Excellent Customer Service Is A Game-Changer For Franchises
I can confidently say that you probably have had one or two negative experiences with customer service at some point. How did they make you feel?
They don’t leave me feeling good about my decision to spend my heard-earned cash with that particular business, that’s for sure.
Bad customer service experiences give a bad impression of the whole company and especially the customer service rep.
On the other hand, excellent customer service is a way to keep your customers happier – even when something goes wrong — ensuring they return to your business in the future.
Here are a few tips to give your customers an experience they will keep returning for…
LEARN AND PRACTICE USING ACTIVE LISTENING
Listening to your customers goes a long way. And, using active listening skills makes your customers feel like you hear what they are saying.
What is active listening?
Repeat, paraphrase, or reflect back what your customers are saying to make sure you understand exactly what they want you to understand.
Here’s an example — you can say, “I hear you are very frustrated because your order was not correct.”
This lets your customer know you understand their problem and you are not giving canned answers.
Make sure your body language syncs up with theirs, and whenever possible, give them your full, undivided attention.
ALWAYS SHOW YOUR CUSTOMERS RESPECT
Address your customers by “ma’am,” “sir,” or their last names until they ask you to address them differently.
Be polite and patient, use “please” and “thank you” often, and speak to the customer using professional language instead of slang.
If the customer is angry, carefully monitor your tone of voice, avoid sarcasm, and do not use profanity.
Take the high road and keep your behavior professional.
Much of what we do with clients and customers is reactive; you respond to requests and needs.
However, excellent customer service is proactive. Identifying and anticipating needs, or solving problems before they happen leaves an incredible impression with people.
And example of that might be — you are looking at your client’s account and you notice she ordered 100 cases of tomatoes. Verifying that amount directly with the client shows you are paying attention to her account and that don’t want to waste her time and money (or yours) by shipping too much of something that might not be necessary. Being proactive helps fix potential problems before they become actual problems.
KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
It can be tough especially when all sorts of craziness is happening, but keeping a positive attitude when dealing with a customer is really important.
They pick up on your mood, and if you’re not positive, they will feel that you do not want to help them.
Whether you’re on the phone or face-to-face, smile – yes, even on the phone — your smile will shine through and let your customer know you care about them and are glad to help.
FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
If you say you are going to do something for a customer, follow through. Your customers need to know that you are reliable and dependable. This is especially true when an issue cannot be resolved right away.
Return phone calls and emails promptly, and check with the customer to make sure the problem has been satisfactorily resolved.
If for any reason you are not able to do something you said you would do, let the customer know as soon as possible, and be honest.
I’d love to hear from you…
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If you have any questions at all, please post them in the comments or send them to me at Todd@TheFranchiseConsultingCompany.com. I’m more than happy to help if I can.
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