- Assist your customer throughout the entire transaction but know when to back away if they need time to make a decision. That's common courtesy.
- Respect their feelings. If they really don't care for the earrings you've designed and took you 52 hours to create then just chalk it up to everyone has different taste and find them something else they like. You can't take anything personally when it comes to sales or service.
- Smile and be nice. Don't be fake because people can see right through you. Find a job you enjoy doing because it shows in every aspect of your job. Your boss, your co-workers, and your clients can tell if you like what you do by your attitude.
- This leads me to another point - if you are unhappy and hate your job, your boss, and your co-workers then you probably will take it out on your clients in some form. I know it's a hard job market out there right now but for the love of God please find something else you like to do and stop making others around you miserable!!! It's easier if you figure this out before your boss does!
- Your livelihood rides on the service you provide and client retention. Think of every person who walks through your door or visits your web site as a potential meal for your family. If you lose them you may not eat. That's extreme but you see where I'm going with this.
- A compliment goes a long way. Again, don't be fake but use compliments to gain rapport with the client. You don't know what that client has been through that day and you could be the one person to change the direction of their day for the better - sometimes their life if you're really good!
- Be helpful. If you are explaining your return policy to a client and they just aren't getting it then you keep explaining it and explaining it until they do understand - and be nice about it. Rolling of the eyes or an exasperated sigh helps no one.
- Exceed expectations. This is a big one and this one will set you a part. Not only meet your client's immediate need but add in a little extra. A free gift. Deliver an order to their door yourself. Provide refreshments during work hours (all sects of business can do this). Help a new mom with her baby while she tries on her first post pregnancy outfit. Offer discounts on their next visit. Find that "something extra" that fits your business. It doesn't have take any money out of your pocket.
- Make your client feel as though they are the only one you have (even if they really are). Make them feel important.
- Do your research as a business owner and hire really good people. You may spend a little more money up front for good research but in the end you will get a return on investment that is 10x what you first paid. If you wouldn't leave your kids with them, don't hire them. It's true. Again, your business is your life. When you bring someone in to help you that person needs to know how much you have at stake by trusting and hiring them as well as how their attitude and aptitude can make or break YOUR business.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things you can do to give great customer service. Each segment of business is different but at the end of the day all any of our clients wants is exceptional customer service.
Until then: "You'll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can't be copied." - Jerry Fritz
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net