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Class Customer Service
Copyright © Charlie Page
Every day we hear reports about a "soft" economy. One expert
predicts a long recession, then 15 minutes later another expert
predicts a quick recovery. All of which leaves customers confused.
How can we ensure that we will attract and maintain customers during
good times and lean times too? By giving them WORLD CLASS customer
service. Let's look together at three "rules" of world class
customer service and see how we are doing.
======= The Customer Is Still King (Or Queen)
The first thing we must realize is that customers need to feel
important. Many of them feel that *their* business is what keeps us
in business, without regard to the size of their purchases. Some
customers don't mind reminding us of that fact every time they see
They're right to a large degree. Most businesses today could lose
their largest client and survive. Not many businesses could lose the
smaller, regular customer that is the lifeblood of their cash flow.
Rule 1 -- Never Forget the Customer is King
======= Stop Small Problems At The Source
No matter how hard we try, we won't please all of the people all of
the time. This is where our problem solving and communication skills
come into play. The rule here is to nip problems in the bud before
them bloom into disasters.
We all know the stories of a simple miscommunication that, when
passed down the line, becomes something much more than simple. The
sooner we intervene in problems, the better. Wal Mart does
especially well at this, instructing associates to literally walk a
customer to exactly what they are looking for, thus preventing
confusion and any hint of less than excellent customer care.
The more we are willing to invest the small amount of time necessary
to stop small problems from growing, the more time and lost business
we will save in the long run.
Rule 2 -- Prevent Small Problems From Becoming Disasters
======= How Well Are You Doing?
Finally, there is customer feedback. Rarely will you see a customer
more delighted that when you spontaneously ask them how YOU are
doing. Many of us are afraid to ask, thinking that the customer may
unload on us and waste our time. Yet nothing is farther from the
truth. While they may unload, this is *no* waste of time.
Customers almost always feel that their opinion (good or bad) is not
being heard. Let customers know that not only is their voice being
heard but that policy is being shaped around that opinion. We always
hear from the minority that believe they must complain to get what
they want. Here's a chance to let our customers know we value them
and hear from that "silent majority" of happy customers as well.
Rule 3 -- Ask Customers How YOU Are Doing
There you have it. Three quick "rules" which, if we follow them,
will ensure that we are in touch with our customers, can prevent
small problems from growing and help us learn what our customers
*really* think of us.
When we adopt an "attitude of gratitude" and actually THANK
customers for no more than simply being our customers, relationships
bloom and good things begin to happen.
Your clients may never meet you in person. Yet, the more personal
the attention you give them and the more informed you are about
their needs, the more loyal they become.
Charlie Page is the owner of the Directory of Ezines, the first and
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