Are You a Victim of Your Own Customer Service?
Have you ever wondered why some people only shop at one grocery store, only fly on one airline, or why it can be so hard to get repeat customers? It all boils down to customer service. If you’re wondering why you don’t get the repeat business that you want, you have to ask yourself if you’re a victim of your own customer service.
Customer Service Affects Retention
Your customer service efforts affect your customers. How your customers feel that they are treated will directly affect whether or not they decide to keep their dollars in your organization. Customer service starts from the very first day that your client has contact with your company. It is later reinforced the first time they have to call your business because they have a problem. Statistics show that if you provide bad customer service during the first encounter, almost 40% of people will avoid your business for at least the next two years. We all know that people who have a bad experience tell all of their friends and colleagues. More than 50% of people switch to a competitor after they have a bad customer service experience.
What Do Customers Want?
The main idea taught in most establishments for customer service is that the customer is always right. It sounds good in theory, at least. Have you ever received poor customer service even when they solved your problem? How did you feel after that encounter? Chances are, you didn’t feel good about it. It didn’t matter that you were right and that they corrected the issue. You cared more about how they made you feel.
From our experiences, we could deduce that it’s not so much about being right as it is about feeling as if you’re being heard and that you matter as a customer. That’s what customers want. They want to be heard. They want to matter. They want you to care.
Providing Five Star Customer Service in an Instant Soup Society
As the owner of a business, you’re likely very task oriented. You have a list of things you must accomplish each day, and you work your way through those tasks. You want your employees to work quickly, meet their goals, and bring their A game to work. You’re all about plowing through the day. Almost everyone is working to accomplish as much as they can in a day. We want instant results. We eat fast food. We keep instant soup in our desk drawers. We want to be more productive.
This mentality often leads to customer service efforts that fall short of stellar. The goal? Get people off of the phone (although the idea behind customer service is to help people). Would you rather answer more calls or would you rather make sure that people have the right answers and don’t have to call back again?
Customer service shouldn’t be about you and your needs. It shouldn’t be about how fast you can get someone off the phone. It should be about focusing on the neesds of the customer. It is about making sure that they feel heard.
So, what can you do to stand out in customer service? Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to have clients who think your customer service is second to none. Think again about the rush that we all experience day after day. If someone took a couple of extra minutes to meet your needs, what would you think? If they offered you something a little bit different that let you know what you matter, you’d be hooked. You would be excited to do business or interact with them again. You’d tell your family and friends.
Simple Customer Service Tips
That’s all it takes to change from mediocre customer service to great customer service – taking the time to make your clients feel heard. Truly listen to your clients and their needs when they call you or stop by with a question about their account or about your services. When you or your office staff say to a client that they will get a call back, make sure that it happens. Make the call even if you don’t have the answer yet. A couple of minutes to touch base and to say that you’re still researching the answer can do wonders for your reputation as a company.
Give your front line, office staff, and billing staff the authority that they need to solve problems. These individuals are the ones who take the calls and answer the questions. Make sure that they have the tools and power that they need to help. You can set some guidelines, but they should be able to solve some of the most basic issues that people call in with.
As the person in charge, you should have an open door (or an open email in cases of needing a quick answer) policy for the staff that will be involved in customer service. Once your guidelines are in place, you should still be open to answering questions. Your clients are the lifeblood of your business. Make sure that they get the care that they deserve.
Questions About Customer Service?
If you have questions about customer service, Attorney's A.R.M. would be happy to answer them. We have more than 30 years of experience. We routinely handle customer service for doctors, lawyers, and businesses of all sizes. Attorney's A.R.M. provides expert customer service using old fashioned principles to help your company keep its good reputation. You can schedule a free process review of your customer service needs. There’s no obligation!