Many people believe that customer service means you have to bend over backward, always saying yes to anyone with money. But I discovered that good customer service is actually the opposite of that because when you are always saying yes, you are setting unrealistic expectations. Good customer service is about setting expectations, having clear policies and procedures, and then delivering (or overdelivering) on those expectations.
But even with that, there are going to be times when you have customer service challenges, and you can’t just stand your ground and point out your policies, blaming your customers and being defensive. Many companies, big and small, struggle with proper customer service. Most customers and businesses can have a great partnership and work together to solve any challenge.
Here are three quick tips for achieving the best customer service your company can offer.
1. Train your customer service team to understand what you value as a company and how to translate those values to your customers with empathy.
Entering an order and processing returns should be the last thing you train them to do. If you don’t have a team, you need to make sure you can have empathy, or a customer service hire should be the first thing you plan to do.
2. Customer service is a part of your sales and marketing success.
They are the front line of your company and should never be viewed as just an administrative function. You can not be successful in growing your business or even maintaining your relationships with your current business if your customer service is not up to par. Customers now hold the power in business, and you must operate that way.
3. You must view your customer service team, policies, and department as part of your big picture future.
You can not judge the department by single orders, returns, or daily line items. You must give that department the ability and empowerment to think long-term. What will it really hurt at the end of the day if you lose money on a few orders here and there? Would you rather have happy, loyal customers that will help with large long-term success or short-term profit-maximizing views that could put your future business in jeopardy?
Even if you don’t have a team, following these tips is important, and you have to look at yourself in the mirror and determine:
- Are you being empathetic?
- Are you monitoring the way in which your company’s customer service is viewed?
- Are you thinking big picture or just order by order profit-maximizing?