Customer service: A lost art?

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned customer service? Many lament the ‘good old days’ when customers were treated with appreciation and respect, and proprietors seemed to possess an inherent yearning, an ingrained desire, to exceed the expectations of their valued customers. What’s happened to those days of old?

If you could compile an exhaustive list of all the things that you miss about good old-fashioned customer service you wouldn’t be alone. And not necessarily ‘old’ for that matter either, because what we have come to describe as ‘good’ or ‘old-fashioned’ customer service doesn’t seem to have disappeared from the sight of consumers all that long ago. It’s as if we all awoke one morning and it had miraculously vanished.

Reviving those good old days is called for in a big way. And remarkably inexpensive. In fact, more often than not, it’s completely free. It simply requires you to make the effort to connect with your customers on a more personal level, like we used to be able to do so effortlessly before our lives became so hectic, so busy, and so disrupted by digital devices.

If you’ve come to realise that you’re growing more and more lost in the bedlam and chaos that many of us have come to know as ‘running a business’, the following points are aimed squarely at you. That isn’t a bad thing at all by any means, because it means you’ve realised something is missing and you want to make the effort to bring it back.

Tip No. 1 – Really want to help your customers

It all starts with the desire to deliver more. Better customer experiences don’t magically happen, they take place because the person providing those experiences has a genuine desire to make the customer feel the way they want to feel – appreciated, important, and respected.

If you don’t have a strong desire to provide your customers with experiences that make them feel appreciated, important and respected, how can you possibly hope to deliver the kind of experiences that make them want to return time and time again?

Customers have a tendency to sense when we don’t really want to talk to them, so a good method, one that can take some time to master, is to leave whatever makes you want to avoid conversing with your customers behind the counter, in the storeroom, or anywhere out of sight.

Tip No. 2 – Personalise your customers’ experiences

To make your customers feel as they should feel – appreciated, important and respected, you need to personalise their experiences. This can be as simple as using their name when communicating verbally or in writing, and taking note of their personal preferences so that you can deliver the kind of experiences they yearn for.

Don’t you feel special when a waitress greets you by name and asks you if you’d like ‘the usual’? Most of us do and we tend to hold those people who remember us and personalise our interactions, as well as our transactions, in high esteem.

Tip No. 3 – Make the little details matter

We are often so busy and rushed off our feet that we fail to notice the little details, those little aspects of our interactions with our customers that make up the big, broad picture. But the little details matter. And not just a little but a lot.

We may lack the time to stop and smell the proverbial daisies, but doing so not only makes our time at work far more rewarding, it also presents us with a great, and frequently missed, opportunity to make the little details matter, and that doesn’t take much time, or effort, at all.

Little details may seem insignificant, and therefore unimportant, but that simply isn’t the case. A good way to see the little details is to not assume that you know what is relevant or irrelevant to your customers, but to see them all as important and believe that each makes a difference. Even if they don’t add up to much to one customer, they may mean the world to another.

Tip No. 4 – Make your customers feel appreciated

While all the points so far have been about making your customers feel appreciated in some way or another, there are still so many points to cover. There really are so many ways in which you can make your customers feel as appreciated as you’d like to feel. Starting by providing them with great service each and every time.

In addition, you can ask them for feedback about your products and services, thank them for their input, and show them that you’ve been listening by implementing their suggestions. Where feasible of course.

Tip No. 5 – Always be there for your customers

It can be difficult, if not outright impossible, to be there for your customers at all times of the day. After all, we all need a break from time to time and don’t we all deserve to call it a day when the clock reaches that magical hour?

But being there for your customers when they need your advice, your assistance, or a simple question answered, is extremely important and failing to be there when they need you most may prove to be the end of the relationship.

And it only need happen once. That one time when you’re not there to answer the phone when they need you and they’re gone. Snatched away by one of your competitors whose phone lines enabled them to speak to a ‘real person’ and not a machine.

Fortunately, there are solutions at hand. Like our broad range of call handling and telephone answering services which ensure that when your customers call, someone is always there to take their call, take a message, or answer any questions that they may have.

With our many years’ experience and our highly trained team operating out of our modern call centre in Dorset, you can rely upon Message Direct to ensure that when a customer calls, they will always receive good old-fashioned customer service.

 

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