Now that the holidays are behind us, I thought I’d share some of my favorite customer-service tips. Here are 15 for 2015:
1. Be polite. Get back to the basics of customer service. Don’t forget to say “please” and “thank you.”
2. Name names. Speaking of basics, use the customer’s name. It helps to build rapport.
3. Follow through. Always do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you’re going to call back in five minutes, then do so.
4. Serve the customer. Everyone has customers; some are internal (your colleagues) and some are external (clients).
5. Introduce yourself. Let your customers know your name and how to contact you in case they’re inadvertently disconnected, have another question or find they need a “friend” at the company.
6. Respond quickly. Return calls, emails and any other type of request quickly.
7. Be punctual. It’s expected you’ll be on time for your meetings and appointments. It’s a sign of disrespect if you aren’t.
8. Be social. Monitor social networks for comments from your customers and respond quickly (see above).
9. Be kind. Treat your employees the way you want your customers to be treated, if not better. What’s happening inside a company is felt on the outside by the customer.
10. Fix it fast. Some companies aim for one-call resolutions to customer issues. You may also strive for no-transfer resolutions.
11. Provide a consistent experience. Customers want and expect a consistent, positive attitude from everyone they encounter.
12. Free up your employees. Empower your staff to make great customer-focused decisions. Begin by hiring the right people and training them properly.
13. Keep on training. Continually train your customer-service people. Even short, ten-minute tip sessions can be productive if they’re ongoing.
14. Make everyone a customer-service rep. Every employee has two jobs: the one he was hired to do and the one that involves taking care of the customer.
15. Be a customer-service role model. Regardless of what you do for your company, be the person everyone admires and wants to emulate.
Choose the tips on this list that resonate most strongly with you. Circle them and focus on one at a time. Small changes can yield big results and pave the way to your most successful year yet.
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Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and best-selling author. For more information on Shep’s speaking presentations, call 314-692-2200, email email@example.com or go to www.hyken.com.