Business both big and small, should realize the wealth of wisdom enshrined in these words: "Retaining a customer is far less costly than finding a new one". However most marketing and sales people are more focused on getting new customers. They neglect their current customers and don't focus on customer service. From large companies to retail outlets catering to local customers, organizations should concentrate on hiring people who embody the highest quality of customer service.
Quality is not an accident; it is a result of intelligent efforts and zeal to produce the best. There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. People who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.
The equations are easy to understand. It takes more resources to attract new customers than it does to retain existing customers satisfied. Which company could not want to have an efficient customer service professional? Some one who can keep the existing clients happy, and more importantly, someone who can keep them coming.
When we talk about creating great content for our social media channels, we are likely drawn into thinking that great content is like a well written article or a nice picture, but this is all stuff we 'push' on our audience, while we really should 'listen'. We should build a relationship with our customers and have a meaningful conversation; that is great content.
Now-a-days a Chief Listening Officer is being appointed in to look after the grievances of the customers. The essence of good customer service is forming a relation with the company’s customers – a relationship that an individual customer would like to pursue.
The question is here, how do you go about forming such a relationship? You do it by:
1) answering questions,
2) offering suggestions
3) fielding complaints and resolving difficult situations.
Let's look at each point more in-depth:
(1) Answering Questions:
Learn the basic tenets of customer care. This includes:
-Answering the phone before the third ring
-Treating customers respectfully and courteously at all times
-Promptly answering their questions, and if you can’t, getting back to them with an answer as quickly as possible.
You have to learn to provide effective responses. Be careful how you phrase your words:
-Instead of "I don’t know, I’ll find out" Say "Now what I can do is..."
-Instead of "That is not my job" Say "This is who can best help you"
-Instead of "You’re right – this stinks" Say "I can understand your concern/problem"
-Instead of "You want it by when?" Say "I’ll try my best"
-Instead of "Calm down" Say "I am sorry"
-Instead of "I’m busy right now" Say "I’ll be right with you"
-Instead of "Call me back" Say "I’ll call you back"
(2) Offering Suggestions:
Become and expert in your line of work. Knowing the product/service inside out and updating yourself about the logistics will give you the chance to offer suggestions that can help the customer.
Very often your product has special features or applications that the customer is not aware of. Pointing out the advantages of a product is the best way to engage a customer. In any case customers like it when you share this kind of 'secret'.
(3) Fielding complaints and resolving difficult situations
Usually we receive complaints regarding:
-time of supply,
For such complaints, one has to go and personally meet the customer, appraise the situation and explain in detail. The objective is to make the client satisfied and relieved from any anxiety. This must be done as early as possible. If a personal meeting is not possible, try to make the meeting as personal as possible using social media and possibly video.
Even when whatever the customer is complaining about, is not your fault, you should still apologize and make the customer feel that you sympathize with him or her, that you understand the problem and that you will do your utmost to make it go away. When you succeed in this, you will have a customer for life; a raving fan of your company who will tell everyone about it. Customers that are vocal in their complaints are usually just as vocal to praise you when you fix the situation.
When you are honest and fair with your customers and you do this publicly on social media, you provide the best content. Everyone can read this and see how you treat your customers; this will truly engage both existing as well as new customers.