Hi and welcome to my business blog. Running your own business is a huge step to take but is one that can reap huge satisfaction as well as rewards. I would like to share with you some of my knowledge that could help you set up and run your own company.
Never underestimate the power of good customer relations, if you have a robust customer service plan in place, you can ensure that your clients are satisfied and that your business reputation is high. Here are my 6 top tips for achieving customer satisfaction:
1. Have a positive attitude, clients will not want to deal with someone who is not interested in the issues that are being raised. If you can show that you want to help them and are willing to listen to their concerns or complaints, they are more likely to be prepared to accept an offer of a solution. Always remain calm, even if they are ranting at you, if you can retain the ‘voice of reason’ they are more likely to calm down and be more reasonable.
2. Be empathetic. Consider being in your customer’s place, try to envisage what they are feeling or experiencing. This will let them know that you do care and that you can understand what they are going through. Again, this can help lead to a satisfactory solution.
3. Apologise. Do not make excuses particularly if the issues are clearly with your company and could have been prevented. Being prepared to take the blame, apologise and be willing to try to put it right will stand you in good stead.
4. Communications. Talk to the customer, reassure them and let them know that you are prepared and are willing to address their concerns. Customers become disgruntled if they think nobody cares and that nothing will be done to address the problems, this can lead to a whole lot of trouble. If you can, formulate a plan beforehand that can be implemented when necessary.
5. Action. This is probably the most important aspect, taking appropriate action to fix the issues with the customer. Taking action sooner rather than later will increase your reputation however, you do need to make sure the actions are of a suitable quality, never try to fob customers off, it won’t work and it will leave your good reputation in tatters.
6. Value the customer. Ensure that your customer knows that their custom is valued and that you do want their business. This is particularly important in the event of a customer service situation even when the issues are resolved. You want this customer to return to you which could be done in a number of ways, for instance, you might offer them a voucher or free shipping on their next order.
Investing time in customer relations is never wasted, it is likely that there many other companies offering similar goods/services as you and it is very easy to lose customers if you do not have excellent customer services.
Customer service is the service provided to customers before, during and after purchasing and using goods and services. Good customer service provides an experience that meets customer expectations. It produces satisfied customers. Bad customer service can generate complaints. It can result in lost sales, because consumers might take their business to a competitor.
Good customer service involves developing bonds with customers, hopefully leading to longterm relationships. It creates advantages for both customers and the business alike. Customers benefit because the business is providing a service that meets their needs. The business benefits because satisfied customers are likely to be repeat customers. They will stay with the business. However, good customer service is not easily achieved. It takes time to establish. It requires investment to deliver consistent standards.
first direct ‘s mission statement is ‘pioneering amazing service’. This means that customer service is used to set the direction for the business. In other words, customers come first. This is not an empty slogan. Market research shows that, in terms of customer satisfaction, first direct is the UK’s number one bank. It confirms that the bank has a reputation for quality customer service. This has also been demonstrated by comparative studies. The bank was the leading performer in the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service benchmarking programme and it came top in the Finance Sector in the Institute of Customer Services (ICS) Satisfaction Awards.
At the heart of providing customer service is the notion of ‘respect’. This involves respecting the business’ employees, as internal customers within the organisation, as well as external customers. Using this concept influences how colleagues and individuals at first direct act towards each other as well as how they deal with customers.
To achieve customer satisfaction, first direct sets and monitors service standards. For example, four out of five calls are answered within 20 seconds. On average a customer’s call is answered in 13 seconds. Customer service representatives are available around the clock. This means that customers always get to talk to a real person not a machine and they never have to push buttons before they get to talk to someone.