Published August 22, 2007

Effective Customer Service Tips to Outshine the Competition

Is Effective Customer Service Critical For Your Business?

As a smart business owner, you must ensure that your customer is as satisfied as possible with the quality of customer service you provide. Keeping your customers happy will both help you retain your customers and gain more customers in the future through word of mouth publicity. Unfortunately, many business owners turn their back on customers as soon as the deal is closed.

Customers may get back to you for maintenance issues, repairs, or requesting replacements for faulty products. In the absence of efficient customer service, it can be frustrating to deal with such issues and customers may regret buying products or services from such unreliable vendors or companies.

As a result, most customers choose to be associated with businesses that have a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Customer service plays a pivotal role in strengthening your relationships with customers and setting you apart from your competitors.

Respond to Customer Needs

Considering the vast distances and lack of time, telephone response has become a vital aspect of customer service. For simple queries and product-related issues, customers may choose to contact you over the phone. If you fail to answer the phone immediately, you are bound to make a very bad impression even before you got started. Ideally, you should have someone who can respond to customer queries over the phone during business hours.

Prospective customers are likely to be delighted if you respond to their queries with a pleasant greeting and a pleasant attitude - this makes them feel welcomed and appreciated. If customers visit your office, do not forget to greet them with a warm smile.

Dealing with Customer Complaints

Consider a customer complaint as an opportunity to improve your service or products. It is invaluable feedback and you must avoid taking a complaint personally at all costs.

If you are not able to give your customers what they want, one way of keeping them happy is to offer options, rather than just a blunt "no" for an answer. Try issuing a refund, exchange, or replacement.

Stay in Touch

While being sensitive to customer needs can boost your business, you can go a step further by keeping touch with your customers on a regular basis. When and where possible, gain information on your clients such as birthdays or anniversaries and remember to send them a birthday card or anniversary card once a year. If you cannot get this information, try a monthly newsletter or holiday cards around key holidays of the year in order to stay connected. This will not only make them feel special but also help you to maintain a list of regular customers who can look to you in order to fulfill their needs.

Make it a point to inform them about any new services or products that you may add to your existing list. This will help you generate more business as they will recommend these products or services in their social circles or perhaps order the new products or services themselves. Most importantly, don't forget to thank your customers for choosing to do business with you. Customers will surely appreciate these small gestures and will be happy to be associated with you.

Effective customer service is necessary for every business to foster a customer-friendly attitude. By providing excellent customer service, you can convey an important message to your customers - we care!