumping in and presenting what your organization can offer.  Failure to do so can frustrate the customer and lead to overall dissatisfaction.

2. Follow-Up – Let’s say that again, follow-up. Regardless of whether customer contact is due to a pending sale or a complaint, always phone or write to ask if the problem has been resolved or the need satisfied.

3.  Maintain a record of contact – Regardless of the size of your business, maintain a record of contact with each customer so that multiple people in the organization can assist the person. People don’t like to spend time reiterating the nature of the relationship with your company and appreciate the opportunity to pick up where the last interaction ended.

4. Do something extra – Try to find ways to distinguish your organization from your competitors. Send birthday greetings or offer a discount attached to another occasion. The customer will be impressed and the expense to you is minimal.

5. Use common language – Customers are not likely to be industry experts so avoid language that might be confusing.

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