What is the most important thing you can do to improve relationships with your customers? The answer is as obvious as it is overlooked: improve customer service. No matter how great your product is or how talented your staff is, one of the things that customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they have with your company.
A strong company will already have great customer relationships. But a smart company will always be asking “What is good customer service?” Good customer service centers around carefully listening and attending to your customers’ needs and desires. If you are not constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve your customer service, then your relationships will stagnate.
Bottom line, your customer service team is often the face of your company, and customers’ experiences will be defined by the skill and quality of the support they receive.
How We Improve your customer interactions!
If your staff has the necessary skill set, that’s a good start. But they still need to relate to your customers. Here are some tips for making sure customer service is both thorough and well received:
Ask reps to try to identify a common ground–like shared interests–with the people they help. Having this point of understanding makes conflict easier to overcome by humanizing the relationship, and it endears customers to your rep (and ultimately your company).
Practice active listening so your customers feel heard. Clarify and rephrase what the customers say to ensure you understand them. Empathize with and reflect their feelings by saying things like, “That must have upset you” or “I can see why you feel slighted.”
Admit your mistakes, even if you discover them before your customers do. This builds trust and restores confidence. It also allows you to control the situation, re-focus the customer’s attention and resolve the issue.
Follow-up after a problem is solved. Make sure the issue stays fixed and that your customers were satisfied with the service. Sending an email, or even a feedback survey is an excellent way to let the customer know you’re still on their side.
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