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How To Create Excellent Customer Service
Here are practical ways to create lasting relationships with customers.
I once asked a sales representative to tell me more about a product they were selling. To my disbelief he simply picked up the box and started reading from it. I politely walked away and prayed not to see him again. The irony of poor customer service in a customer–centered market exists in an outrageous proportion. How many times have we been assisted by incompetent sales attendants? How many times have we been given poor service? How many times have we been given the wrong item? Billed for purchases we did not make? Rudely assisted or even downright ignored? We are in dire need of better service professionals. Not all consumers are spoiled brats who need constant attention and must have slaves at their beck and call. All we want is the basic courtesy and the ample attention.
As a sale trainer and more importantly, as a consumer I have devised an easy-to-remember customer service paradigm that each sales representative must keep in mind. In whatever industry one may be, the “GREAT” customer service is an essential tool in providing outstanding service.
GREET emphatically. Making the right impression is necessary. We welcome the customer and make them feel at ease. Make them know that you are there to help them not to smother them nor ignore them. The warmth of a smile and the assurance of assistance will loosen up even a cranky customer.
RESPOND appropriately. This is where manners, depth of product knowledge and service skills are intertwined and come into play. It is imperative that the sales person is knowledgeable about the items or services that they are selling. They are a source of valuable information to customers. They are there to help them decide and more importantly entice them to buy. But before you can truly provide valuable information, sales people must learn the right listening skills so they can provide what the clients are looking for. Moreover, effective selling requires that you know how to make clients listen so that they con zero in on the product's benefits for them.
ENDORSE properly. I am not alone when I say that I hate it when I get passed on to different people without knowing what to expect. This atrocity gets doubly frustrating when transacting through the phone. Not everyone has the right answers nor has the power to decide. But what we want is to be endorsed to someone who can decide regarding our concern. Being a human volley ball being tossed from one person to another; or from one department to another is an experience no one wants to go through.
ASSIST immediately. Do not let customers wait beyond what is necessary. Sales professionals must take the initiative to approach immediately and step back whenever necessary. Assisting never meant to be following the customers like a shadow. They must be there whenever needed and must provide space for the privacy of the customers. Don't you just hate it when sales reps hover over you while you browse products? The balance of giving space and visibility is a requirement for customer satisfaction.
THANK sincerely. Whether sales representatives closed the sale or not, they must always thank the customers. Sales people must show their appreciation for clients who take their time to visit the store, call the office, or inquire about the products. The mere fact that they took their time to know more about the product or service means that they are interested.
So the next time you feel a tingling sensation to just read from the box to answer a query from a customer; or when you just feel darn too tired to give a welcoming hello, remember that we are all customers. Ask yourself: how do I want to be treated and assisted? Using the GREAT customer service paradigm we can turn mere sales agents into outstanding sales professionals.
For excellent customer service just think GREAT!