Top 7 Steps to Building Great Customer Experiences
By Robert Moment
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Any businessperson knows that the success of a business is entirely reliant upon the regular participation of customers. Therefore, to ensure the success of your own business, it is important to ensure that you build a great customer experience for each of your customers , to ensure their return, and that they will spread the word about the quality of service you provide. Building a great customer experience means that you work closely with you clients and build a strong relationship with them. “How?” you ask. By using the following 7 vital steps:
- Always be Approachable and Friendly – this applies in person, on the phone, and over the Internet, for example, using email. Being friendly, polite, and courteous in all of your interactions with your client will make them feel as though you’re someone who cares, and you’re there for them when they need your help. Naturally, there will be times when the last thing you feel like doing is to be friendly to a customer, but it is important that you develop the ability to overcome that sensation, and keep a clear head so that you’ll be able to best respond to your client’s needs and wishes and ensure that great customer experience.
- Clearly define your Policy for Customer Service – though this may not be the first thing on your mind when you first start your business, it should be something considered a priority as soon as the “essentials” have been covered. In fact,sooner you get your clear customer service policy in place, the better it will be for ou in the long run. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll save, the more time you’ll have to fine-tune it as you find better techniques, and the more customers you will be able to provide with a great customer experience. Once you have a customer service policy, make sure that everyone knows it, and that it is readily available for reference in case it is eeded. This helps you and your team members to deal with customer ssues quickly and effectively, and minimizes the need to pass a customer from one person to the next- a practice despised by customers.
- Pay Attention to the Little Things- there are many little niceties that your business
can practice without taking a great deal of time or money. For example, sending
Personalized birthday or holiday cards to your clients, or a personalized confirmation email for service or registration are all great ways to show your customers you care. They needn’t be lengthy or too detailed, but a note written from scratch (as opposed to from a template) or even by hand can make all the difference for making a customer feel valued and wanted.
- Anticipate Needs and Do what it takes to Help – this is the ultimate level of
understanding and achievement in building a strong relationship with your customers. This is similar to the last point, but is more specific to the unique needs of your customer. It means that you have to pay attention to what is being said, and then take extra steps to provide great all around service with all of the extras in order to fully impress your customers to the point that they’d remark to their friends and colleagues about how helpful you are. This is not only great for business, but it makes you feel fantastic by the end of the day.
- Meet in person when possible – certainly this isn’t always something possible,
especially if you’re running an e-business from New York City, and your client is located in Australia, however , if possible, meeting face-to-face is a very nice touch for a business. It can be rather daunting, and causes many people to experience a major case of butterflies in the stomach, but when it all comes down to it, your clients will be able to relate to you faster and better if they’ve met you, shaken your hand, and can put a face to your name, instead of just a voice on the phone , or a font over email. Clients aren’t expecting you to be perfect. However, they do want to see someone who is calm, confident, and who is willing to take the time to ask about, and provide them with what they need.
- Communicate often and quickly – little is more frustrating to a customer than
contacting a company and waiting days for a reply. No matter if a message was sent over email or by phone, make sure to respond as quickly as you can, not waiting any longer than one business day. Furthermore, try to anticipate communications from clients, by keeping them up to date on a regular basis, regarding a contract you may be working on , upcoming sales or promotions you’re offering, or new products you’ve taken on.
- Always Honor Promises you’ve made – this is the most vital point of all 7. It is
also the simplest. When you promise to do something , do it. By breaking a promise, you are certain to disappoint your client, which makes achieving a great customer experience much more challenging. Certainly, there will be times when a promise will have to be broken through no fault of your own. In this case, tell the client the as soon as you know that you will not be able to keep your promise for example, that you cannot meet a deadline because a delivery to you was late apologize immediately, and tell the client what you are doing about the issue, by offering them options, or providing them with a new date.
Robert Moment is an innovative customer service consultant , business coach and author of Invisible Profits: The Power of Exceptional Customer Service. Visit http://www.customerservicetrainingskills.com and sign-up for the FREE e-course , Creating Wow Customer Service Experiences.
Article Submitted On: September 30, 2007